In pursuit of its goal of significantly reducing plastic waste, Henkel Beauty Care collaborates closely with the social enterprise Plastic Bank. The aim of this successful group-wide partnership is to stop plastic refuse getting into the world’s oceans and at the same time provide new opportunities for impoverished people. Now, thanks to a concept that is both highly sustainable and hugely innovative, Plastic Bank has reached an important milestone: 17,000 collectors worldwide have collected a total of one billion plastic bottles, which will be returned to the reusable material cycle in the form of Social Plastic®. That’s over 20 million kilograms of plastic that might otherwise have ended up in the sea. Since 2017, Henkel Beauty Care has increasingly been using this recycled Social Plastic® in its product packaging and bottles – especially for Nature Box, its Cosmos Natural certified cosmetics brand.
“Plastic waste entering our oceans is one of our greatest global challenges,” explains David Katz, CEO of Plastic Bank. “Accepting one’s responsibility in this respect is a vital milestone on the way to driving forward social, economic and commercial progress by means of a functioning circular economy. Collecting one billion plastic bottles demonstrates that we’re able to use that circular economy both as a weapon in our fight against plastic waste and as a tool for promoting social progress.”
Jens-Martin Schwärzler, the board member with responsibility for Henkel Beauty Care, underlines the significance of this cooperation with Plastic Bank: “We’d like to congratulate Plastic Bank today – and to also state clearly that our two concerns will travel the road to that next billion together. With Nature Box, our Cosmos Natural certified cosmetics brand, Henkel Beauty Care is constantly forging ahead and showing how Social Plastic® can be used in cosmetics packaging. The body of each Nature Box bottle contains 98% Social Plastic®. As such, it also contains the stories of countless collectors worldwide: people who are not only bringing plastic waste back into the cycle but also supporting their families with the proceeds.”
Social Plastic® in cosmetics packaging: a change spearheaded by Nature Box
Social Plastic® is already being used across the board in packaging for the Cosmos Natural certified cosmetics brand Nature Box: every bottle in the Nature Box portfolio already has a body made of 98% Social Plastic®*. And the remaining two per cent, which takes the form of plastic colouring agents, will soon be replaced with recycled material. As well as Nature Box, the brands Fa and Schauma have already successfully used Social Plastic® as packaging material for their limited editions. That means that in all, since 2017, a grand total of 22 million Beauty Care bottles have been made from recycled Social Plastic® and appeared for sale as new products on cosmetics shelves worldwide.
Henkel’s partnership with Plastic Bank is an important element in its long-term sustainability strategy for promoting a circular economy and social progress. The goals are clearly set out: by 2025, we intend to reduce by 50 per cent the amount of new fossil-based plastics used in the packaging of our consumer products. We will achieve this by increasing the proportion of recycled plastic to over 30 per cent, reducing the overall volume of plastics and increasing our use of bio-based plastics. In addition, product packagings will be designed to be 100 per cent recyclable or reusable.**
* Excluding the cap and label
** With the exception of products that involve components or residues capable of impairing recyclability or polluting recycling streams