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A Cosmetics Packaging Recycling Success Story

Thursday, 04. February 2021

Posted by Mike Horrocks

Cosmetics Packaging Recycling Example

EREMA Technology Enables the First Cosmetic Packaging Made of 100 Percent Recycled Materials. 

Systec Plastics Eisfeld uses the EREMA INTAREMA TVEplus RegrindPro and the ReFresher module to produce Systalen, the brand name for their high-quality recyclates. The raw materials for the process is post-consumer packaging material collected from households in Germany. All foreign substances are filtered out of the raw material and the washed plastic flakes are then melted in the extruder, degassed, microfiltered and specifically processed with additives into Systalen recyclate. WIth underwater granulation, Systec can also produce very fine, easy-to-process plastic granules.

In this case, the cosmetics packaging from recycled plastics is for the Werner & Mertz Frosch Senses shower gel. This bottle is the first 100% recycled HDPE used in cosmetics. 

According to the EC regulation Nr. 1223/2009 on cosmetic products, manufacturers may bring to market only verifiably safe products. For the new packaging, Werner & Mertz had ATC GmbH render a human toxicological expert opinion, which confirmed the safe use of this packaging from a hygienic perspective. “As we put together the report, it became clear to us that the team from Werner & Mertz and The Green Dot had worked continuously on the problems related to the reuse of plastic waste throughout the development process,” said Joachim Haselbach, one of the experts from ATC. “Such a process takes months and years. Team members were in it for the long haul and they persevered.”

The resulting packaging material had to not only meet the technical physical requirements for a high-quality consumer end product such as strength and color but also had to be odorless because the scent of shower gel is important to consumers. 

"The great challenge in developing the production process for these shower gel bottles - apart from attaining the required functional properties - was the washing process, which cleans the material not only of dirt and foreign matter but also of odors. That's why a special method is already applied during washing," says Helftewes. The next stages in processing the washed flakes use EREMA recycling technology. The INTAREMA TVEplus RegrindPro extruder system has been specially designed to process post-consumer material following the addition of the laser filter and ReFresher module. 

Immo Sander, Head of Packaging Development at Werner & Mertz, adds "For us, this shower gel bottle is a further milestone in the implementation of our recyclate initiative, following on from successful projects in the detergent sector". The aim of this initiative is to make recycling materials collected from households usable for the production of new packaging.


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