Henkel teams up with social enterprise to stop ocean plastic

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

Henkel teams up with social enterprise to stop ocean plastic

Related tags: Sustainability, Recycling

The German chemical and consumer goods company has teamed up with the Plastic Bank, a social enterprise which aims to stop ocean plastic and provide opportunities for people in poverty.

Henkel says it is the first major global fast-moving consumer goods company to partner with the Plastic Bank, and is researching ways of incorporating the plastic collected into its product packaging in the future.

The Plastic Bank, launched in March 2013, aims to “gather a billion people together to monetize waste while improving the lives of people in countries that lack waste management infrastructure​.”

The partnership with the Plastic Bank is driven by Henkel’s flagship beauty brand Schwarzkopf, the company says, along with leading brands from the company’s Laundry & Home Care business.

Value creation meets environmental efforts

Henkel says it aims to triple the value it creates in relation to its environmental footprint by 2030, and is frequently recognized as a sustainability leader within its sector by independent sustainability ratings and rankings.

We are convinced that our focus on sustainability is more important than ever before,”​ says Kathrin Menges, Executive Vice President Human Resources at Henkel and Chair of Henkel’s Sustainability Council.

“We’re excited to partner with the Plastic Bank to stop plastic waste from entering the ocean in Haiti and improve the lives of people living in poverty.

“By activating leading brands in this cooperation, we aim to further raise consumer awareness about plastic waste and demonstrate the strength of our commitment to environmental sustainability and social progress.”

Partnership focus: Haiti

Henkel explains that its partnership with the Plastic Bank will initially focus on Haiti, where the lack of waste management infrastructure means there is significant potential for positive impact.

Local communities on the island will receive money, goods or services in exchange for collecting plastic waste. The plastic that is collected is sorted and processed, and then integrated into recycling value chains as Social Plastic®:

Material that has been verified by the Plastic Bank to indicate that the collectors received an above-market price for the plastic waste.

The Plastic Bank offers a unique solution to the problem of ocean plastic because it tackles waste at the source and is scalable worldwid​e,” says Thomas Müller-Kirschbaum, Head of Global Research and Development in Henkel’s Laundry & Home Care business unit.

Related topics: Packaging & Design, Packaging

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