"Unwrapping the package" – new ideas on the circular economy

29 Jan 2016 - Mainz./Rotterdam

In cooperation with the European Commission, the government of the Netherlands hosted the conference "Unwrapping the package – towards a circular economy in Europe" at which the international marketing team from Werner & Mertz presented the impressive FROSCH Recyclate Initiative.

"We presented our ideas on the circular economy to two groups of 10 international participants," said Frank Vancreyveld, Managing Director of the Werner & Mertz Professional Division. "We are proud that we were invited to represent our industry at this ground-breaking event." Representatives from business, government and Non-Governmental Organizations from European Member States met at the Van Nelle Factory in Rotterdam to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the circular economy and to learn more about each country's experience to date. Vancreyveld, Timothy Glaz, Director of Corporate Affairs at Werner & Mertz, and Eric Vanraemdonck, Managing Director of Werner & Mertz Professional Benelux, scored with the international Cradle-to-Cradle® Award, which the company received in November 2015 in honor of its brands Frosch and green care Professional and its successful sustainability work in the manufacture of recyclable packaging.

(from left): Timothy Glaz, Eric Vanraemdonck and Frank Vancreyveld of Werner & Mertz scored with the award-winning Recyclate Initiative at the European event "Unwrapping the package – towards a circular economy". Photo: Werner & Mertz Professional
Werner & Mertz designs its products in accordance with a recycling principle and thereby takes on a pioneering role in the industry. Packaging and formulas are designed so that they can be returned to a biological or technical cycle. In the manufacture of packaging, the Recyclate Initiative replaces the costly and finite raw material of crude oil with the repetitively recycled PET secondary material from the Yellow Bag. The process is more ecologically sound than incinerating packaging from household waste or re-using it in products of low quality.

Cross-industry cooperation was established in 2012 with the Recyclate Initiative, which bundles the know-how of several partners in order to develop recyclate manufacturing along the entire supply chain and to make it economical in the long term. Plastic from the previously untapped source of the Yellow Bag has been recycled into a transparent recyclate and used to produce more than three million PET packages to date for FROSCH products. The company also has done some pioneer work in eco-effectiveness with HD PE recyclates, which are used in the sustainable manufacturing of packaging for the Professional products from Werner & Mertz. Reinhard Schneider, Werner & Mertz CEO and initiator of the FROSCH Recyclate Initiative, advocates financial incentives from the government to make the use of such recyclates economical and to get this reasonable futuristic technology up and running around the world.

"Unwrapping the package – towards a circular economy in Europe" marked the start of the Netherlands presidency of the Council of the European Union, which runs from 1 January through 30 June 2016. The mission for the country's term in office is "a European Union that focuses on what matters to Europe's citizens and businesses, an EU that creates growth and jobs through innovation and connects with civil society." The Netherlands has declared forward-thinking environmental and energy policies as a priority of its presidency.

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