In Europe alone, converters face the challenge of well over a million euros in valued lost in the form of industrial waste from flexible packaging each year. Hundreds of thousands of tons of this valuable material are discarded annually because the incompatible materials in laminated films cannot be recycled effectively. 

Losing this value will soon be a thing of the past: As a leader in adhesives and coating solutions for packaging and consumer goods, Henkel is committed to the transformation to a circular economy.  Our partnership with German-based recycling specialist Saperatec underscores our pioneering role in supporting sustainable solutions that go beyond adhesives and coatings. The start up’s patented technology offers a solution right where the industry needs it most: in the separation of the incompatible materials in flexible laminates. 

“From keeping food fresh and reducing food waste to ensuring safety of food and anti-counterfeiting for pharmaceutical and medical products, flexible packaging plays a vital role for consumers all around the world. Flexible packaging is literally a lifesaver, but current industrial processes also result in the loss of valuable raw materials as production scrap. As a supplier to this industry, we have the responsibility to develop new solutions to enable our customers to be more sustainable and to regain the value from the scrap they generate.”

– Tilo Quink, Global Head of Henkel’s Packaging Adhesives business



Technology Cooperation – How does it work?

Together with Henkel, Saperatec offers manufacturers an innovative and cost-efficient recycling technology that makes it possible to reintroduce production waste consisting of polyethylene (PE), aluminum and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into the raw-material cycle, also thanks to the right adhesive design.  

“Based on our many years of experience in the flexible packaging industry, we develop laminating adhesives with the highest standards of food safety, performance and efficiency,” says Helga Garmann, Head of Product Development of Flexible Laminates Adhesives in Europe. “Our adhesives for the Saperatec process combine all these properties with an optimized separation behavior.”


Debondable LOCTITE LIOFOL RE adhesives are designed for recycling

A liquid-based process separates the multi-layer laminates from one another without disintegrating them. The individual layers (PE, aluminum and PET) are sorted after the separation process and reintroduced into the value chain as high-quality materials that can be used for a broad variety of industrial applications. An important requirement for this high-quality and highly effective recycling of flexible packaging is the use of optimal adhesives.  

Loctite Liofol RE adhesives make fast cycle times in the Saperatec process and a good quality of the recyclate – including PE, PET and aluminum – possible.

“Henkel’s RE range adhesives have been optimized and validated for our Saperatec recycling technology – resulting in high-quality output of the different recyclates. This is why we recommend using this specific range in the production of flexible laminates that contain aluminum.”

– Sebastian Kernbaum, Founder and CEO of Saperatec

Benefits for flexible packaging converters

Be at the forefront of circular economy and partner with us to create a positive impact that adds value to the flexible packaging industry.

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