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Oct 26, 2016  Düsseldorf / Germany

Theme week: Sustainable packaging

Packaging that stands out

The laundry detergent is almost used up; there is just about enough left for one more load. Luckily, you have a new package waiting in the pantry. But what to do with the empty one? Throw it in the trash – and then?

From purchase to use to disposal – our products connect us to our customers. Which means that packaging plays an important role, as its appealing design encourages grocery store sales. And as we all know: The first impression counts! However, packaging is not just about looking good on the shelf. It guarantees hygiene, preserves the product quality by protecting it from external influences and ensures efficient transport while providing space for important consumer information. Product and packaging complement one another.

Pilot Project: Perwoll “Wool & Delicates”

Before a package of laundry detergent lands in your shopping cart, the packaging has gone through an intensive process: from research and development to production. Packaging experts from Laundry & Home Care collaborated with “Der Grüner Punkt” (the Green Dot) – an organization that works to encourage the collection, sorting, and recycling of packaging, and with packaging manufacturer ALPLA, to launch a pilot project in which the bottle for Perwoll Wolle & Feines (Perwoll Wool & Delicates) was optimized to be more sustainable. “For Perwoll’s packaging, we used 15% recycled material. That’s a big step towards sustainable packaging and a circular economy,” says Thorsten Leopold, who is responsible for sustainable packaging at Laundry & Home Care.

Sustainability meets Quality

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Thorsten Leopold, responsible for sustainable packaging at Laundry & Home Care

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Franz Speer, Corporate Director Industry Affairs Laundry & Home Care

Sustainable packaging? Sounds good, but before you can hold the finished product in your hands, our experts face various challenges: “Recycled material often has different properties compared to new goods. Contamination in the waste stream can lead to changes in color and odor,” Leopold describes. “After a developmental period of two years, together with our partners, we succeeded in producing a Perwoll bottle from recycled material that meets all our requirements in terms of aesthetics and the scent of the packaging. With this project we are proud to be able to prove that sustainability and premium products don’t contradict each other.”

Franz Speer, Corporate Director Industry Affairs Laundry & Home Care, explains: “The aim of a functional circular economy is to develop markets for recycled materials, which in terms of quantity and quality are in no way inferior to new goods and offer an incentive beyond the price. This will be the main task for the upcoming transformation process. In the future, our aim is to use recycled material in all of our products.”

 

More than just recycling

The use of recycled material is an important step toward a circular economy. The central idea of the circular economy is to gather packaging material after product use, process it and then reintegrate it into the production process. This saves resources and protects the climate.

For the first time in Germany, 15% recycled material was used for the packaging of Perwoll Wolle & Feines (Perwoll Wool & Delicates).

Sustainable Heroes
Get to know the Henkel Sustainability Heroes!