17 Apr 2018
Henkel expanding use of regranulated resin in flexible packaging for its laundry detergents
Vienna, 17 April 2018 – Consumer goods company Henkel is committed to creating more value for its consumers while reducing its environmental footprint at the same time. To reach its stated goal of becoming three times more efficient by 2030 — dubbed “Factor 3” — the company will have to improve its efficiency by an average of 5-6 % per year. That’s why Henkel turned to long-time partner Mondi to help find a solution for incorporating more of its scrap plastic into a highly functional, aesthetically pleasing, flexible laminate packaging material.
Henkel has begun selling its Megaperls washing powder in the resulting flexible package — called a “quadro seal bag” — that consists of an OPP/PE laminate. At present, 30% of the package’s PE layer consists of industrial waste reclaimed from Mondi’s factory in Halle, Germany. That means the overall package structure contains approximately 10% regrind material.
Given the technical challenges involved, both companies recognize this as an important initial step to helping ensure that such consumer packaging meets the environmental needs of a more circular economy. Considering the package requirements — a shiny white exterior, an easy-peel opening, and no compromise in overall functionality — this is already a significant achievement for a thin, flexible OPP/PE laminate. But the two partners have much more ambitious goals.
“Our aim is to achieve 50% level of regranulate in the full structure,” says Timo Müller, Mondi’s Key Account Manager for Henkel. This 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 Müller.
“We are working closely with our OPP film supplier,” he adds, “to allow us to use oriented polypropylene with regranulated content, thereby enabling us to increase the percentage of reclaimed material in the entire structure.”
The resulting end product offers clear environmental benefits: 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, Müller notes.
“Our packaging developers work constantly to design smart packaging that uses the least amount of material possible, is recyclable and incorporates more recycled material,” said Dr. Thorsten Leopold, Head of International Packaging Development Home Care, Henkel. “Mondi provides us with valuable technological expertise to implement a more sustainable solution for some of our laundry and home care product packaging.”
The two partners look forward to significantly boosting the percentage of reclaimed content in more Henkel packaging to contribute further to Henkel’s ambitious Factor 3 sustainability goal.
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Notes for editors
Mondi is a global leader in packaging and paper, employing around 26,000 people in over 30 countries. We are fully integrated across the packaging and paper value chain - from managing forests and producing pulp, paper and plastic films, to developing and manufacturing effective industrial and consumer packaging solutions. Sustainability is embedded in everything we do, with clearly defined commitments across 10 action areas. We delight our customers with our innovative and sustainable packaging and paper solutions. Our major operations are in central Europe, Russia, North America and South Africa. In 2017, Mondi had revenues of €7.1 billion and a return on capital employed of 19.7%.
Mondi has a dual listed company structure, with a primary listing on the JSE Limited for Mondi Limited under the ticker MND and a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange for Mondi plc, under the ticker MNDI. We are a FTSE 100 constituent, and have been included in the FTSE4Good Index Series since 2008 and the JSE's Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Index since 2007.
Henkel operates globally with a well-balanced and diversified portfolio. The company holds leading positions with its three business units in both industrial and consumer businesses thanks to strong brands, innovations and technologies. Henkel Adhesive Technologies is the global leader in the adhesives market – across all industry segments worldwide. In its Laundry & Home Care and Beauty Care businesses, Henkel holds leading positions in many markets and categories around the world. Founded in 1876, Henkel looks back on more than 140 years of success. In 2017, Henkel reported sales of 20 billion euros and adjusted operating profit of around 3.5 billion euros. Combined sales of the respective top brands of the three business units – Loctite, Schwarzkopf and Persil – amounted to 6.4 billion euros. Henkel employs more than 53,000 people globally – a passionate and highly diverse team, united by a strong company culture, a common purpose to create sustainable value, and shared values. As a recognized leader in sustainability, Henkel holds top positions in many international indices and rankings. Henkel’s preferred shares are listed in the German stock index DAX. For more information, please visit www.henkel.com.