Henkel is launching an innovative solution for fully recyclable black plastic packaging in Europe, in partnership with global masterbatch producer Ampacet and packaging converter, Greiner Packaging.
Black plastic packaging materials pose a challenge for the recycling value chain thanks to the colour, as they cannot be properly identified and sorted by the optical sensors at waste sorting facilities.
The new packaging material developed by Henkel and Ampacet is based on an alternative, carbon-free black colour, allowing used bottles to be returned to the value chain.
This new colour has been used for the first time in black plastic bottles produced for Greiner Packaging, to contain its Bref toilet cleaning products.
“We are constantly working to improve product recyclability, so naturally we are delighted to see innovations like this one from Henkel – and we will support our partners extensively on projects of this nature,” says Michael Frick, global key account director at Greiner Packaging.
The new material from Henkel and Ampacet has already proven itself in test runs under real-world conditions. Cyclos-HTP – a German institute specialising in the classification, evaluation, and certification of packaging and product recyclability – has confirmed that the carbon-free black colour is effective in undecorated bottles.
Tests performed by Henkel also verified that the bottle is completely identifiable following removal of the perforated sleeve, which means it can be sorted from the waste stream and subsequently recycled.
Europe-based Greiner Packaging is a $1bn business focused on plastic packaging for food and non-food products. It has pledged to make 100 per cent of its packaging 100 per cent reusable, recyclable, or compostable, by 2025.
Materials supplier Henkel also owns multiple brands in laundry care and beauty such as Persil and Schwarzkopf, as well as several adhesive brands.