Beiersdorf has teamed up with Clariant, Borealis and Siegwerk to launch Design4Circularity.
The cross-industry initiative is based on creating recyclable consumer packaging from 100% retrieved plastic packaging waste.
Key parameters taken into account by the collaborating companies included polymer and additive composition, material selection for the sleeve and bottle, the portability and de-inking of the sleeve material, recyclability and PCR quality.
Borealis brought high-quality PCR to the project based on its Borcycle M technology, while Clariant offered expertise in additive solutions to ensure PCR quality and protect against polymer chain breakdown in each recycling step.
The result, said the companies, was a high value PCR material that repeatedly hit the criteria of personal care packaging.
Ink manufacturer Siegwerk, meanwhile, provided ink systems, which, in collaboration with Beiersdorf and a sleeve manufacturer, allowed for a full body coloured sleeve featuring a new ink composition to allow de-inking of the sleeve within a recycling process.
The Design4Circularity bottle and shrink sleeve combination is intended for removal at a materials recovery facility.
Beiersdorf packaging expert Stefan Rüster said of Design4Circularity: “We follow an ambitious sustainability agenda including the vision of fully circular resources.
“The Design4Circularity packaging solution is groundbreaking 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.”
“This collaboration was possible because all participants are dedicated to circular economy, with company-wide programmes and holistic understanding of the systems involved,” said Richard Haldimann, Chief Technology and Sustainability Officer at Clariant.
“Achieving circularity needs a complete shift in designing product packaging and packaging raw materials, considering sortability, recycling and packaging end-of-life.”
Siegwerk’s Technology Head, Brand Owner Collaboration, Stefan Haep, called the initiative a “frontrunner in uniquely assessing circularity in every design parameter”, while Borealis’ Global Commercial Director, Consumer Product, Peter Voortmans, doubled down on the need for collaboration, stating: “Only together with like-minded partners can we shape an ‘ever mindful’ tomorrow.”
The companies note that further advancements in sorting technology are needed to achieve the ultimate goal of giving colourless bottles a second life in colourless applications.
They note that digital watermarking or AI could help facilitate such sustainability goals.