We believe it is our duty to consider the sustainability performance of our products throughout their life cycle, starting with the development stage. This also allows us to help our customers to improve the sustainability of their products. To this end, we are in the process of aligning our approaches across our business sectors.
Our approach to sustainable product design
In our Life Science business sector, we work to reduce the adverse impacts of our products on health and the environment. This applies to the entire life cycle, from manufacture and use to end of life. At the same time, we seek to make our products more efficient and user-friendly, asking ourselves from the start of product development how to best reconcile these requirements.
Through our Design for Sustainability (DfS) framework, we follow a comprehensive approach to increasing the sustainability of our Life Science products. The DfS: Development pillar provides our product developers with a systematic approach that enables them to analyze product impacts in terms of materials used, energy and emissions, water, packaging, usability, innovation, and circular economy as well as supplier- and manufacturing-related issues. We have developed sustainability criteria that can be used to rank a product’s performance in each of these areas. When developing a new product, our aim is to improve on as many of these criteria scores as possible.
To understand the potential environmental impacts throughout the product life cycle, we conduct streamlined product life cycle analyses. The findings from these analyses help us to improve our products and are incorporated into subsequent development stages. Experts from Research and Development (R&D), Product Management, Quality, Procurement, and other departments collaborate along every step of the process.
In 2022, we implemented a new version of our DfS: Development pillar within our enterprise product development processes. The new framework introduces data-driven deliverables at each phase of our product development process to ensure we consider sustainability factors in all newly developed products. It also comprises a new scorecard system that helps our development teams address and minimize negative product- and supply chain-related factors and improves our communication of product sustainability credentials to our customers.
In our Healthcare business sector, we aim to reduce any adverse impacts our medicines may have on the environment during their development, manufacture, transportation, use, and disposal. We are developing an overarching strategy to make our medicines, our medical devices and their packaging more ecologically sustainable and user-friendly.
At the same time, we are working on advancing environmental compatibility in different phases of the healthcare value chain. In the area of pharmaceutical development, we have defined an ecotoxicological testing strategy that involves identifying environmental properties of drug candidates early in development. Ideally, we would then be able to use this knowledge to avoid emissions into the air and water.
In 2022, we started to implement the Design for Sustainability framework in our Healthcare R&D approach. We will also establish a governance framework to integrate sustainability and define sustainability criteria for qualitative and quantitative scorecards that can be used to measure sustainability impacts.
Our newly launched Green Biotech program helps to integrate sustainable innovation and state-of-the-art technology into our development processes and products along the clinical manufacturing value chain. This program is aligned with our Healthcare sustainability strategy to drive progress for more than one billion people through sustainable science and technology and is linked to other sustainability projects aimed at helping us achieve climate neutrality by 2040.
In our Electronics business sector, we aim to reduce any potential adverse environmental impacts caused by the manufacture, packaging, transportation, use, and disposal of our products.
We view sustainability as a competitive advantage, and we proactively engage in partnerships with our customers to collectively drive more sustainable value creation.
According to our new principle, highly hazardous materials are to be avoided in our product development process wherever possible. Therefore, we have also prioritized new green and innovative materials that deliver sustainable value to our customers. We are committed to a holistic approach comprising:
- Sourced responsibly: We use our membership in the Responsible Minerals Initiative to support the responsible sourcing of minerals, such as tantalum, tin, tungsten, gold, and cobalt, so that their supply chains make positive contributions to global, social and economic development.
- R&D: In 2022, we developed and launched a scorecard focusing on sustainable criteria in the development of new products and solutions. The scorecard is a tool for fostering a sustainability culture in our R&D by identifying opportunities and risks at early stages and acting accordingly. The tool also makes the R&D team’s contribution to our global sustainability goals more transparent.
- Process development: We started a project to automatically calculate key sustainability performance indicators, such as process mass intensity, solvent and water intensity, as well as an estimate of the carbon footprint to improve the sustainability of chemicals and related manufacturing processes.
- Assessment of the current product portfolio: In 2022, we started to review our current product portfolio in order to understand the current sustainability profile and determine whether greener and equally effective chemistry alternatives are available. A multi-functional team is working to establish a process that puts greater emphasis on the sustainability and green chemistry aspects of our product portfolios. In addition, a Product Sustainability Committee was established in 2022 to oversee the portfolio sustainability assessment process and results.
