The amount of plastic waste continues to grow. One solution involves recycling old packaging to produce new packaging. However, many of the shampoo bottles, toothpaste tubes and similar kinds of packaging commonly sold on the market are not yet recyclable. So despite rising consumption, increasing use of resources and the large amounts of waste produced, recyclable plastics – or recyclates – are currently not available in sufficient quantities for producing packaging. In order to remedy the situation, dm-drogerie markt launched Forum Rezyklat in 2018.
Forum Rezyklat sees itself as an agile alliance. More than 60 members – consisting of retailers, product and packaging manufacturers, dual systems, waste disposal and recycling companies and representatives from the science community and the world of politics – cover the entire value chain along the circular economy.
Together, they form links in order to develop practical and consumer-oriented solutions for recyclable packaging. They are also committed to increasing the use of recyclates in packaging. In doing so, they embrace state-of-the-art recycling technology.
Strategies and measures are implemented to raise awareness of the circular economy and ensure that recyclable materials are correctly sorted. As a result, the quality of recycled materials and the recycled content in packaging can be increased. In addition, the forum seeks to optimise packaging and take into account the recyclable aspects of any new packaging during the development process so that it remains within the cycle as a resource.
To this end, Forum Rezyklat has initiated many processes and made progress in recent years. Examples include the labelling of products with a high recycled content. Another success is the inclusion of the recycled content of packaging materials in the GDSN, the global network of certified master data pools. This can now be used to transparently communicate sustainability-related information within the supply networks – an important milestone in the international world of goods in order to proactively contend with regulatory requirements. The focus of the participating companies is on strategically developing Forum Rezyklat and addressing new issues within the framework of further projects.
In order to achieve Forum Rezyklat’s aims, the members work in specialist groups that deal with the following matters:
The aim of this specialist group is to make master data management easier. To this end, a standard, automatically processable data set for sustainability-related packaging information is being created both nationally and internationally. The focus here is on content-based definitions and descriptions, the creation of technical options and the dissemination of information on the master data attributes.
The aim of the companies involved is to present solutions showing how more high-quality recyclates (of differing quality) collected from households can be used in packaging and how the cost of recyclates can be reduced.
Cross-partner communication is designed to raise awareness of the circular economy and recycling among end users. To this end, communication campaigns are created that inform, motivate and involve customers. In 2019, the focus here was on the subject of sorting waste. In 2021, it was all about recycling, in 2020 about waste sorting. Another communication campaign is planned for 2023.
The aim here is to devise joint strategies for reducing packaging and implement appropriate measures. This involves taking stock of the available market solutions and identifying innovative and realisable approaches to at least reducing packaging wherever it cannot be avoided completely.
The aim of the CosPaTox consortium, which emerged from Forum Rezyklat, is to define a new material standard for packaging made from recyclate for detergents, cleaning products and cosmetics.
The Forum Rezyklat members select the steering committee. It includes representatives from retail, the consumer goods industry, packaging manufacturers, packaging material manufacturers, dual systems, recycling companies, sorting facility operators and other companies. Among other things, the committee is responsible for setting the strategic direction, admitting new members, addressing new matters and organising specialist groups.
2018: Health and beauty retailer dm launches Forum Rezyklat in conjunction with partners in the industry
2019: Awarded ‘Sustainability Project 2019’ by the German Council for Sustainable Development; information campaign running for several weeks on the subjects of sorting recyclable waste and reducing waste
2020: Division into the three specialist groups; the forum continues to grow and now has 47 partners after seven new members join
2021: dm-drogeriemarkt hands over the project management to GS1 Germany; ‘For our environment: packaging is turned into packaging’ information campaign