The successful and longterm collaboration between Henkel and Plastic Bank has started a new chapter with the opening of the first three plastic waste collection centres in Cairo, Egypt.
Here, waste plastic collectors turn in the waste plastic they collect for which they receive a premium, which helps them provide basic family necessities such as groceries, cooking fuel, school tuition, and health insurance. In this way, Plastic Bank fulfils its vision of avoiding plastic waste in the environment while making a long-term social impact for the local population.
Henkel first teamed up with the social enterprise on a project in Haiti, in 2017. The company extended the partnership with Plastic Bank in 2019 for another five years and expanded its support to include projects in the Philippines and Indonesia and now, Egypt.
Working together, Henkel and Plastic Bank aim to reach a collection capacity of 5,000 tons of plastic waste in 2023. In Egypt alone, Henkel and Plastic Bank aim to create 1,000 jobs over a two-year period which will directly impact over 4,000 Egyptian citizens through the establishment of a long-term recycling infrastructure.
Henkel also does more. The recycled material - called Social Plastic - is returned back to the value chain in the form of, for example consumer goods packaging. The company has already integrated Social Plastic into several of its products. The Beauty Care brand Nature Box was the first cosmetic brand to introduce Social Plastic as a packaging material for its complete bottle portfolio, with all bottle bodies being made of 98 percent Social Plastic. And Henkel’s Laundry & Home Care Pro Nature cleaners have transitioned to PET bottle bodies that are made of 100 percent recycled plastic, of which up to 50 percent is Social Plastic.“Henkel’s commitment to sustainability is deeply anchored in our corporate culture, and an integral element of our strategic agenda for Purposeful Growth. The unique cooperation with Plastic Bank helps us to integrate more recycled plastic into our product’s packaging and contributes to reaching our ambitious targets for a Circular Economy and avoiding plastic waste,” said Carsten Knobel, CEO of Henkel.
To reach those targets, Henkel has, among other things, undertaken to overhaul its packaging solutions throughout the coming four years. By 2025, all packaging will be recyclable or reusable and the proportion of recycled plastic in the packaging of consumer products will rise to 30 percent. The company has already switched to product packaging made from 100 percent recycled plastic for a number of products.
Henkel is also a member of the New Plastics Economy and a founding member of the global Alliance to End Plastic Waste.