Worker posing at the entrance of a Plastic Bank Egypt collection center

Our partnership with Plastic Bank

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Plastic waste is one of the biggest global challenges. As part of Henkel’s ambitious packaging targets for 2025,  the company wants to promote a circular economy and contribute to avoiding plastic waste being disposed in the environment. Therefore, Henkel is supporting waste collection and recycling initiatives and investing in innovative solutions and technologies to promote closed-loop recycling.

In 2017, Henkel became the first major global consumer goods company to work with the social enterprise Plastic Bank. Together, we are addressing both environmental and social challenges to reduce plastic waste.

“Plastic waste ending in the environment is one of the greatest global challenges. The search for solutions is well underway, and our packaging experts are working intensively to deliver on our ambitious targets,” says Sylvie Nicol, Executive Vice President Human Resources at Henkel and Chair of Henkel’s Sustainability Council. “To drive further progress and promote a circular economy, we are working closely together with our partners along the entire value chain.”

Sylvie Nicol

Plastic waste ending in the environment is one of the greatest global challenges. The search for solutions is well underway, and our packaging experts are working intensively to deliver on our ambitious targets.”

Turning waste into opportunities - Who is Plastic Bank?

Plastic Bank is a social enterprise that is helping the world stop ocean-bound plastic while improving the lives of collector communities. Founder and CEO, David Katz, discovered plastic bags, bottles and straws while scuba diving and was inspired to take action. In 2013, together with Shaun Frankson, he founded the company. Plastic Bank builds ethical recycling ecosystems in coastal communities, and reprocesses the materials for reintroduction into the global manufacturing supply chain.

Henkel started working with Plastic Bank in 2017, and it was the first major global consumer goods company to partner with Plastic Bank. Plastic Bank establishes waste collection branches in countries that lack adequate waste management infrastructure, like Egypt. Collectors receive a premium for the materials they collect, which helps them provide basic family necessities such as groceries, cooking fuel, school tuition, and health insurance. Plastic Bank is revealing the value in plastic waste – and stopping it before it reaches waterways and oceans.

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What happens with the collected plastic waste?

The plastic that is collected at the collection centers is sorted and can subsequently be reintroduced into the recycling value chain as Social Plastic®. Social Plastic® has been verified by Plastic Bank to indicate that the collectors received an above-market price for the plastic waste. This can enable single mothers, for example, to support their families and pay for their children to attend school. Social Plastic® can be used in products or packaging, contributing to a closed loop material cycle.

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How does Henkel use this Social Plastic?

Henkel has processed more than 1480 metric tons of Social Plastic® since the partnership began in 2017 and successfully incorporated it into some of its product packaging. In October 2018, the first Henkel packaging that contains Social Plastic® was made available. Since then, Henkel launched a range of cosmetic products, laundry detergents and household cleaners with bottle bodies comprising up to 100 percent Social Plastic®. 

In Consumer Brands, the Pro Nature product range has switched to PET bottles made from 100 percent recycled plastic, up to 50 percent of which is Social Plastic®. The bottle body of limited edition Pril dishwashing liquid, launched in 2021, is made from 100 percent Social Plastic® and the bottle cap is now made from 84 percent recycled material.

Our Nature Box brand is also supporting further steps in Henkel’s collaboration with Plastic Bank. Nature Box is the first beauty brand to introduce Social Plastic® as a packaging material for its complete bottle portfolio, and all Nature Box shampoo bottle bodies are made of 100 percent Social Plastic®.

What’s next?

In 2019, Henkel took the next step in its partnership with Plastic Bank and extended the collaboration for another five years. Henkel supports ongoing projects in Egypt, the Philippines and Indonesia. In 2021, Henkel and Plastic Bank started to expand the recycling infrastructure in Egypt, opening ten collection centers in the Cairo area by the end of 2021. Working together, Henkel and Plastic Bank aim to reach a yearly collection capacity of 5,000 tons of plastic waste in 2023. In Egypt alone, Henkel and Plastic Bank aim to create 1,000 jobs over a two-year period which will directly impact over 4,000 Egyptian citizens through the establishment of a long-term recycling infrastructure.

Henkel has helped Plastic Bank set up a supply chain that ensures that the collected plastic waste can be processed and recycled, so that it can ultimately be reintegrated into the value chain. We are planning to launch further product packaging with Social Plastic® and to integrate this material into the packaging of more of our core brands. 

Through the partnership with Plastic Bank, we are empowering thriving communities in support of a regenerative planet. 

More information can be found at