Raw materials and packaging

The needs of a continuously expanding world population and the sharp increase in world market prices of raw materials have drawn attention to the future availability of raw materials. From the very beginning, the responsible handling of resources has been standard practice at Henkel. This includes our systematic approach to waste management. Our motto for waste has always been “avoid, reduce, recycle.” We have consistently used ingredients derived from renewable raw materials in our products. In the early 1920s, for example, when faced with a shortage of the adhesives that were essential for closing our Persil packets, Henkel researchers quickly developed new starch-based adhesives, which were used within the company beginning in 1922 and marketed externally beginning in 1923. Starting from this emergency situation 85 years ago, we have now become the world’s biggest adhesives company. We have also achieved major savings in raw materials, as shown by the steady decrease in laundry detergent dosages per wash cycle. Whereas 280 grams of conventional washing powder were needed for one wash cycle in the 1970s, just 67.5 grams of Persil Megaperls now suffice – about a quarter of the former amount. This progress is the result of the work of our researchers, who time and again have developed innovative raw materials and increasingly efficient formulations for our products. In the laundry rooms of the industrialized world, which were dominated by large drums and  cartons in the 1970s, a small, flexible pack of Persil Megaperls is now sufficient for 20 standard machine loads. Twenty grams of plastic film have replaced several hundred grams of cardboard.


Since 1958, we have systematically developed our packaging. Advertisement for the eco-light package of 1992.