Werner & Mertz wants to revolutionize the cosmetics industry: Since May, Frosch Senses shower gel bottles have been manufactured with 100 percent recycled HDPE – the first packaging with 100 percent HDPE Post Consumer Recyclate (PCR) from the yellow bag, which is used in the cosmetics sector. This was made possible by a special HDPE recycling process developed by Werner & Mertz in a joint project with Der Grüne Punkt and the EREMA Group.
For the new packaging, Werner & Mertz commissioned ATC GmbH to prepare a human toxicological report confirming the safe use of this packaging from a health point of view. “During the preparation of the report, it became clear that the Werner & Mertz and Der Grüne Punkt team had already continuously dealt with the problem areas associated with the reuse of old plastic during the development process,” says expert Joachim Haselbach. “Such a process takes months and years. The team approached the development work with a great deal of staying power”.
In order to convert to 100 percent recyclate from the yellow sack, the material had to be not only technically suitable, but also odourless, as the odour factor plays a particularly important role for consumers in shower gels. The granulate from the Yellow Sack source must be virtually free of impurities and contaminants. All odour-causing volatile substances contained in the old plastic were removed in the recycling process. “We have used a special processing technology for cleaning and are even gradually approaching food suitability,” says Dr. Markus Helftewes, Managing Director of Der Grüne Punkt. The processed flakes are then processed into granulate. Technology from the Austrian recycling machine manufacturer EREMA is used for this process step. Its INTAREMA RegrindPro extruder system with the so-called ReFresher module was specially designed for the special challenges of processing plastic waste from the yellow bag. This process combination also eliminates odours through a thermal-physical process. The inherent energy of the granules preheated by the extrusion process is used, which makes the process particularly energy-saving.
Especially for cosmetics the benchmark for packaging is particularly high, as it has to protect the valuable content and also look as attractive as possible. At FachPack you will see innovative solutions from innovative exhibitors. More information can be found here.
Contribution to meeting German recycling quotas
The new Packaging Act provides for higher recycling rates: Already this year, the target for material recycling of plastics will rise from 36 to 58.5 percent. From 2022, the quota will even be 63 percent. “Since the new packaging law came into force in January, products containing recycled materials have already been submitted for examination with a significantly higher frequency, so the law is having an effect,” says Dr. Monika Rüter, Managing Director of FABES Forschungs-GmbH. FABES carried out the analytical tests on the recycled bottles from Werner & Mertz with regard to health safety and thus consumer protection. For the future they forecast an increase in the proportion of plastic recyclate in the yellow bag. Therefore, a good quality of the recyclate is necessary, because this is the only way to guarantee that the quality of the starting material from the yellow bag does not decrease with an increased proportion of recyclate and that the old plastic can continue to be recycled at a high level. “For the recycled bottles from Werner & Mertz, we have examined both bottles and numerous recycled granulates from the recycled material and found both to be of very good quality,” says Rüter. “With our recycled bottles for the cosmetics sector, we are making an important contribution to meeting the German recycling quotas,” adds Immo Sander, Head of Packaging Development at Werner & Mertz.