Cooperation with Werner & Metz on quality standards for plastic packaging made from recyclate
In its drive to raise the content of cosmetic packaging made from recycled plastics, German skin care giant Beiersdorf (Hamburg; has joined forces with plastics converter Werner & Mertz (Mainz / Germany; and the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging (IVV) (Freising / Germany; to develop quality standards. For their experiments, the partners used material from Germany’s packaging waste system. Results of the trials are due to be published by Fraunhofer in early autumn this year.

Among cosmetic packaging manufacturers there is much uncertainty as to which post-consumer recyclates (PCR) are allowed, as the EU has not defined the rules clearly enough, the project partners note. For its new sustainability initiative, Beiersdorf – which uses plastics for some 38% (around 69,000 t/y) of its packaging and aims to lift the recylcate component to 30% by 2025 – teamed up with Werner & Mertz. The Mainz-based company had done preliminary work on using recycled HDPE in cosmetic bottles for rinse-off products like liquid soaps.

Together, the two industrial companies and Fraunhofer have drawn up an inventory of existing recyclate products and processes on the European market in an attempt to provide transparency about the industry’s requirements. In line with rules proposed by the European Commission, the consensus was that plastic packaging should be made of high-quality material that can be recycled and that recyclability should be taken into account in packaging design. This means, for example, using neat polymer rather than mixed materials as well as sustainable printing inks, easily removable labels and easy to detach packaging components to allow separation during the recycling process.

If more companies follow this lead, demand for recycled packaging will increase and, as a knock-on effect, accelerate investment in processing plants, said Immo Sander, head of packaging development at Werner & Mertz. This would make the repeated use of plastics waste more economical.
29.07.2020 [245545-0]
Published on 29.07.2020
Beiersdorf: Klare Handlungsempfehlungen für Rezyklat-EinsatzGerman version of this article...

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