News • 10.08.2020

Evaluation tool for recyclable packaging

Fraunhofer UMSICHT tests Henkel's extended version for materials like paper and cardboard

A laptop with software stands on a table
Source: Henkel

Packaging protects products during transport and storage. In order to develop sustainable packaging and conserve resources, Henkel developed an evaluation tool that quickly and reliably checks plastic packaging for recyclability. The tool has now been expanded to include common materials, so that packaging made of paper/cardboard, glass, aluminum and tinplate can be analyzed in addition to plastic. Fraunhofer UMSICHT tested the software tool.

At the beginning of 2019, Henkel developed an easy-to-use software tool to check plastic packaging for recyclability during product development – based on publicly recognized criteria catalogs. It analyzes the composition and the individual weight proportions of the components – for example base materials, closure systems, labels or colors. The respective suitability for the sorting and recycling processes is stored for all components. On this basis, the tool displays a clear result according to a traffic light evaluation system: It illustrates which design is recyclable to what percentage and where there is potential for improvement. In this way, it supports the development of sustainable packaging solutions. The tool is also available free of charge to other companies and organizations on the Henkel website and has already been downloaded more than 2500 times.

Comprehensive analysis options for common packaging materials

The latest version of the evaluation tool enables packaging developers to analyze packaging made of paper/cardboard, glass, aluminium or tinplate. For this purpose, design guidelines created by the University of Applied Sciences Campus Vienna and the German minimum standard for packaging were integrated. An independent test by the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT confirmed that the further developed tool reliably evaluates recyclability.

Source: Fraunhofer-Institut für Umwelt-, Sicherheits- und Energietechnik UMSICHT

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