While toothpaste tubes are being used by millions of consumers every day, not many may know that today’s classical tubes couldn’t be recycled so far – their multi-layer construction poses a challenge for recycling facilities. This is about to change: In line with its packaging targets and commitment to avoid plastic waste, Henkel converts its entire Oral Care tube portfolio to fully recyclable tubes produced by its packaging supplier Albéa. The transition, to be concluded across all Oral Care brands beginning of next year, will be pioneered by the Spanish toothpaste brand Licor del Polo.
To advance the sustainability features of its toothpaste tubes, Henkel uses Albéa’s proprietary Greenleaf tube technology, which enables the packaging to be fully recyclable wherever collection schemes are active. Greenleaf tubes are recognized by the Association of Plastic Recylers (USA) and Suez.Circpack (Europe) as technically recyclable within the existing, effective HDPE bottles recycling stream. What’s more, the unique tube-making technology uses a single-blown film, thus significantly reducing the product’s CO2 footprint.
Enabling a circular economy
“We want to foster a circular economy and pursue ambitious packaging targets. This joint development is a major step for us to further improve the recyclability of our packaging portfolio and is contributing significantly to our goal to achieve 100 percent recyclability until 2025,” said Philippe Blank, Head of Packaging Sustainability at Henkel Beauty Care. “By introducing Albéa’s Greenleaf technology, we are now shifting more than 700 tons of packaging material per year into a category, that can be utilized and recovered by existing waste recycling streams.”
Zoran Joksic, Sales Director at Albéa, adds: “With Henkel, we are demonstrating that leading companies with established brands such as Licor del Polo are at the forefront of the sustainability challenge. What makes a difference is the company’s sense of purpose – and this is a value that Albéa shares with Henkel.”
Next steps already in focus
In addition to the roll-out of the recyclable packaging solution, both companies are jointly working to improve even further and harmonize all single components of the tube. “We have a clear goal: Together we want to launch the world’s first full HDPE tube in 2021, which will then include the cap as well,” said Philippe Blank.
Ambitious packaging targets
As part of Henkel’s sustainability efforts, the company has set itself ambitious packaging targets for 2025 to promote a circular economy. By then, 100 percent of Henkel’s packaging will be recyclable or reusable* and the company will reduce fossil-based virgin plastics by 50 percent in its consumer goods packaging. Additionally, Henkel wants to contribute to avoiding plastic waste being disposed in the environment.
On the way to achieving these goals, Henkel has already made many advances. For example, the company further increased the share of recycled plastic in its packaging and a number of Henkel’s packaging already consists of 100 percent recycled material. Another example is the partnership with Plastic Bank, through which Henkel wants to stop ocean plastic and at the same time provide opportunities for people in need.
Learn more about Henkel’s initiatives for sustainable packaging at www.henkel.com/plastic.
* Excluding adhesive products where residue may affect recyclability or pollute recycling streams
We invent and make responsible packaging – tubes, lipsticks, mascaras, fragrance caps, skincare jars and turnkey solutions – for the beauty, personal care and health markets. Yet we believe there can be no responsible packaging without a responsible company. That’s why we uphold the reputation of our dynamic and prestigious customers; we act for the environment; we support our communities; we invest in technical expertise and world-class equipment for our 32 modern facilities worldwide; and we care for our 12,000 talented people. At Albéa, we protect Beauty.