Shoppers in the market for a tube of lipstick may soon be able to narrow their selection by comparing not just color and price, but also how much plastic various manufacturers use. A cosmetics maker from the United Kingdom is the first business to agree to measure its “plastic footprint,” using tools developed by the Plastic Disclosure Project (PDP).

“If you don’t measure something, you can’t manage it,” explains Doug Woodring, founder of the international project that launched at...

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