- Giving packaging waste a second life in Personal Care applications
- Designed to be recycled again and again: colorless bottle with 100% Post-Consumer recyclate content (PCR), equipped with a printed deinkable full-body shrink sleeve
- Full sortability in current recycling infrastructures possible
- Innovation unveiled ahead of K 2022: step-wise introduction of individual solutions like additives, PCR, and suitable inks, available directly to the market
Moving circular plastic packaging forward. In a first and unique collaboration for the Personal Care industry, Clariant, Siegwerk, Borealis, and Beiersdorf are combining expertise to tackle the challenge of creating recyclable consumer packaging, based on 100% retrieved plastic packaging waste, for cosmetics applications. The pioneering initiative, named "Design4Circularity", is providing innovations and insights for the different design aspects to encourage others to also follow design for circularity principles.
The cross-industry collaboration is targeting the achievement of truly circular packaging by incorporating full life cycle thinking in each development step, to create a new standard for the industry. Circular packaging supports reduced plastic waste, less use of new/virgin plastic material, and reduced climate impact, which are critical challenges facing our planet.
Richard Haldimann, Chief Technology and Sustainability Officer, Clariant, says: “This collaboration was possible because all participants are dedicated to circular economy, with company-wide programs and holistic understanding of the systems involved. Achieving circularity needs a complete shift in designing product packaging and packaging raw materials, considering sortability, recycling and packaging end-of-life.”
Stefan Haep, Technology Head Brand Owner Collaboration at Siegwerk, adds: “Our initiative is a frontrunner in uniquely assessing circularity in every design parameter, from additives to bottle material to inks, mapping industry competencies, potential gaps, and feasibility proof points to open up viable, ultimately circular solutions.”
The mission was to design a packaging solution that creates a cleaner input waste stream and finds its way back into the loop in high-value applications. It should also allow for the high-quality visuals and distinctive shapes consumers associate with cosmetics packaging and brands.
To deliver on all these factors, the innovation centers on a colorless polyolefin bottle with 100% PCR content, full body sleeved in a printed deinkable shrink sleeve. All materials are technically fully recyclable with the potential to be recovered and used for the same high-value application.
Stefan Rüster, Packaging expert from Beiersdorf, continues: “We follow an ambitious Sustainability Agenda including the vision of fully circular resources. The Design4Circularity packaging solution is ground-breaking for future cosmetics applications. Through the hard work and innovation power of all collaboration partners involved, we have managed to combine the high design requirements of a cosmetic packaging with full circularity. We are very proud of this success and hope that this motivates our industry peers to follow.”
And Peter Voortmans, Global Commercial Director Consumer Product, Borealis, concludes: “Transforming to a circular economy is a team effort. Only together with like-minded partners can we shape an ‘ever mindful’ tomorrow. It starts with packaging design in combination with the right sorting and recycling infrastructure, and through collaboration we reinvent essentials for sustainable living.”
Designed to be recycled again and again
Critical design parameters included polymer and additive composition, material selection of sleeve and bottle, sortability and deinking of sleeve material, recyclability, and PCR quality.
To give packaging waste a second life the packaging material needs to retain its highest value through multiple lifecycles. Here, Borealis brought its expertise in advanced, transformational mechanical recycling technology by offering high quality PCR based on proprietary Borcycle™ M technology. Additionally, Clariant brought expertise in design for recycling additive solutions to ensure targeted additivation to protect PCR quality and protect against polymer chain breakdown at each recycling step. This delivered a suitable, high-value PCR material to repeatedly hit the high-end criteria of Personal Care-related consumer packaging. The circular solution additionally focuses on a colorless bottle option to increase PCR quality after recycling.
To achieve differentiation of the packaging despite using an uncolored bottle, the collaboration decided on a full body shrink sleeve as the ideal way to allow for the unique design of individual brands. Leading ink manufacturer Siegwerk was able to provide ink systems, which in collaboration with Beiersdorf and a sleeve manufacturer allowed printing of the sleeve to realize a full body, colored and appealing cosmetic sleeve. Additionally, the chosen new ink composition was designed to allow deinking of the sleeve within a recycling process, increasing the circularity of the packaging. The bottle/shrink sleeve combination is intended for removal at a materials recovery facility.
