Software evaluates packaging recycling
Whether plastic, paper or tinplate - a program from Henkel determines how easily materials can be recycled.
How must certain plastic packaging be designed so that it can be easily recycled? Since the beginning of 2019, this question has been answered by software from Henkel. The company has now presented a new program version that also analyses packaging made of paper/cardboard, glass, aluminium and tinplate. The Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT tested the quality of the application.
Traffic light rating and percentage
The EasyD4R software records the composition and weight proportions of the materials used for each packaging to be examined. The program knows the limitations of sorting processes and recycling of materials. On this basis, the software generates a traffic light evaluation for the respective packaging and the percentage at which the packaging can be recycled. In this way, companies can optimise their packaging for a circular economy. Henkel itself aims to ensure that all its own packaging is fully recyclable by 2025 and to halve the proportion of new plastics from fossil sources.
Managing the transition to a circular economy
"We are pleased that Henkel is expanding its commitment to the development of sustainable packaging solutions with the further development of the software and will continue to make this tool available to other companies," praises Markus Hiebel, head of the Sustainability and Participation department at Fraunhofer UMSICHT. The additional possibility of evaluating further packaging is an important step to accelerate the transition to a recycling economy. The extended version is based on design guidelines created by the University of Applied Sciences Campus Wien. The programme also takes into account the German minimum standard for packaging.
All common materials
"Findings from the evaluation tool have helped us to develop new sustainable packaging solutions that contribute to our goals for 2025," says Colin Zenger, responsible for the development of sustainable packaging solutions in Henkel's Laundry & Home Care business sector. "Now we are taking the next step: In addition to plastic packaging, the software now also evaluates the recyclability of packaging made of all other common materials.
Although the program EasyD4R was developed by Henkel, it is available to companies and organizations on the company website for free download. This offer has already been used more than 2,500 times.