Design4Circularity Cosmetics Packaging Concept Collaboration: Clariant, Siegwerk, Borealis & Beiersdorf

The innovation centers on a colorless polyolefin bottle with 100% PCR content, full body sleeved in a printed deinkable shrink sleeve.
The innovation centers on a colorless polyolefin bottle with 100% PCR content, full body sleeved in a printed deinkable shrink sleeve.

Clariant, Siegwerk, Borealis and Beiersdorf are collaborating on recyclable consumer packaging, based on 100% retrieved plastic packaging waste, for cosmetics applications. The initiative, Design4Circularity, is providing innovations and insights for the different design aspects to encourage others to also follow design for circularity principles.

The mission was to design a packaging solution that creates a cleaner input waste stream and finds its way back into the loop in high-value applications. It should also allow for the high-quality visuals and distinctive shapes consumers associate with cosmetics packaging and brands.

The innovation centers on a colorless polyolefin bottle with 100% PCR content, full body sleeved in a printed deinkable shrink sleeve. All materials are fully recyclable with the potential to be recovered and used for the same high-value application.

Borealis brought its expertise in advanced, transformational mechanical recycling technology by offering high quality PCR based on proprietary Borcycle M technology. Additionally, Clariant brought expertise in design for recycling additive solutions to ensure targeted additivation to protect PCR quality and protect against polymer chain breakdown at each recycling step. This delivered a suitable, high-value PCR material to repeatedly hit the high-end criteria of personal care-related consumer packaging. The circular solution additionally focuses on a colorless bottle option to increase PCR quality after recycling.

Siegwerk was able to provide ink systems, which in collaboration with Beiersdorf and a sleeve manufacturer allowed printing of the sleeve to realize a full body, colored and appealing cosmetic sleeve. Additionally, the chosen new ink composition was designed to allow deinking of the sleeve within a recycling process, increasing the circularity of the packaging. The bottle/shrink sleeve combination is intended for removal at a materials recovery facility.

Richard Haldimann, chief technology and sustainability officer, Clariant, said, “This collaboration was possible because all participants are dedicated to circular economy, with company-wide programs and holistic understanding of the systems involved. Achieving circularity needs a complete shift in designing product packaging and packaging raw materials, considering sortability, recycling and packaging end-of-life."

Stefan Haep, technology head brand owner collaboration at Siegwerk, said, “Our initiative is a frontrunner in uniquely assessing circularity in every design parameter, from additives to bottle material to inks, mapping industry competencies, potential gaps, and feasibility proof points to open up viable, ultimately circular solutions.”

Stefan Rüster, packaging expert from Beiersdorf, said, “We follow an ambitious sustainability agenda including the vision of fully circular resources. The Design4Circularity packaging solution is ground-breaking for future cosmetics applications. Through the hard work and innovation power of all collaboration partners involved, we have managed to combine the high design requirements of a cosmetic packaging with full circularity. We are very proud of this success and hope that this motivates our industry peers to follow.”

Peter Voortmans, global commercial director consumer product, Borealis, said, “Transforming to a circular economy is a team effort. Only together with like-minded partners can we shape an ‘ever mindful’ tomorrow. It starts with packaging design in combination with the right sorting and recycling infrastructure, and through collaboration we reinvent essentials for sustainable living.”

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