First sorting trials in existing recycling infrastructure proved the sortability of the full body sleeved HDPE bottle, achieving a high recovery of the bottle’s material. Additionally, the project team conducted trials with full body sleeved, transparent PET bottles and achieved similar results.
Further advancements in sorting technology are needed to achieve the ultimate goal of circular economy to give colorless bottles a second life back in colorless applications retaining their highest value. Technologies such as digital watermarking or artificial intelligence could help such sustainability goals to be reached.
Borcycle™ TRADEMARK OF BOREALIS
Clariant is a focused, sustainable, and innovative specialty chemical company based in Muttenz, near Basel/Switzerland. On 31 December 2021, Clariant totaled a staff number of 11 537 and recorded sales of CHF 4.372 billion in the fiscal year for its continuing businesses. The company reports in three business areas: Care Chemicals, Catalysis and Natural Resources. Clariant’s corporate strategy is led by the overarching purpose of ‘Greater chemistry – between people and planet’ and reflects the importance of connecting customer focus, innovation, sustainability, and people.
Beiersdorf has stood for innovative, high-quality skin care and body care as well as pioneering skin research for 140 years. Leading international brands such as NIVEA, the world’s no. 1 skin care brand,* Eucerin (dermocosmetics), La Prairie (selective cosmetics), and Hansaplast (adhesive bandages and wound care) are valued by millions of people around the world day after day. Renowned brands such as Aquaphor, Coppertone, Chantecaille, Labello, 8x4, atrix, Hidrofugal, Maestro, and Florena complement our broad consumer portfolio. Through the wholly owned affiliate tesa SE, Beiersdorf is also a global leader in the manufacture of technical adhesive tapes and provides self-adhesive system solutions to industry, businesses, and consumers.
The Hamburg-based company generated sales of 7,627 million euros as well as an operating result (EBIT) of 933 million euros in fiscal year 2021. Beiersdorf has more than 20,000 employees worldwide, who are connected by shared core values, a strong corporate culture, and the Beiersdorf purpose “Care Beyond Skin.” With its C.A.R.E.+ business strategy, the company is pursuing a multiyear investment program focusing on competitive, long-term growth. The program is consistent with the ambitious sustainability agenda, with which Beiersdorf generates clear added value for consumers, society, and the environment.
* Source: Euromonitor International Limited; NIVEA as umbrella brand in the categories Face Care, Body Care, and Hand Care; in retail value terms, 2020.
Borealis is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and circular polyolefin solutions and a European market leader in base chemicals, fertilizers and the mechanical recycling of plastics. We leverage our polymers expertise and decades of experience to offer value adding, innovative and circular material solutions for key industries. In re-inventing for more sustainable living, we build on our commitment to safety, our people and excellence as we accelerate the transformation to a circular economy and expand our geographical footprint.
With head offices in Vienna, Austria, Borealis employs 6,900 employees and operates in over 120 countries. In 2021, Borealis generated total sales and other income of EUR 10,153 million and a net profit of EUR 1,396 million. OMV, the Austria-based international oil and gas company, owns 75% of Borealis, while the remaining 25% is owned by a holding company of the Abu-Dhabi based Mubadala. We supply services and products to customers around the globe through Borealis and two important joint ventures: Borouge (with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, or ADNOC, based in UAE); and Baystar™ (with TotalEnergies, based in the US).
Siegwerk, a sixth-generation family-owned company, is one of the leading international manufacturers of printing inks, coatings and individual solutions for packaging, labels, and catalogs. With more than 180 years of experience, the company has solid expertise in and knowledge of many printing procedures. A global manufacturing and service network ensures customers consistently high-quality products and services. In keeping with the company’s philosophy “Ink, Heart & Soul,” Siegwerk seeks long-term cooperation with its business partners. Siegwerk employs some 5,000 people worldwide in more than 30 country organizations and is headquartered in Siegburg near Cologne.