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Henkel invests in German recycling startup Saperatec

Household products and adhesives maker Henkel AG & Co. KGaA said Oct. 16 that it invested in German recycling specialist Saperatec GmbH as part of its sustainability efforts.

The German retailer did not disclose the size of its investment but said the move will help it provide its industrial customers with comprehensive recycling solutions for packaging, especially in the food industry.

Saperatec is based in Bielefeld, Germany and uses chemical-physical processes to separate the individual layers of composite materials like polyethylene, PET and aluminum, which are then sorted and reintroduced into the value chain as high-quality, single-origin materials. The two companies have an existing partnership to develop and improve an array of customized recyclable adhesive solutions, according to the release.

"Our collaboration has led to the development of new high-performance adhesives, which are compatible with Saperatec’s technology," Paolo Bavaj, head of corporate venturing at Henkel Adhesive Technologies, said in a statement. "We will now continue to expand and optimize this product range for flexible packaging in order to provide our broad customer base all along the value chain and especially in the food packaging industry with sustainable and efficient added value."

Henkel is part of a global plastics initiative launched in October 2018 by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in partnership with UN Environment that aims to eliminate plastic waste and switch to sustainable packaging by 2025.