Henkel sustainable packaging: ‘ambitious targets’ set

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Henkel sustainable packaging: ‘ambitious targets’ set
Henkel, parent-company of Schwarzkopf, has announced it is taking decisive steps towards sustainable packaging.

Building on its existing efforts and progress in sustainable packaging, Henkel says it is stepping up its commitment to further promote a circular economy.

By 2025, 100% of Henkel’s packaging will be recyclable, reusable or compostable (excluding adhesive products where residue may affect recyclability).

Within the same timeframe, Henkel aims to use 35% recycled plastic for its consumer goods products in Europe.

“It is more important than ever for companies, consumers, governments and other organizations to drive progress toward a circular economy,” ​says Kathrin Menges, Executive Vice President Human Resources at Henkel and Chair of Henkel’s Sustainability Council.

“Only by reusing and recycling as much material as possible will we be able to live well within the resource limits of our planet.”

3 specific steps to take action

Henkel’s new framework for sustainable packaging reflects the three key phases of a circular value chain, with each of these phases translated into specific actions.

These, the company explains, are:

1. Materials from sustainable sources

Henkel is committed to including an increasing share of sustainable materials into its product packaging – this relates both to its use of recycled materials, especially recycled plastic, and renewable materials such as paper and cardboard.

2. Smart packaging design

As recycled or renewable packaging materials often come with different properties, e.g. related to stability or appearance, smart designs are the prerequisite to further replace virgin material in Henkel’s product packaging.

This is why the company will put an even stronger focus on design principles that enable a circular economy right from the start.

Smart design is also about rethinking packaging concepts as such: Henkel will explore innovative solutions along the entire value chain, e.g. in the field of transport packaging and related logistics.

In addition, Henkel is continuing its efforts to reduce the amount of packaging material it uses and ensure it only uses packaging that is absolutely essential.

3. Closing the loop

Henkel is committed to making sure its product packaging can be recycled after the product has been consumed, e.g. by entering into partnerships to promote appropriate systems for recycling.

The company will further explore solutions like refill systems which allow consumers to reuse packaging.

Henkel is also actively searching for materials that enable packaging to be returned into nature – such as biodegradable materials that meet international composting standards.

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