Henkel is reaching a milestone in its engagement for sustainable packaging: The company used almost 700 million bottles made of 100 percent recycled plastics for Laundry & Home Care products in Europe – more than 400 million alone in 2020.
The recycled material stems from post-consumer waste, including Social Plastic® from Henkel’s partnership with the Plastic Bank.
By increasing the number of packaging made of recycled material, Henkel does not only contribute to a circular economy but also to climate protection: Recycled PET has an almost 80 percent lower CO2 footprint compared to virgin plastic.
“At Henkel, we promote sustainable packaging solutions and foster a circular economy along the value chain – because we are committed to living up to our responsibility as a consumer goods manufacturer,” says Abdullah Khan, Head of Packaging Sustainability Laundry & Home Care at Henkel.
“We are increasing the share of recycled material across our entire portfolio and many packaging includes recycled plastics already. It is not always possible to advance to 100 percent – also due to the limited availability of high-quality material.
Nevertheless, we have significantly expanded the number of consumer products with bottles made of 100 percent recycled plastics. Reaching the 700 million mark is both a great achievement and a motivation to further accelerate our efforts.”
Sustainable packaging for consumer goods products
The packaging made of 100 percent recycled plastics covers a broad range of Henkel’s brands and categories. Most PET bottles within Henkel’s Laundry & Home Care business in Europe are already converted to 100 percent recycled material.
These include bottles for dishwashing, hard surface cleaning, fabric finisher and laundry brands such as Pril, Mir, Pur, Somat, Bref, Biff, Sidolin, Clin, Silan and Vernel. For example, the PET bottles of the Pro Nature product range are made of 100 percent recycled plastics, 50 percent of which is Social Plastic®.
Social Plastic®, originating from Henkel’s partnership with Plastic Bank, contributes both to environmental and social causes: The recycled plastic has been collected in countries without functioning recycling infrastructures by people living in poverty before it enters oceans or waterways.
Progress has also been made in the Beauty Care portfolio: Just recently, Henkel’s hair and body care brand Nature Box was the first beauty brand to introduce Social Plastic® as a packaging material for its complete bottle portfolio: All bottle bodies of Nature Box are made of 98 percent Social Plastic® – and Henkel is currently working to replace the remaining 2 percent virgin plastic, which is based on the bottle’s colour, with the recycled material as well. For that, the company is already testing a colour carrier consisting of Social Plastic®.
Henkel’s targets for sustainable packaging and climate protection
The use of post-consumer recycled plastics is an important pillar of Henkel’s packaging targets for 2025. The company is working towards the ambitious target to reduce the amount of virgin plastic from fossil sources in its consumer product packaging by 50 percent by 2025.
To reach this goal, Henkel aims to increase the proportion of recycled plastics to more than 30 percent by 2025, reduce the absolute plastic volume and increase the use of biobased plastics. In addition, 100 percent of Henkel’s packaging will be recyclable or reusable*.
The company also wants to help prevent waste from being disposed of in the environment. In order to achieve this, Henkel is supporting waste collection and recycling initiatives, for example.
“Sustainable packaging solutions are not only addressing the global challenge of plastic waste but also contribute to our targets for climate protection. By 2040, Henkel wants to be a climate-positive company. By using more and more recycled plastics, we further reduce our carbon footprint and thus drive progress toward sustainable development,” says Abdullah Khan.