Waste has been an important topic as manufacturers, advocacy groups, retailers and more explore ways to "save" potentially wasted good food and distribute it where it’s most needed.

But food isn’t the only industry that needs to address waste. Today, repurposed plants are showing up in everything from soap to face cream. 

What started with ancient cultures using discarded ingredients in unique ways is transforming into green chemistry innovations, according to Kantha Shelke, PhD, CFS, principal at Corvus Blue LLC, a Chicago-based food science and research firm. "Biotechnologists are now advancing this practice in a more systematic manner to find ways to recycle and valorize agro-food industry by-products."

Also expect to see more happening in waste-free packaging in the beauty space. Innovative botanical papers processed eco-efficiently from plant waste such as coca husk from the chocolate industry, coffee chaff and cellulose from rice are some of the most up-and-coming potential solutions to wasteful plastic packaging.