Skin-care giant Beiersdorf has announced that it has developed a standard for recycled plastics used in the packaging of cosmetics in association with Werner & Mertz.
The first of its kind ‘standard concept’ offers guidance to recyclers and cosmetic manufacturers on the use of recycled plastics in the packaging of cosmetics.
Beiersdorf and Werner & Mertz collaborated with the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging (IVV) to develop the standard, which uses mechanically recycled waste plastic obtained from Germany’s ‘Grüner Punkt’ waste collection system.
Commenting on the project, Michael Becker, head of global packaging development, Beiersdorf AG, said, “In our efforts to further increase the proportion of recycled material in our plastic packaging, we as a manufacturer face the challenge that suppliers are insufficiently prepared for our material requirements.
“It quickly became clear that we had to provide support in the development of high-quality recyclates, especially in defining quality requirements. Werner & Mertz had already done excellent preparatory work in this area. Together we developed the idea further and set the basis for a cosmetics standard.”
Inventory Of Recyclates
The three organisations have drawn up an inventory of existing recyclates in the European market, which provides initial transparency about the existing recycling processes.
By comparing this data with the requirements for cosmetic packaging, it was possible to define a standard that addresses the most important concerns of recycling companies and manufacturers, Beiersdorf said.
The study found that it is important for cosmetics manufacturers to use high-quality plastics that can be recycled.
It also highlighted that recyclability should be incorporated in the design of the packaging by using mono-materials, sustainable printing inks, removable labels, and easy-to-detach packaging components.
The study also helped recyclers to learn how quality is evaluated from the cosmetics industry’s perspective and share information on how high-quality processing of used plastic can be successful.
'A Viable Route'
Head of packaging development at Werner & Mertz, Immo Sander, said, “With our joint work, we have proven that mechanical recycling is a viable route for high-quality secondary plastic materials. Our findings are forward-looking and intended to give all players more security.
“If many companies follow our example, demand will be increased, which will accelerate investments in processing plants and make the repeated use of plastic waste more economical. This then benefits not only the companies but protects our environment.”
The results of the analysis will be published by the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging in autumn of this year, the Nivea-maker added.