Henkel’s Beauty Care business has begun converting its hair color product portfolio to aluminum tubes made of 100% recycled material. With this transition covering all retail and professional brands globally, Henkel supports a closed loop while at the same time reducing the environmental footprint of its products. Notes the company, recycled aluminum has a significantly lower energy demand—up to 95% less—than virgin aluminum, thus a significant reduction of the CO2 footprint per aluminum tube can be achieved. In addition, aluminum tubes are fully recyclable and widely recovered through existing waste management systems.
In the hair color category, aluminum tubes are used to protect the product and allow for easy-to-handle-application by professional hairstylists and consumers. Thus, they need to fulfill high-quality standards, which the company says are also ensured when using recycled aluminum.
“One of the main advantages of aluminum is the recyclability—the material can be recycled infinitely without losing its mechanical properties and sacrificing quality. Therefore, aluminum as a material class is a great enabler for a circular economy, as 75% of the aluminum that was ever produced on earth is still in use across various applications,” says Philippe Blank, Head of Circular Economy & Packaging Sustainability at Henkel Beauty Care. “By shifting major portfolios to this recycled material, we are demonstrating our commitment to sustainable packaging solutions. While a great focus is placed on plastic packaging, we are advancing innovation and sustainability holistically across all materials and packaging types.”
Although aluminum demonstrates high recycling quotes globally, Henkel explains that the availability of recycled material is limited due to the high demand across several industries, including beverage cans, for example. However, the company says that switching to recycled aluminum for applications with short lifecycles, such as consumer packaging, is an important step in reducing the overall footprint of such fast-rotating packaging items. That is why, Henkel says, it is working with its packaging partners to explore new ways and drive progress along the value chain. The company will not only use post-industrial recycled aluminum for the tubes, but will also integrate up to 95% recycled material from post-consumer sources as well.
See: Innovation at Henkel
In addition, Henkel will gradually switch the tube’s plastic cap to recycled plastic. Says the company, this becomes even more important when considering the recycling downstream of aluminum-based consumer packaging along the value chain, where plastic materials still attached to the packaging are not recovered and therefore have no chance of becoming circular.
Henkel’s hair color brand Diadem is one of the first brands in the company’s Beauty Care portfolio to transition to 100% recycled aluminum tube, with the complete product range already using the new tube. Additional brands will follow later this year.