Henkel extends its collaboration with the social enterprise Plastic Bank for another five years. Following the achievements of the partnership launched in 2017, Henkel will support ongoing projects in Haiti, the Philippines and Indonesia and significantly contribute to developing an infrastructure of more than 400 Plastic Bank collection points in Egypt. Alone in 2020, Henkel will integrate more than 600 tons of the recycled material – called Social Plastic® – in its product packaging.
As part of its commitment for a circular economy and against plastic waste in the environment, Henkel was the first global consumer goods company to partner with Plastic Bank. The joint goal is to reduce plastic waste in the oceans while improving the lives of people in poverty – especially in countries that lack waste management infrastructure. The idea behind: At dedicated centers, the local population can return collected plastic waste and exchange it for money, goods, or services. This material is then integrated back into the plastic value chain as Social Plastic®.
Since the start of the collaboration, Plastic Bank opened additional collection centers in Haiti. Furthermore, Henkel helped the organization to establish a supply chain to ensure the collected plastic waste can be processed and recycled to finally be integrated back into the value chain. Earlier this year, Henkel launched a range of Beauty Care and Laundry & Home Care products with packaging including up to 50 percent Social Plastic®. In total, more than 200 tons of Social Plastic® were already processed by Henkel. This milestone received external recognition: For example, Henkel received Packaging Europe’s “Best Practice” Sustainability Award and Ecovia’s Sustainable Beauty Award in the “Sustainable Packaging” category.
Establishing a collection ecosystem in Egypt
The extended partnership, backed by Henkel’s consumer goods businesses Beauty Care and Laundry & Home Care, continues to focus on two aspects: Further increasing the integration of Social Plastic® in the company’s product packaging and scaling up Plastic Bank’s global footprint to prevent plastic waste to end up in oceans or waterways and to provide opportunities for people in need.
Henkel will support Plastic Bank in further enhancing the availability and integration of Social Plastic® as a resource for packaging. Through establishing a collection ecosystem in Egypt, Plastic Bank expects to reach an additional collection capacity of up to 5,000 tons annually – this corresponds to up to one billion bottles over the five year-period.
Holistic approach to tackling the problem of plastic waste
“Plastic Bank creates a value chain that contributes to a better world. Our partnership with Henkel is a good example of what can be achieved by joining forces and we are delighted about our extended collaboration,” says David Katz, CEO of Plastic Bank. “Together we can create true added value by tackling the waste problem in a holistic approach while at the same time helping people in need.”
“The cooperation with Plastic Bank helps us to pursue our strategy to implement more recycled plastic into our product’s packaging while ensuring a steady income for the collectors”, says Jens-Martin Schwärzler, Executive Vice President and responsible for Henkel’s Beauty Care business. “The partnership with Plastic Bank also enables us to match our consumer’s desires to apply environmental consciousness into their daily lives.”
“Since joining forces about two years ago, we’ve been working closely to avoid plastic ending up in the ocean and improve the lives of people in poverty – particularly in countries without effective waste management infrastructure,”
says Bruno Piacenza, Executive Vice President and responsible for Henkel’s Laundry & Home Care business.
“Our collaboration with Plastic Bank is a unique partnership, addressing two of the world’s biggest challenges of today: plastic waste and the lack of opportunity for people in need”, says Sylvie Nicol, Executive Vice President Human Resources and Chairwoman of Henkel’s Sustainability Council. “We are excited to take the next steps – for the environment and a better future for even more people in Haiti, the Philippines, Indonesia and Egypt.”
Commitment for a circular economy
The partnership with Plastic Bank is part of Henkel’s various activities to foster a circular economy and to promote sustainable packaging solutions. The company has set itself specific packaging targets to promote a closed loop for plastic: By 2025, all packaging will be recyclable, reusable or compostable* and the proportion of recycled plastic in the packaging of consumer products in Europe will rise to 35 percent. Already today, many product packaging already consists of 100 percent recycled plastic.
To drive progress in the field of sustainability, Henkel is collaborating with different partners along the value chain and participates in many cross-industry initiatives. For example, the company is member of the New Plastics Economy and founding member of the global Alliance to End Plastic Waste.
To learn more about Henkel’s strategy and activities in the field of plastic, visit www.henkel.com/plastic.