Henkel invests in recycling startup Saperatec

By 08 Nov 2019

Henkel, the global chemical and consumer goods company behind well-known brands such as Loctite, Pritt, Sellotape and Schwarzkopf, Dylon and Colour Catcher has reinforced its commitment for the development of a circular economy by investing in the recycling specialist Saperatec.

Saperatec's technology separates individual layers of composite materials and maximizes material utilisation

As per the press note shared with WhatPackaging? magazine "The startup company has developed an innovative, patented technology that among others allows the separation and recycling of flexible packaging that contains aluminum foil."

Henkel and Saperatec have been involved in a technical collaboration for over two years, with the aim of developing and enhancing a range of customised recyclable adhesive solutions. With this strategic investment in Saperatec, the Adhesive Technologies business unit is confirming its dedication to sustainability: Henkel aims to provide its industrial customers with comprehensive and efficient recycling solutions for flexible packaging especially in the food industry.

The recycling technology created by Saperatec GmbH, founded in 2011 in Bielefeld, Germany, separates the individual layers of composite materials and maximizes the quantity of material utilisation. To do this, the startup has been operating a pilot facility since 2014, in which chemical-physical processes separate the materials from one another without disintegrating them. The individual layers (for example polyethylene, PET and aluminum) are then sorted after the separation process and reintroduced into the value chain as high-quality, single-origin materials that can be used for a broad variety of industrial applications. The company is starting to build its first production plant in Europe after closing the fund-raising round.

Making plastic sustainable
The investment in Saperatec is proof of Henkel´s engagement for an integrated value chain for plastics. To further drive progress towards a circular economy the company has outlined ambitious targets and is engaged in several cross-industry initiatives. For example, Henkel is founding member of the global Alliance to End Plastic Waste and a member of New Plastics Economy.

During a recent presentation by S Sunil Kumar, business director- South Asia, Henkel Adhesive Technologies at the IFCA conference, it was pointed out that Henkel has a goal of making 100% of its consumer packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. Also group hopes to increase the share of recycled plastic in its European consumer goods products to 35%.

In order to meet these targets, Henkel’s packaging developers follow three main principles: prevent, reduce and reuse. This means producing less packaging and waste, developing better packaging and enabling a circular economy. For example, the company’s Laundry and Home Care and Beauty Care businesses have recently launched packaging made solely from recycled plastic – up to half of which is also classed as Social Plastic. This initiative encourages people to collect plastic waste and bring it to Plastic Bank recycling collection centres, where it can be exchanged for money, goods or services. The Social Plastic is then integrated back into the plastic supply chain. In total, 200 tonnes of collected Social Plastic have been processed for Henkel, thusfar.

Tags: Henkel

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