- Contributing to the sustainability goals of our customers: We seek to establish partnerships with our customers to optimally understand how our products and activities can contribute to their sustainability goals. In 2022, we established a partnership with one of our customers to develop and eventually produce gas solutions with a low global warming potential; these are currently in a practical testing phase.
Our approaches to sustainable packaging
We work to deliver our products in packaging that is safe and easy for customers to handle, while also working to improve the sustainability characteristics of our material choices.
With more than 300,000 products in our Life Science portfolio – ranging from antibodies and lab chemicals to filtration materials, systems and instruments – we face a variety of packaging challenges. We work to improve the sustainability characteristics of this packaging to reduce its environmental impact. Our SMASH Packaging strategy for Life Science is built upon three pillars: optimizing resources, using more sustainable materials and designing for a circular economy. We have set four goals that support these pillars:
- Shrink: reduce the amount of packaging
- Secure: achieve zero deforestation
- Switch: improve plastic sustainability characteristics
- Save: maximize recycling
In our efforts to achieve our 2022 targets, we also worked to define the future priorities and goals for our SMASH Packaging strategy as we want to continue to improve the sustainability characteristics of our new product packaging as well as our existing product and distribution packaging. New product packaging is where we can achieve the greatest impact. Our approach consists of implementing new standards and guidelines that development teams can apply to create more sustainable packaging. Going forward, we will assess the sustainability characteristics of new product packaging based on our upgraded Design for Sustainability scorecard.
In 2022, our Healthcare business sector launched a sustainable packaging initiative called MPact, which pursues the same four pillars as the Life Science SMASH program: Shrink, Secure, Switch, and Save. This initiative investigates product packaging solutions to reduce the overall environmental impact.
We are in the process of aligning the goals of all three pillars. Meanwhile, we are continuing to implementing various initiatives to reduce our product packaging, switch to more sustainable materials and promote recycling and circularity. We also intend to adjust packaging requirements for intermediate materials where feasible.
Our process for introducing new packaging includes a safety review that evaluates package specifications and sizes, shipment frequency, route, carriers, emergency response capabilities, and elements of safety in the supply chain. All product containers undergo a review for chemical compatibility, purity, leak-tightness, and regulatory compliance. The presence of specific hazards and specific container sizes can necessitate a more detailed risk assessment. Furthermore, in our specialty gas and thin films businesses, for example, we focus on product packaging that performs well in terms of transportation and handling safety.
Roles and responsibilities
The Life Science business sector works across its business units to drive holistic sustainability of operations, products and culture. Our structure helps us to implement an ambitious and coordinated sustainability strategy to formalize our processes, governance and goals – helping to embed the strategy into our business and becoming a sustainability multiplier for our customers.
Our sustainability governance structures are as follows:
The Sustainability and Social Business Innovation team within Life Science drives the setting of KPI and targets as well as the planning and execution of our strategy as well as monitoring and reporting activities.
Our Healthcare business sector has integrated sustainability across its R&D and operating units. The implementation of its sustainability strategy is steered by the Healthcare Executive Committee. Any decisions made regarding sustainability objectives are cascaded to the corresponding units, which are responsible for implementing measures to achieve these objectives.
We have implemented a process to structure the sustainability governance of our Electronics business sector. This structure helps us to implement a coordinated sustainability strategy across the business units, manage goals and processes, strengthen our customer relations, and ensure overall accountability within our ESG approaches.
Our sustainability governance structures are as follows: In 2022, a new organizational structure within Electronics was introduced to ensure that our sustainability strategy is implemented across all business units. The Electronics Sustainability Council acts as a cross-functional executive committee that oversees and signs off on relevant initiatives within Electronics sustainability programs. In addition, a dedicated team coordinates business-related sustainability activities.
In 2022, we assessed the core responsibilities and defined key activities to improve the structure of our sustainability commitments. New responsibilities include a monitoring role as well as driving initiatives that contribute to the scope and targets of our sustainability strategy. Furthermore, dedicated working groups within the business units are responsible for developing individual targets for their business units and implementing corresponding projects.
