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Henkel adds new packaging materials to its ‘Design for Recycling’ tool

#Henkel has further advanced its software tool #EasyD4R: it has added to the #recyclability of plastic #packaging by providing quick and accurate assess for the recyclability of packaging made of paper/cardboard, glass, aluminium and tinplate. The evaluation tool – which other companies and organisations can use free of charge – promotes the development of sustainable packaging solutions and thus the transition to a circular economy.

‘We are committed to fostering a circular economy, for which recyclable packaging is an essential prerequisite. The EasyD4R tool supported us in developing new sustainable packaging solutions which contribute to our targets for 2025. We also received very positive external feedback. So far, EasyD4R has been downloaded over 2500 times,’ said Colin Zenger, responsible for the development of sustainable packaging solutions at Henkel laundry and home care. ‘With the tool’s advancement we are taking the next step: in addition to plastic packaging, EasyD4R also assesses the recyclability of packaging made of other common materials.’

The latest version of the evaluation tool allows packaging developers to analyse packaging made of paper/cardboard, glass, aluminium or tinplate. For this, design guidelines created by the University of Applied Science Campus Vienna as well as the German minimum standard for packaging were integrated. In an independent assessment, the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT confirmed that the enhanced tool reliably evaluates the recyclability of packaging options.

‘We are pleased that Henkel is expanding its commitment to developing sustainable packaging solutions with the further advancement of EasyD4R and will continue to share this tool with other companies,’ said Dr Markus Hiebel, head of Department for Sustainability and Resource Management at Fraunhofer Umsicht. ‘The possibility to evaluate the recyclability of further packaging is an important step to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.’

The software evaluates the recyclability of packaging based on publicly recognised criteria catalogues. It analyses the composition and individual weight proportions of the packaging’s components – for example, base materials, closure systems, labels or colours. Information on the suitability for sorting and recycling of all components is stored in the tool’s database. Using a traffic light rating system, EasyD4R displays clear results: it illustrates which design is recyclable to what percentage and highlights potential for improvement. By doing so, it supports the development of sustainable packaging solutions.

Henkel has made the tool available for download at

The enhancement of the EasyD4R tool is another example of Henkel’s activities and progress in the field of sustainable packaging. The company has set itself ambitious packaging targets for the year 2025. By then, 100% of its packaging will be recyclable or reusable and the company will reduce the amount of virgin plastic from fossil sources in its consumer goods packaging by 50%. Henkel also wants to help prevent waste from being disposed of in the environment. In order to achieve this, it is involved in various partnerships along the entire value chain and participates in many cross industry initiatives. For example, it is a partner of social enterprise Plastic Bank and founding member of the global Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW).

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