News & Updates Sustainability

Henkel relaunches beauty care products with a focus on sustainability

Henkel has relaunched three of its major retail brands in new, sustainably-minded packaging with a focus on the use of Social Plastic, recyclable black plastic, and PCR materials

Alongside the launch of Nature Box’s new 98% natural-origin recipe, Henkel is also taking further steps in its collaboration with the social enterprise Plastic Bank.

Nature Box is being described as the first beauty brand to introduce Social Plastic as a packaging material for its complete bottle portfolio: All bottle bodies of Nature Box are made of 98% Social Plastic – plastic that, in Henkel’s words, has been collected by people living in poverty before it can enter oceans and waterways.

Henkel is currently working to replace the remaining 2% virgin plastic, which is based on the bottle’s color, with the recycled material as well. For that, the company is already testing a color carrier consisting of Social Plastic.

Last year, Henkel introduced its first recyclable black plastic packaging. Since the relaunch of Henkel’s haircare brand Syoss in September, the brand’s black packaging is fully recyclable due to the use of a carbon-free colorant. Additionally, all of the shampoo bottles are made of 98% percent recycled material (excluding the cap).

With a major brand relaunch of the Schwarzkopf brand Gliss Kur, Henkel has increased the proportion of recycled material across the entire product range. Whereas the new shampoo and conditioner PE bottles are made of 30% recycled content, the shampoo and Express Repair Conditioner PET bottles consist of 97% recycled material.

All of the bottle bodies are recyclable and, by reducing the use of metallic foil, Henkel says that the overall recycling process is simplified. Additionally, the new black caps are made of carbon-free material which reportedly means that they are fully recyclable as well.

As part of Henkel’s sustainability efforts, the company has set itself packaging targets for 2025 to promote a circular economy. By that point, the company hopes that 100% of its packaging will be recyclable or reusable and that it will have reduced fossil-based virgin plastics by half in its consumer goods packaging. Additionally, Henkel wants to contribute to avoiding plastic waste being disposed of in the environment.

“We are fully committed to contributing to a circular economy and are working towards our ambitious packaging targets for 2025. The relaunch of three of our biggest brands marks a true milestone and demonstrates our holistic approach to transform our entire portfolio with regards to sustainability,” said Philippe Blank, head of circular economy at Henkel Beauty Care.

Health Sustainability

L’Oréal creates bottle from carbon emissions

Cosmetics producer L’Oréal has partnered with LanzaTech and Total to create the world’s first bottle made from captured and recycled carbon emissions.

The conversion process takes place in three steps. First, LanzaTech captures industrial carbon emissions and converts them into ethanol using a unique biological process.

Next, thanks to an innovative dehydration process jointly developed with IFP Axens, Total converts the ethanol into ethylene before polymerizing it into polyethylene that, according to the company, has the same technical characteristics as its fossil counterpart.

L’Oréal then uses this polyethylene to produce packaging that reportedly has the same quality and properties as conventional polyethylene.

LanzaTech’s CEO, Jennifer Holmgren, said: “This partnership is based on a shared goal of creating a cleaner planet for everyone. We are grateful to both L’Oréal and Total for their commitment to reducing the carbon intensity of their activities.

“Together, we can reduce the carbon footprint of packaging by converting carbon emissions into useful products, making single-use carbon a thing of the past.”

Senior vice president of polymers at Total, Valérie Goff, added: “This partnership is an excellent example of collaboration between industrial firms in developing the plastics of the future produced from recycled carbon and meets a strong demand from our customers.

“The development of this new pathway of valuing industrial carbon emissions also contributes to the Group’s commitment to get to net zero in Europe by 2050.”

Jacques Playe, packaging and development director at L’Oréal, said: “L’Oréal is constantly improving the environmental footprint of its packaging. With this innovation converting carbon emissions into polyethylene, we aim to develop new sustainable packaging solutions.

“We have the ambition to use this sustainable material in our bottle of shampoo and conditioner by 2024 and we hope other companies will join us in using this breakthrough innovation.”

Looking ahead, the partners intend to continue working together on scaling the production of these sustainable plastics.

News & Updates Sustainability

Coca-Cola reveals first paper bottle prototype

In partnership with Paboco and the three other companies in the Paboco Pioneer Community, Coca-Cola has revealed a first-generation prototype of its paper bottle.

The company has not yet realised its ultimate goal of creating a 100% paper-based bottle, as the structure of the prototype consists of a paper shell with a plastic closure and a plastic liner inside.

While the plastic used is 100% recycled and can be recycled again after use, the company aims to eventually create a paper bottle that can be recycled like any paper. Coca-Cola says that the next step is to find a solution to create a bottle without the plastic liner.

“Our vision is to create a paper bottle that can be recycled like any other type of paper, and this prototype is the first step on the way to achieving this. A paper bottle opens up a whole new world of packaging possibilities, and we are convinced that paper packaging has a role to play in the future,” says Stijn Franssen, EMEA R&D packaging innovation manager at Coca-Cola, who is working on the project.

Just like other types of packaging, a paper bottle of the future must adhere to the same high safety and quality standards for food and drink packaging that currently apply. Stijn and this team are putting the bottle through testing in a lab to see how it performs in the refrigerator, how strong it is, and how well it protects the beverage inside.

“We also reflect on how our consumers will react to this paper bottle. Topics like when and where it could be sold and how it can be recycled are all considered. The bottle must be explored from every perspective to ensure that we make the bottle the best it can be,” concludes Stijn.

News & Updates Sustainability

Woolworths introduces sustainable paper meat tray

Woolworths has launched a recyclable paper meat tray across a selection of its Own Brand beef nationally.

The new paper trays used for Woolworths’ Specially Selected and Grass Fed beef ranges are the first step in a plan to make all Woolworths’ Own Brand red meat trays recyclable over the coming months.

The redesign features a paper tray and fresh seal film, using 75 per cent less plastic than the previous packaging. It is to eliminate 2.2 tonnes of plastic from the supply chain each year across seven popular beef cuts.

Consumers can recycle the trays in their curbside recycling bin by peeling back the vacuum films used to seal in the meat.

The film covering and lining the trays can also be recycled through the REDcycle bins located at every Woolworths store, along with any other household soft plastics.

Woolworths head of sustainability Adrian Cullen said the red meat line was the latest in the supermarket’s program to introduce more sustainable packaging across its products. More than 1300 tonnes of plastic had already been removed from bakery and produce over the past two years, Cullen said.

“Over the last three years we’ve embarked on a sustained program to rethink our own packaging across a wide range of categories. We know sustainable packaging is important to our customers and we’re pleased to begin our transition to recyclable meat trays, starting with our Specially Selected and Grass Fed beef ranges,” Cullen said.

“Packaging plays a vital role in maintaining product freshness and quality, but it’s important we do it in a sustainable way and encourage more recycling. Our dedicated sustainability specialists will continue to explore new opportunities to increase the recyclability of our packaging as part of our broader commitment to help build a circular economy, where waste is treated as a resource.”

To help make recycling easier for its customers, Woolworths includes simple, easy to follow recycling labels developed by Planet Ark on its Own Brand products. These show how each element of packaging can be discarded either through kerbside recycling, by returning to the store for recycling, or as general waste.