Apr 24, 2019  Stamford, CT

Henkel commits to driving progress toward a circular economy

Henkel Witnesses Sustainability in Action at Largest Recycling Facility in North America

Henkel Beauty Care employees toured Sims Municipal Recycling facility in Brooklyn, NY to learn about best practices in recycling.

Henkel Beauty Care employees witnessed behind-the-scenes recycling processes first-hand while touring the Sims Municipal Recycling (SMR) facility in Brooklyn, NY, the largest recycling facility in North America. The 11-acre sorting center processes and markets more than 200,000 tons of plastic, glass and metal that New Yorkers put into recycling bins each year. As a business of Sims Metal Management, SMR provides key service for New York City’s curbside recycling program.

Dedicated to the circular economy through sustainable packaging efforts, the team took an in-depth look at the first stage of sorting the trash, material recovery.

“Henkel is working together with partners along the entire value chain to drive progress toward a circular economy,” said Martina Spinatsch, Vice President, R&D Beauty Care North America. “We are focused on reducing packaging material, increasing the use of recycled materials, and improving the recyclability of our packages.”

Representatives from TerraCycle, a partner Henkel is working with to improve the recyclability of its products’ packaging, joined Henkel employees at SMR.

"The average consumer doesn’t get to experience the realities of recycling in their local communities,” said Alicia Forero, TerraCycle Business Development, Brand Partnerships. “Visiting Sims with Henkel was a fantastic opportunity to witness firsthand how a state-of-the-art facility navigates the challenges associated with offering traditional municipal recycling in an ever-changing downstream marketplace, coupled with the complexities of servicing a mega city like New York City.  TerraCycle's growing partnerships with Henkel to recycle the non-recyclable play a vital role in helping to educate not only employees, but consumers broadly around the importance of recycling locally and recycling overall."

In line with Henkel’s long-term sustainability goal of making Henkel products three times as efficient by 2030, Henkel employees learned about recycling technologies and future trends.

“The tour was a great way to grow our foundation and help us continue to build expertise in sustainable package design for Henkel Beauty Care,” said Kurt Nelson, Principal Packaging Engineer. “By understanding constraints at the material recovery facility, we are inspired to continue developing more recyclable packages for the complex waste stream in North America.”

Henkel Beauty Care employees had the opportunity to watch the material recovery process from a bird’s-eye view at the Sims Municipal Recycling facility in Brooklyn, NY.