Can you determine recyclability at the push of a button?
Henkel introduces evaluation tool.
All over the world, the industry is constantly looking for orientation in the design and production of sustainable packaging solutions. Consumer goods giant Henkel has now unveiled a public software tool to assess the recyclability of packaging. The special claim of the solution: everyone should be able to use it. The “instant tool” is a bold step in the right direction – even if it is still not yet able to fully achieve what it ought to.
Henkel is active in the consumer goods industry with worldwide brands and techniques in the three business segments Laundry & Home Care, Beauty Care and Adhesive Technologies. The company has recognised that the transition to the circular economy can only be achieved if all stakeholders in the value chain work together – with clear definitions based on uniform assessments.
The new, public and freely accessible EasyD4R tool is intended to lay the foundations for this and enable a rapid and reliable review of the recyclability of packaging already during product development.
In order to determine “recyclability at the push of a button”, the software evaluates the recyclability of packaging on the basis of its composition and the individual weight stake of the respective components, such as basic materials, closure systems, labels or colours. The respective suitability for the sorting and recycling processes is stored for all components.
On this basis, the tool shows a clear result in the form of a traffic light evaluation (red, yellow, green). Users are shown which design is recyclable and where there is potential for improvement.
Henkel’s move is brave and is going absolutely in the right direction. However, it is still too early for such a solution, as the variety of materials, material combinations and application areas are still far from fully formulated for the required criteria.
Nevertheless – or precisely because of this – we need to be pragmatic at this stage. From material manufacturers to brands and retailers, the entire industry is constantly looking for orientation and a reliable guideline. Especially those who want to pack more than a handful of products sustainably need a universal tool that can replace costly and complex individual enquiries from specialized institutes.
Many companies are still far too hesitant and indecisive in their areas of sustainability and digital transformation. True sustainability begins in the DNA of a company that confidently evolves from the inside out.
At B+P we regard it as our mission to help companies get fit for the circular economy, especially in terms of their processes and communications, as well as their packaging. Sustainability is our passion. We would like to build on your ideas. We look forward to hearing from you.