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Clariant, Borealis and partners introduce fully circular cosmetics packaging concept
Source:Adsale Plastics Network    Editor:JK    Date:28.Jun.2022

In a first and unique collaboration for the Personal Care industry, Clariant, Siegwerk, Borealis, and Beiersdorf are combining expertise to tackle the challenge of creating recyclable consumer packaging, based on 100% retrieved plastic packaging waste, for cosmetics applications.


The pioneering initiative, named "Design4Circularity", is providing innovations and insights for the different design aspects to encourage others to also follow design for circularity principles.


The cross-industry collaboration is targeting the achievement of truly circular packaging by incorporating full life cycle thinking in each development step, to create a new standard for the industry.


The mission is 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.


A value chain collaboration between Clariant, Siegwerk, Borealis, and Beiersdorf achieves first circular cosmetics packaging concept.

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


Critical design parameters include polymer and additive composition, material selection of sleeve and bottle, sortability and deinking of sleeve material, recyclability, and PCR quality.

Designed to be recycled again and again

To give packaging waste a second life the packaging material needs to retain its highest value through multiple lifecycles. Here, Borealis has brought its expertise in advanced, transformational mechanical recycling technology by offering high quality PCR based on proprietary Borcycle M technology.


Clariant has shared its 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.


The initiative aims to give packaging waste a second life in personal care applications.

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.


To achieve differentiation of the packaging despite using an uncolored bottle, the collaboration decided on a full body shrink sleeve as the ideal way to allow for the unique design of individual brands.


Siegwerk is 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.


First sorting trials in existing recycling infrastructure proved the sortability of the full body sleeved HDPE bottle, achieving a high recovery of the bottle’s material. Additionally, the project team conducted trials with full body sleeved, transparent PET bottles and achieved similar results.


Further advancements in sorting technology are needed to achieve the ultimate goal of circular economy to give colorless bottles a second life back in colorless applications retaining their highest value. Technologies such as digital watermarking or artificial intelligence could help such sustainability goals to be reached.



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