Henkel Sets New Packaging Targets

Henkel aims to use 35 percent recycled plastic for its consumer goods products in Europe.

By 2025, 100 percent of Henkel's (Dusseldorf, Germany) packaging will be recyclable, reusable or compostable. Within the same timeframe, Henkel aims to use 35 percent recycled plastic for its consumer goods products in Europe.

"It is more important than ever for companies, consumers, governments and other organizations to drive progress toward a circular economy. Only by reusing and recycling as much material as possible will we be able to live well within the resource limits of our planet. This concept is at the heart of our approach to sustainable packaging," says Kathrin Menges, executive vice president human resources at Henkel and chair of Henkel's Sustainability Council. "Together with our partners along the entire value chain, we want to include materials from sustainable sources into smart designs to close the loop - for the benefit of people and the planet."

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Henkel's new framework for sustainable packaging reflects the three key phases of a circular value chain. Each of these phases is translated into specific actions:

  • Materials from sustainable sources: Henkel is committed to including an increasing share of sustainable materials into its product packaging - this relates both to its use of recycled materials, especially recycled plastic, and renewable materials such as paper and cardboard. 
  • Smart packaging design: As recycled or renewable packaging materials often come with different properties, e.g. related to stability or appearance, smart designs are the prerequisite to further replace virgin material in Henkel's product packaging - this is why the company will put an even stronger focus on design principles that enable a circular economy right from the start. Smart design is also about rethinking packaging concepts as such: Henkel will explore innovative solutions along the entire value chain, e.g. in the field of transport packaging and related logistics. In addition, Henkel is continuing its efforts to reduce the amount of packaging material it uses and ensure it only uses packaging that is absolutely essential.
  • Closing the loop: Henkel is committed to making sure its product packaging can be recycled after the product has been consumed, e.g. by entering into partnerships to promote appropriate systems for recycling. The company will further explore solutions like refill systems which allow consumers to reuse packaging. Henkel is also actively searching for materials that enable packaging to be returned into nature - such as biodegradable materials that meet international composting standards.

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