German chemical and consumer goods supplier Henkel AG & Co. is teaming up with the Plastic Bank, a social enterprise which aims to stop ocean plastic and provide opportunities for people in poverty.
The partnership, which will initially focus on Haiti, is driven by Henkel's flagship beauty brand Schwarzkopf and leading brands from its Laundry & Home Care business, the company announced 15 Nov.
The initiative will involve giving money, goods or services to local communities in exchange for collecting plastic waste.
The plastic that is collected is sorted and processed, and then integrated into recycling value chains as ‘Social Plastic' – a material that has been verified by the Plastic Bank to indicate that the collectors received an above-market price for the plastic waste.
Commenting on the partnership with Henkel, David Katz, founder and CEO of the Plastic Bank, said collaboration with a global brand would empower the company to reach more people.
Founded in 2013, the Plastic Bank aims to gather a billion people together to monetise waste while improving the lives of people in countries that lack waste management infrastructure.
Henkel described the initiative as “taking another step forward” in sustainability, adding that it aimed to triple the value it creates in relation to its environmental footprint by 2030.
“We are convinced that our focus on sustainability is more important than ever before,” said Kathrin Menges, executive vice president human resources at Henkel and chair of Henkel's Sustainability Council.
In 2016, Henkel used recycled plastic in the packaging for around 1.3 billion detergents, household cleaning and beauty care products globally.