Mar 15, 2017  Düsseldorf / Germany

Cooperation with the recycling company TerraCycle

New lives for old bottles

Slides made from bodywash bottles, adhesives packaging turned into watering cans – hard to believe? Well, it’s happening. Together with the recycling company TerraCycle, Henkel’s business units Adhesive Technologies and Beauty Care are breaking innovative ground and breathing new life into its packaging.

In fall 2001, student Tom Szaky, 19 years old, visited some of his friends in Montreal, Canada. He was on vacation in his first term at Princeton University, and it is probably a time that he will never forget. There he watched how his friends used saved kitchen waste to feed earthworms and then harvested the dung they produced for their room plants. The idea of giving waste new life was born – and Tom Szaky founded TerraCycle.

Recover and re-use – a simple mantra

Today, TerraCycle is a recycling company active in 20 countries. It has developed into a market leader for the collection, recovery and reuse of waste which is otherwise difficult to recycle. TerraCycle recycles and upcycles garbage, saving it from incineration or landfill dumping by converting it into new products. For this, TerraCycle offers a wide range of programs in which the company collaborates with consumers, manufacturers, retailers and local government agencies.

Making waste disappear

One of these recycling solutions from TerraCycle takes the form of its Zero Waste Boxes. These help almost any kind of waste to be recycled – from coffee capsules to disposable laboratory gloves. And it is all quite simple, even for home use: Select the waste type, purchase the required box size, collect and sort the garbage and send the full box to TerraCycle for recycling – with transport costs included in the deal.

Henkel is also keen to support its customers and consumers in disposing of empty packaging in the best possible way. Adhesive Technologies and Henkel Beauty Care have now entered into two separate cooperation agreements with TerraCycle – because sustainability for Henkel does not end at the factory gates; it continues to drive progress beyond the end of the value chain.

How adhesive bottles turn into watering cans or garden furniture

In 2016, the Adhesive Technologies business unit launched a partnership with TerraCycle for our customers in the USA: It makes it possible for them to recycle their used adhesives packaging – our famous red Loctite anaerobic adhesive bottles – instead of sending them to a landfill or incinerator. Empty Loctite specialty adhesive bottles are collected in dedicated recycling boxes and sent to TerraCycle. Teams from Henkel and TerraCycle worked together to develop a process that deactivates the adhesive, making it easier to remove from the plastic packaging. This material is then melted and turned into pellets that can be used to manufacture new products – from garbage cans to park benches and outdoor furniture.

Henkel is the first adhesive technologies company to offer this type of recycling program. Henkel plans to introduce this recycling method in Europe in the near future and to offer it to its customers. Henkel’s experts are now also working with TerraCycle on a recycling process for used Loctite superglue bottles.

On your marks, get set, slide!

Doing something for the environment while bringing joy to children – that is the ambition underlying the initiative between Henkel Beauty Care, the German drugstore “dm-drogerie markt” and TerraCycle. From February 1 to April 30, 2017, each and every Austrian branch of dm and also Henkel’s site in Austria are collecting empty bottles of the Fa brand, whether for bodywash/shower gels, foam bath or hand soaps. The full collection boxes are then transferred from the site or the dm drugstore branch to the recycling company TerraCycle which, after checking the material, converts it into granulate, a valuable raw material from which new products can be manufactured. In this case, children of an SOS Children’s Village in Austria can look forward to an exciting surprise: The empty Fa containers are going to be converted into multi-colored playground slides specifically for them. Importantly, the more Fa bottles that are deposited and collected, the more new slides will be making their way to the children.

“Over the years, Henkel Beauty Care has been consistently committed to the development of innovations that contribute to sustainable development. And consumers of our cosmetic products play an important role in this regard,” says Bernhard Voit, General Manager Beauty Care Retail Austria. “Together with dm-drogerie markt and TerraCycle, our aim with this initiative is to support our consumers and to motivate them to dispose of packaging in a responsible manner.”