Henkel and CCL won the AWA Award for new sleeve technology

Henkel and CCL, a multinational specialty packaging company, have won the AWA (Alexander Watson Associates) Sleeve Label Award in the “Environmental Contribution” classification for their sustainable design of Henkel’s Vernel fabric softener bottle.

EcoFloat shrink sleeves

To improve the recyclability of the PET bottle bodies of its European fabric softeners, Henkel partnered with CCL, which has developed a new generation of floatable polyolefin material for shrink sleeves called EcoFloat. 

Easy sink-float separation

This low-density material can be separated from PET bottle parts during the sink-float separation process at recycling facilities. While the heavier bottle material sinks to the bottom of the water baths, the lightweight sleeve material floats to the top, even with fully printed designs. 

It allows a clean separation of the PET and the label material, which is necessary to gain high-quality PET recyclate. 

“The bottle body of our European fabric softeners already consists of 100 percent recycled PET. They are now also designed for recycling using the new sleeve material,” said Abdullah Mahmood Khan, Head of Global R&D Packaging for Fabric Enhancers at Henkel. “Many consumers don’t remove the sleeve before discarding the bottle, which mostly means the bottle cannot be recycled either. We have now found a solution to enable the recycling of our bottle bodies in this case.”

CCL offers a portfolio of sustainable solutions for labels and sleeves that enable customers to meet sustainable packaging goals. “The collaboration with Henkel is a great example of how primary packaging can be improved through advanced sustainable technologies,” said < Lukas Nachbaur, Key Account Manager for Henkel at CCL. 

“With all our packaging solutions, we always ensure that they comply with the official design for recycling guidelines of organizations such as RecyClass in Europe and APR (Association of Plastic Recyclers) in the USA. In this case, Henkel’s new packaging design adheres to the specific EPBP guidelines for PET bottles.”

Henkel uses the new sleeves in about half of its European fabric softener product portfolio. The project pays into Henkel’s packaging targets by 2025, which include that 100 percent of Henkel’s packaging will be designed for reuse or recycling. The company also aims to reduce the amount of virgin plastics from fossil sources in its consumer products by 50 percent by increasing the proportion of recycled plastic to more than 30 percent and reducing the overall packaging volume.

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