German Packaging Award goes twice to Recyclate Initiative Projects
Two innovations from Werner & Mertz – a completely recyclable stand-up pouch and the first cosmetic bottle of 100 percent recyclates from the Yellow Bag – won accolades from the German Packaging Award jury. Both were developed with cooperation partners in the Recyclate Initiative.
Recyclable pouch wins in the Sustainability category
"The great challenges of our time are packaging developments that are perfectly adapted to the recycling economy," the experts on the jury said about the innovative packaging which won in the Sustainability category. "This bag impressively demonstrates what can already be achieved today with a consistent recycling approach to design."
The patented packaging concept was developed in a joint project conducted by Werner & Mertz with the global packaging and paper company Mondi. "It takes a network to realize packaging for the circular economy and we – Mondi and Werner & Mertz – were prepared to take up the challenge," said Thomas Kahl, EcoSolutions Project Manager for Mondi Consumer Packaging.
The result of the four years of cooperation is a completely recyclable pouch with removable sleeve developed in accordance with Cradle to Cradle® principles. The concept solves the problem of recycling printed plastics. There is no printing on approximately 85 percent of the total packaging material. That means that the material can be recycled at high quality without contamination from ink. Moreover, the remaining 15 percent, made up by the printed sleeve, is completely recyclable. Because it contains no adhesives or bonding agents, it can flow back into new applications. The complete recyclability was recently certified by the independent Institute cyclos-HTP and Interseroh. In addition, the new packaging uses about 70 percent less material than rigid plastic bottles with the same fill volume.
By the end of this year the new pouch will be on retail shelves and in the coming year the entire pouch portfolio for the Frosch brand will be converted. In the future Werner & Mertz, in cooperation with Thom Metall- und Machinenbau, will rebuild all its existing pouch lines and invest in new systems.
Shower gel bottle of 100% PCR makes impressive showing in New Material category
The second award-winning packaging solution from Werner & Mertz has been in use in May 2019. The shower gel bottle for the Frosch Senses brand made with Systalen® is the first application of 100% HDPE Post-Consumer-Recyclat (PCR) from the Yellow Bag to be used in the cosmetic sector.
"The use of PCR Systalen® in cosmetic packaging has made it possible to make the leap into another major packaging application because toxicological and technical standards have been satisfied," the jury said in its decision.
The conversion to 100 percent recyclates from the Yellow Bag requires that the material be technically suitable, odorless and of no risk to human health. When it comes to shower gel, the issue of smells plays an exceptionally important role for the consumer. Therefore, the granules from the Yellow Bag have to be practically free of impurities and contaminants. The successful integration of raw materials, processing technology and use was made possible by the close cooperation among Werner & Mertz, Der Grüne Punkt and the recycling equipment manufacturer EREMA Group. "We used a special processing technology for cleaning and are developing it to move step by step to food grade quality," said Dr. Markus Helftewes, Managing Director of Der Grüne Punkt (Green Dot). The harmlessness of use for cosmetic rinse-off products has been confirmed unequivocally in a human toxicological report for the new packaging.
"The awards for our two newest innovations encourage us to optimize our packaging continuously for the circular economy and thereby counteract the plastic polluting of our planet," said Immo Sander, Head of Packaging Development at Werner & Mertz, who, along with his team, accepted the award at the official presentation during the FachPack trade fair in Nüremberg.
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