Sustainable Packaging

It protects the products we love and provides information about how to use them safely and responsibly – but packaging needs to become part of a circular economy.


Our packaging strategy: Strong focus, ambitious targets

At Henkel, we recognize our responsibility related to packaging. We’re committed to promoting sustainability and bring this commitment to life through a set of ambitious targets. Our strategy is built around the circular economy concept and focuses on including materials from sustainable sources and using a smart design to close the loop – for the benefit of people and the planet.

Overview of our Packaging Targets for 2025

  • 100 percent of Henkel’s packaging will be recyclable or reusable.
  • We aim to reduce the amount of virgin plastics from fossil sources in our consumer products by 50 percent. We will achieve this by increasing the proportion of recycled plastic to more than 30 percent, by reducing the plastic volume, and by increasingly using biobased plastics.
  • We want to help prevent waste from being disposed of in the environment. In order to achieve this, we are supporting waste collection and recycling initiatives. We invest in innovative solutions and technologies to promote closed-loop recycling, and we aim to enable contact with more than 2 billion consumers per year by providing targeted information about recycling.

Alongside this, we aim for 100 percent of the paper and cardboard we use to be made of recycled material or, where virgin fiber is required, to come from fresh fiber originating from sustainable forestry.

New packaging targets for 2025

*Excluding adhesive products where residue may affect recyclability or pollute recycling streams.

Partnerships along the value chain: Stronger together

Our efforts to achieve these targets are brought to life through strong collaboration with partners from across industries to drive innovation in packaging development. For example, we participate in the New Plastics Economy initiative, which brings stakeholders together to rethink the future of plastic and build momentum toward a circular economy. Henkel is also a founding member of the new global Alliance to End Plastic Waste. The aim of the alliance is to promote solutions that put a stop to plastic waste in the environment, especially in the ocean.

Alongside this, we partner with different organizations which work on the improvement of recycling infrastructure, particularly in developing countries, where appropriate systems for recycling packaging materials are often not in place. In this context, we became the first global fast-moving consumer goods company to team up with the Plastic Bank in 2017: The social enterprise aims to reduce ocean plastic and provide opportunities for people in poverty by giving them a chance to earn money or services by removing plastic waste from the environment.

By the end of 2019, more than 200 metric tons of plastic had been collected in Haiti. It was then sorted and subsequently introduced into the recycling value chain as Social Plastic®. This is material that has been verified by Plastic Bank to indicate that the collectors received an above-market price for the plastic waste. The recycled Social Plastic® can be used in products or packaging, and in this way closes the material cycle.

In 2019, Henkel took the next step in its partnership with Plastic Bank and extended the collaboration for another five years. Following the success of the partnership launched in 2017, Henkel intends to support ongoing projects in Haiti, the Philippines and Indonesia. The company will make a significant contribution to establishing an infrastructure of more than 400 plastic collection points in Egypt. By working together, the aim is to increase the availability of Social Plastic® as a resource for the production of packaging. The development of collection infrastructure in Egypt will create additional capacities of up to 5,000 metric tons per year. This is equivalent to one billion bottles over a period of five years. In 2020 alone, Henkel will integrate more than 600 metric tons of Social Plastic® into its product packaging. Plastic Bank has opened additional collection centers in Haiti since the partnership began. In addition, Henkel helped the social enterprise to 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.

Infografic Plastic bank

What’s to come: Becoming more sustainable

Packaging is constantly changing, driven by innovative new designs and changing consumer expectations. This constant transformation opens up exciting opportunities to minimize the negative environmental impact of packaging. At Henkel, our experts are committed to exploring the possibilities to make packaging more sustainable – protecting the products we love while also offering a better contribution to the planet.