In line with the aim to reduce its environment footprint, German Consumer Goods Company Henkel is shifting focus towards the production of more concentrated detergents and redesigning its packaging to better fit concentrated detergents. This move comes at a time when there is a push from Europe’s International Association for Soaps, Detergents, and Maintenance Products to manufacture more concentrated products with less water so as to curb their environmental impact. Henkel has in fact rolled out several sustainability-focused innovations to increase its yearly efficiency by 5-6% and reach its goal of turning 3 times more efficient by the year 2030.
Undoubtedly, brands like Henkel are doing their bit towards creating environment friendly packaging. Nevertheless it can’t be denied that brands still have a long way to go as far as sustainable packaging is concerned. Here are some key pointers that detergent brands must consider to reduce their environmental impact through packaging design:
Substitute Plastic with a Sustainable Material: Brands that are seriously considering going sustainable need to, for starters, align their R&D department toward finding newer and better alternatives to plastic. In order to reach its sustainability goals, Henkel started off by partnering with Mondi, a global pioneer in innovative and sustainable packaging solutions. Mondi helped it create a flexible laminated packaging material that was not just aesthetically pleasing & function but was actually created using Henkel’s scrap plastic! Today, Henkel sells its dishwashing pods in the resultant flexible packaging called Quadro Seal Bag. Currently, 30% of this packaging’s PE layer constitutes of industrial waste reclaimed from Mondi’s factory in Germany, making the amount of reground material in the packaging structure around 10%.
Opt for a Design Offering Maximum Manufacturing & Logistics Utility: Sustainability in packaging does not merely amount to using environment friendly material but also extends to other aspects such as ensuring reduction in use of packaging material and minimum wastage of the product during consumption. One of the challenges that Henkel faced with its packaging was leakages in transit. They overcame this by bringing in a soft sealing element to ensure tight sealing during transportation, which is now ready to be used for their demanding delivery requirements.
Further, in this era of e-commerce and environmental degeneration, it is only fitting to expect brands to seriously consider and work towards reducing the water content in their products, which will subsequently help them reduce their use of packaging material as well. As a result, not only will consumers receive the same benefit in a more concentrated liquid, as the product will become lighter and smaller, it will by default require lesser packaging, thereby reducing its overall environmental impact.
Opt for a Design Offering Optimal Utility Using Good Dosing Technology: For its premium brand Persil, Henkel took Weiner Plastic’s (WP) help to develop a dispensing closure with a spout portion as well as a cap portion in the bottle. It also came with a Doser especially designed to be used as a dosing device. Thanks to the smart closure design, together Henkel and WP have been able to offer consumers a means to dose the product accurately and ensure there’s no product wastage by enabling them to use it till the last drop.
Commitment to sustainability is no mean feat and may require brands to make both internal and external changes in the way they work. Having said that, it has become integral that brands today understand the detrimental effects of employing non-sustainable means and recognize the positive role they can play in environment conservation. Although, brands like Henkel started off with small steps in their journey towards sustainability, they are definitely taking initiatives that other brands can take inspiration from. Do you know a brand that has integrating pro-environment practices in its packaging design?