Henkel bolsters its sustainable packaging strategy

German chemical and consumer goods firm Henkel has joined the corporate war on waste with a pledge to ensure consumers can recycle, reuse or compost its packaging by 2025.

The Persil and Schwarzkopf owner’s new sustainable packaging strategy also includes a 2025 commitment to use 35% recycled plastic for its consumer goods products in Europe.

Henkel’s sustainability council chair Kathrin Menges highlighted the need for companies, consumers and governments to help deliver a global circular economy.

“Only by reusing and recycling as much material as possible will we be able to live well within the resource limits of our planet,” Menges said. “This concept is at the heart of our approach to sustainable packaging.

“Together with our partners along the entire value chain, we want to include materials from sustainable sources into smart designs to close the loop – for the benefit of people and the planet.”

Rethinking plastics

Henkel aims to increase the share of sustainable materials into its packaging and sharpen its focus on smart packaging designs. The company said it would also explore closed-loop partnerships and solutions which enable consumers to reuse packaging.

Henkel participates in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative which brings stakeholders together to rethink and redesign the future of plastics. It also partners with the Plastic Bank, a social enterprise which aims gives people in poverty a chance to earn money by removing plastic from the environment.

The move comes in the same week that soft drinks firms such as Danone Waters and Lucozade Ribena Suntory called for a zero-waste plastic packaging value chain by 2030. As part of a report launched by the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership (CISL), the brands also urged corporate to aim for at least a 70% proportion of recycled content in their soft drink bottles by 2025.

George Ogleby

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