The evaluation tool promotes the development of sustainable packaging solutions and thus the transition to a circular economy


New packaging materials added to Henkel’s Design for Recycling tool. (Credit: Henkel AG & Co. KGaA)

Henkel has further advanced its software tool EasyD4R: next to the recyclability of plastic packaging it now also allows to quickly and accurately assess the recyclability of packaging made of paper/cardboard, glass, aluminum and tinplate. This way the evaluation tool – which other companies and organizations can use free of charge – promotes the development of sustainable packaging solutions and thus the transition to a circular economy.

“We are committed to fostering a circular economy, for which recyclable packaging is an essential prerequisite. The EasyD4R tool supported us in developing new sustainable packaging solutions which contribute to our targets for 2025. We also received very positive external feedback. So far, EasyD4R has been downloaded over 2,500 times and we are excited that Henkel was nominated as a finalist for Packaging Europe’s ‘Best Practice’ Sustainability Award 2020 with the software tool”, said Colin Zenger, responsible for the development of sustainable packaging solutions at Henkel Laundry & Home Care. “With the tool’s advancement we are taking the next step: in addition to plastic packaging, EasyD4R also assesses the recyclability of packaging made of other common materials.”

Comprehensive assessment of various packaging materials
The latest version of the evaluation tool allows packaging developers to analyze packaging made of paper/cardboard, glass, aluminum or tinplate. For this, design guidelines created by the University of Applied Science Campus Vienna as well as the German minimum standard for packaging were integrated. In an independent assessment, the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT confirmed that the enhanced tool reliably evaluates the recyclability of packaging options.

”We are pleased that Henkel is expanding its commitment to developing sustainable packaging solutions with the further advancement of EasyD4R and will continue to share this tool with other companies”, said Dr.-Ing. Markus Hiebel, Head of Department for Sustainability and Resource Management at Fraunhofer UMSICHT. „The possibility to evaluate the recyclability of further packaging is an important step to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.”

Determine recyclability at the touch of a button
The software evaluates the recyclability of packaging based on publicly recognized criteria catalogs. It analyzes the composition and individual weight proportions of the packaging’s components – for example, base materials, closure systems, labels or colors. Information on the suitability for sorting and recycling of all components is stored in the tool’s database. Using a traffic light rating system, EasyD4R displays clear results: it illustrates which design is recyclable to what percentage and highlights potential for improvement. By doing so, it supports the development of sustainable packaging solutions.

Commitment to a circular economy
The enhancement of the EasyD4R tool is another example for Henkel’s activities and progress in the field of sustainable packaging. The company has set itself ambitious packaging targets for the year 2025: By then, 100 percent of Henkel’s packaging will be recyclable or reusable* and the company will reduce the amount of virgin plastic from fossil sources in its consumer goods packaging by 50 percent. Henkel also wants to help prevent waste from being disposed of in the environment. In order to achieve this, the company is involved in various partnerships along the entire value chain and participates in many cross-industry initiatives. For example, Henkel is a partner of social enterprise Plastic Bank and founding member of the global Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW).

Source: Company Press Release