Mainz-based detergent manufacturer Werner & Mertz wins in the categories sustainability and new material: Two innovations from Werner & Mertz – a completely recyclable stand-up pouch and the first cosmetic bottle of 100 percent recyclates from the Yellow Bag – won accolades from the German Packaging Award jury. Both were developed with cooperation partners in the Recyclate Initiative.
Recyclable pouch wins in the Sustainability category
The patented packaging concept was developed in a joint project conducted by Werner & Mertz with the global packaging and paper company Mondi.
The result of the four years of cooperation is a completely recyclable pouch with removable sleeve developed in accordance with Cradle to Cradle principles. The concept solves the problem of recycling printed plastics. There is no printing on approximately 85 percent of the total packaging material. That means that the material can be recycled at high quality without contamination from ink. Moreover, the remaining 15 percent, made up by the printed sleeve, is completely recyclable. Because it contains no adhesives or bonding agents, it can flow back into new applications. The complete recyclability was recently certified by the independent Institute cyclos-HTP and Interseroh. In addition, the new packaging uses about 70 percent less material than rigid plastic bottles with the same fill volume.
By the end of this year the new pouch will be on retail shelves and in the coming year the entire pouch portfolio for the Frosch brand will be converted. In the future Werner & Mertz, in cooperation with Thom Metall- und Machinenbau, will rebuild all its existing pouch lines and invest in new systems.
Shower gel bottle of 100% PCR makes impressive showing in New Material category
The second award-winning packaging solution from Werner & Mertz has been in use in May 2019. The shower gel bottle for the Frosch Senses brand made with Systalen is the first application of 100% HDPE Post-Consumer-Recyclat (PCR) from the Yellow Bag to be used in the cosmetic sector.
“The use of PCR Systalen in cosmetic packaging has made it possible to make the leap into another major packaging application because toxicological and technical standards have been satisfied,” the jury said in its decision.
The conversion to 100 percent recyclates from the Yellow Bag requires that the material be technically suitable, odorless and of no risk to human health. When it comes to shower gel, the issue of smells plays an exceptionally important role for the consumer. Therefore, the granules from the Yellow Bag have to be practically free of impurities and contaminants. The successful integration of raw materials, processing technology and use was made possible by the close cooperation among Werner & Mertz, Der Grüne Punkt and the recycling equipment manufacturer EREMA Group. “We used a special processing technology for cleaning and are developing it to move step by step to food grade quality,” said Dr. Markus Helftewes, Managing Director of Der Grüne Punkt (Green Dot). The harmlessness of use for cosmetic rinse-off products has been confirmed unequivocally in a human toxicological report for the new packaging.
“The awards for our two newest innovations encourage us to optimize our packaging continuously for the circular economy and thereby counteract the plastic polluting of our planet,” said Immo Sander, Head of Packaging Development at Werner & Mertz, who, along with his team, accepted the award at the official presentation during the FachPack trade fair in Nüremberg.