Our commitment: Chemicals and product policies
In order to meet the product safety regulations relevant to our company, our Regulatory Affairs Group Policy details Group-wide processes for managing and implementing product safety, including the necessary management structures.
Within our Life Science business sector, our strategic platform is founded on a data-driven approach to help our experts drive sustainability improvement during the development of products and packaging. Our Design for Sustainability (DfS) framework is a comprehensive approach aimed at increasing the sustainability of our products, focusing on three areas:
Our DfS: Development pillar focuses on embedding sustainability at the beginning of the R&D process.
Our DfS: Consulting pillar focuses on working with our customers to solve specific sustainability and/or Green Chemistry challenges they face.
Our DfS: Re-Engineering pillar focuses on our established portfolio of products and evaluating how we can quantify and improve the environmental footprint of these products by applying the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry in our process.
As of December 2022, about 1,860 greener alternative products had been made available on our platform.
Within our Healthcare business sector, chemical product safety is a key sustainability aspect when developing, producing and distributing products. We strive to comply with all relevant legal requirements regarding chemicals regulations, hazard communication and local and regional chemical registration activities.
Our Group-wide policy also incorporates legal norms concerning the transport of hazardous chemicals, biocides, cosmetic ingredients, and products used in food and animal feed. Our Group Label Standard provides a consistent framework for labeling products according to GHS requirements.
More information can be found under Chemical product safety.
Product safety is one of our highest priorities. Starting at the development stage, we investigate the potential adverse impacts chemical substances may have. We intend to meet all statutory requirements along the entire value chain for our chemicals, with our Regulatory Affairs organization ensuring regulatory compliance.
Within our Surface Solutions business unit, we aim to meet the strict standards of the EU Cosmetics Regulation for all our raw materials intended for the cosmetics industry. In addition, these raw materials should be produced in line with Good Manufacturing Practices for Cosmetic Ingredients (EFfCI GMP).
Adhering to the Convention on Biological Diversity
We support the general principles laid out in the Convention on Biological Diversity, especially the third objective: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources and traditional knowledge in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Nagoya Protocol. This is an international supplementary agreement to the CBD. A key element of this principle is access and benefit-sharing, which ensures that countries providing genetic resources and traditional knowledge also benefit from their use.
We apply a Group-wide standard entitled “Access to Genetic Resources”, the objective of which is to define requirements, roles and responsibilities to ensure compliance with the Nagoya Protocol, even in countries that are not party to the Protocol. In addition, each business sector defines specific procedures to help ensure they meet the requirements of our Group-wide standard.
We have established an internal exchange across our business sectors for aligning and sharing information on initiatives related to access and benefit sharing. In 2022, we successfully filed a due diligence declaration for two product developments with a genetic resource to the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz, BfN) in accordance with current EU regulations. This achievement was also mentioned in the BfN’s “Newsletter zum Nagoya-Protokoll” in February 2022.
Wide range of solutions
Life Science: Green chemistry assessment tool
Our proprietary, web-based tool, DOZN™, enables us to evaluate various products and/or processes to identify opportunities for sustainability improvements and provide transparency to our customers. DOZN™ industrializes the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry, a previously theoretical framework, and rates products in three stewardship categories of “Improved resource use”, “Increased energy efficiency”, and “Reduced human and environmental hazards”. DOZN™ 2.0 is the tool’s external interface, allowing our customers and other scientists to make more ecologically sustainable choices in their development processes. In 2022, we counted approximately 1,500 users of DOZN™ from 60 countries.
In 2022, we worked to establish new partnerships with universities in the United Kingdom and Germany in addition to our existing partnerships with universities in Canada, France, India, Switzerland, and the United States. These partnerships apply the DOZN™ tool in both virtual and in-lab chemistry curricula. Using DOZN™ in an academic setting yields many benefits. Firstly, it increases the overall accessibility and tangibility of Green Chemistry and its principles. Secondly, it provides a practical opportunity to calculate scores for chemical products and processes and reinforces learning while highlighting the importance of sustainability to future scientists.
