Consumer goods company Henkel has successfully worked with Mondi to find technology solutions that would allow the company to incorporate more of its scrap plastic into a highly functional – and aesthetically pleasing – flexible laminate packaging material. Thirty percent of the resulting flexible package’s PE layer consists of industrial waste reclaimed from Mondi’s factory in Halle, Germany. That means the overall package structure contains about 10% regrind material, Henkel says.
The packaging, called a quadro seal bag, is being used for the company’s Megaperls washing powder. One of the challenges Henkel faced when creating the new packaging was the need for a “shiny white exterior, an easy-peel opening, and no compromise in overall functionality,” according to Henkel. And while Henkel says the current packaging is already an achievement, Mondi aims to help Henkel achieve 50% level of regranulate in the full structure.
The project has been made possible by the advanced resin reclamation technology in place at Mondi’s Halle plant, which allows the firm to collect and separate not only transparent and white materials, but also those that do not contain a slip agent. This helps to enable the use of regrind in the laminate without negatively impacting its material specifications and product mechanical properties, according to Mondi.
The environmental benefits of the resulting end product? Virgin resins are replaced with regrind material and the product’s end-of-life recycling process is simplified as the OPP/PE laminate structure consists entirely of polyolefin materials, the companies say.
Henkel says it plans to triple the value that is created through business activities in relation to the environmental footprint by 2030. One key area to reduce emissions is in production; Henkel wants to reduce the carbon footprint of its nearly 190 production sites worldwide by 75%.
To improve production processes, Henkel has worked with Schneider Electric to develop a solution for the entire global production network: since 2014, thousands of measurement points have been constantly integrated into the company’s system. Counting more than 3,000 points today, the measurements capture data on electricity, fossil fuels, compressed air, steam, water, and sewage.
In other recent environmental news from Henkel, the company last month announced a partnership with the organization Waste Free Oceans to gather plastic waste from waterways and turn it into Lovable laundry brand bottles. The German chemical and consumer goods company aims to have enough for at least 1 million bottles.