Mainz/Nuremberg. Gold for Werner & Mertz! Under the aegis of the FachPack trade fair in Nuremberg, Werner & Mertz were awarded the German Packaging Prize in the “Sustainability” category. By producing the world’s first plastic bottles 100 % from HDPE recyclate sourced from the “Yellow Sack”, the Mainz-based family firm impressed the high-profile jury all along the line, and was additionally awarded the Packaging Prize in Gold.
“With the Packaging Prize in Gold, the jury has for the first time awarded additional accolades for three of the victorious innovations. These are solutions that in the jury’s eyes merit special recognition, because, for example, they are setting distinctive trends, finding important answers, or are pioneering an entirely new approach,” explains Bettina Horenburg, a dvi Director with overall responsibility for the German Packaging Prize.
Reinhard Schneider, Managing Partner of Werner & Mertz and the initiator of the recyclate initiative, and Immo Sander, Head of Packaging Development at Werner & Mertz, together with Dr. Michael Heyde of Der Grüne Punkt, accepted the prize. The jury of the German Packaging Prize praised the pioneering achievement in the quest for authentically closed cycles, economical use of finite resources to create a package well-nigh identical to comparable bottles made of new material. They also praised the retention of the original appearance and quality of the bottles without any compromises in terms of product safety.
“We are delighted that our most recent pioneering achievement has been acknowledged with the German Packaging Prize. With our latest development of PE packages made of post-consumer recyclate sourced from the Yellow Sack, we are showing what true recyclability looks like,” explains Reinhard Schneider who was accepting the Packaging Prize on behalf of his company for what was already the second time. Immo Sander, Head of Packaging Development at Werner & Mertz, is equally gratified by the success of this shared accomplishment: “We are delighted that we’ve been able to expand our know-how platform with the HDPE recyclate bottle. In future, we shall be using our extensive network to continue, to develop and implement further sustainability-driven inventions.
”Dr. Michael Heyde from “Der Grüne Punkt” adds: “The project sets new standards for the future of the closed-cycle economy, since it shows what we can nowadays achieve in terms of recycling post-consumer packages. Pioneers like Werner & Mertz are here enabling further major advances to be made. The Packaging Prize in Gold is a wonderfully encouraging accolade in this innovative thrust.
”In conjunction with the bottle manufacturer Alpla-Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH & Co KG and Der Grüne Punkt, Werner & Mertz has developed innovative bottles for cleaning agents, consisting 100 percent of recycled plastic sourced from the “Yellow Sack”. What’s special about them is that hitherto there had been no qualities for translucent and white material from the Yellow Sack. Conventional PE recyclate qualities do not meet these preconditions. The goal was to develop a maximally translucent material for the packaging, so as to render the product’s fill level visible for the private consumer. An optimized washing process and an additional decontamination step integrated into the process are further important development steps in the production of high-quality PE packages made of recyclate. By developing these, the recyclate initiative has achieved its declared goal of eliminating coloration of packages in favor of genuine recyclability.
Currently, at Werner & Mertz GmbH’s plant in Mainz, for the first time in the world, the bottles for emsal Parquet Cleaner and green care PROFESSIONAL TANET SR 15 are being produced from 100 % PE recyclate sourced from the “Yellow Sack”. In the long run, Werner & Mertz will be able to produce all the brands’ PE packages using the new quality of recycled plastic from the Yellow Sack.