The most effective way to address plastic’s impact on our planet is to transform our modern way of life and adopt a system in which all materials used can either be reused or repeatedly recycled.
Manufacturers must account for the reusability and recyclability of the materials they choose during the design phase. In order to ensure that the recyclability of packaging can be checked quickly and reliably early in the product development phase, Henkel has developed an easy-to-use software tool based on public and recognized criteria catalogues such as those from Plastics Recyclers Europe.
The software evaluates the recyclability of packaging based on its composition and the individual weight proportions of the respective components: basic materials, closures, labels, colors, etc. For all materials in question, the tool stores information on the suitability for identification during sorting, and for processing during recycling. On this basis, the packaging designer gets clear results displayed on a clear traffic light evaluation system. The results of the tool show the recyclability of each design as a percentage and the material combinations which can be optimized for recycling. The Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology tested the tool independently and confirmed that it accurately evaluates the recyclability of product packaging. In the future, the tool will be used by Henkel worldwide to enable fast and comprehensive evaluation of our plastic packaging.
We as Henkel want to promote open collaboration and accelerate the transition to a circular economy. Therefore we want to make the recyclability tool available for other companies and organizations to use.