Germany-based chemical company Henkel and American-Canadian labelling company CCL have been awarded the AWA (Alexander Watson Associates) Sleeve Label Award in the category “Environmental Contribution” for their sustainable design of Henkel’s Vernel fabric softener bottle.
The products features CCL’s floatable polyolefin material for shrink sleeves, called EcoFloat. The low-density material can be separated from PET bottle components during the sink-float separation process at recycling facilities, improving their recyclability. While the heavier bottle material sinks to the bottom of the water baths, the lightweight sleeve material floats to the top. This result is achieved even with full printed designed, according to the company, enabling a clean separation of the PET and the label material and thereby a high-quality PET recyclate.
“The bottle body of our fabric softeners in Europe already consists of 100% recycled PET,” said Abdullah Mahmood Khan, head of global R&D packaging for fabric enhancers at Henkel. “Using the new sleeve material, they are now also designed for recycling. Many consumers don’t remove the sleeve before discarding the bottle, which mostly means that the bottle cannot be recycled either. We have now found a solution to enable the recycling of our bottle bodies in this case.”
The AWA award recognises the industry’s outstanding achievements in stretch-and shrink-sleeve labelling and product decoration. Judged by an international panel of industry experts over the past nine years, the awards are open to printers/converters and end-users/brand owners across three categories: heat shrink TD sleeves, environmental contribution, and TD shrink sleeve honourable mention.
Henkel is using the award-winning sleeves in about half of its fabric softener product portfolio in Europe. The company aims to have 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025 and has pledged to reduce fossil-based virgin plastics by 50% in its consumer goods packaging.