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Henkel Recycles Discarded Household Plastics into Detergent Packaging

Henkel Recycles Discarded Household Plastics into Detergent Packaging
(Image: Henkel packaging produced from recycled household plastics. Credit: Greiner Packaging)

Consumer goods company Henkel has begun using packaging made from recycled household plastics for its detergent capsule products. The plastic packaging contains recycled polypropylene, according to the container manufacturer.

Henkel tapped Austrian manufacturer Greiner Packaging to develop the new design sleeve and container. The outer cardboard sleeve is made from 92% recycled content. Although the inside of the plastic container is still made from white virgin material, its exterior layer now includes recycled polypropylene from post-consumer sources.

For example, Henkel’s Persil 4in1 Discs detergent packaging contains 50% of the recycled post-consumer material, preventing household plastics from going into landfills.

Compared to Henkel’s previous packaging design, this new cardboard-plastic combination reduces the use of plastic by more than 40%, according to Greiner Packaging. A patented tear-off system allows the cardboard wrap and container to separate easily for 100% recyclability.

“The packaging’s lower plastic content helps to reduce CO2 emissions, while the cardboard wrap maintains the container’s stability,” the manufacturing company said.

Both Henkel and the packaging manufacturer are signatories to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy global commitment, which aims to eliminate problematic plastic packaging while encouraging 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable plastic packaging solutions.

By 2025, Henkel wants to have all of their packaging be recyclable or reusable, with an exception for adhesive products that would negatively affect recyclability. The company also seeks to halve the amount of virgin plastics from fossil sources in its consumer products.

Last month, before covid-19 began affecting store systems, Henkel was testing liquid detergent refill stations with the drug store chain Rossmann in Central Europe. Despite the pandemic, Henkel says it is continuing to collaborate with industry professionals on circular economy packaging innovations through a series of webinars.

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