Life Science: Greener solvents
Switching to bio-based solvents, such as our alternative, more environmentally compatible solvent Cyrene™, helps our customers reduce their carbon footprint. We are a member of the EU Horizon 2020 project, ReSolute, which started the construction of a new Cyrene™ production facility in 2021. Located in France, the site is scheduled to open in the second half of 2023 and will produce 1,000 metric tons of Cyrene per year to help us meet the growing demand for greener solvents.
In 2022, we also launched Cyrene™ blends, a greener solvent system that extends applications for organic synthesis. We published our results in The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Green Chemistry journal.
In 2022, we worked to expand our selection of bio-based laboratory chemicals included in the BioPreferred® program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program. These chemicals are certified by the USDA to be derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine and forestry materials and provide an alternative to conventional petroleum-derived products. These chemicals include sustainable solvents such as bio-renewable acetone.
Life Science: Sustainable laboratory water use
Our most recent Milli-Q® IQ and IX series ultrapure and pure water purification systems use innovative, mercury-free UV oxidation and/or bactericidal lamps. Their optimized components, processes and hibernation modes reduce electricity consumption by 18% to 41% compared with previous systems while preserving system water quality. The systems also reduce water consumption by between 2% and 13%.
Life Science: Less plastic in cell culture creation
Our greener alternative to our Stericup® sterile filtration system, the Stericup® E, allows our customers to connect the bottle containing the sample being filtered directly to the Stericup® E filtration unit, thus avoiding the use of a plastic funnel. Depending on the product version, the Stericup® E can reduce the amount of plastic used by up to 48% and the volume and weight of packaging by up to 69%. The unit of sale is then lighter and smaller, which leads to a reduction of CO2 emissions during transportation. It also takes less space to store the product at our distribution centers or at customers’ facilities, while further reducing the volume and cost of waste disposal (including biohazardous waste) for our customers. Taking the entire life cycle into consideration, this approach can reduce the global warming potential of the sterile filtration unit by up to 46%. Across all product versions since their launch, we have prevented 3,2 metric tons of plastic and corrugated cardboard from entering our customers’ laboratories across all product versions.
Life Science: Expanding product recycling
We have continued expanding the biopharma recycling program that we kicked off in 2015, in which single-use plastic product waste is collected from biopharmaceutical manufacturing operations and recycled into plastic lumber. This material can be used in many industries, such as landscaping, transportation and marine construction. The program now serves 23 major biopharma manufacturing customers. Since its launch in 2015, it has recycled more than 8,700 metric tons of plastic waste.
This program continues to expand throughout the United States as we simultaneously explore new options and recycling technologies in other regions, such as Europe and Asia. By assessing advanced recycling technologies and collaborating across multiple industries, we will develop innovative circular economy programs.
Electronics: Sustainable product design
In 2021, we started to systematically incorporate sustainability into our portfolio management process. In 2022, for example, one project defined and incorporated sustainability criteria focusing on product design into the product development process. This initiative enables us to understand the sustainability impact of our new products across the entire value chain and create improvements early in the R&D phase. In addition, we perform sustainability assessments for every R&D program within Electronics, giving us a baseline to create a more sustainable product portfolio and sustainable innovations for our customers.
Electronics: Colloidal silica
Over the past decade, our semiconductor materials customers have increased their efforts to use more environmentally sustainable materials in their chip manufacturing and improve the performance of their computer chips while lowering costs. We have responded to this challenge in 2017 by developing next-generation colloidal silica products using at least 30% less colloidal silica. This advancement reduces the volume of product needed, which in turn shrinks our environmental footprint. Customer feedback on the products is promising. Together, we are working to improve production efficiencies and reduce the use of colloidal silica even further.
Electronics: NMP-free removers
The production process for semiconductor devices requires numerous cleaning steps to remove the photoresists used to pattern the circuit design. These cleaning methods require complex solvent chemistries that selectively remove these photoresists without damaging the sensitive electronic components.
However, the most effective solvents pose a significant environmental hazard. For example, NMP, a mainstream solvent common in wafer cleaning processes, is highly toxic and is classified as an SVHC (Substance of Very High Concern) under the European Union’s REACH regulation. Therefore, we are continuously working to develop new cleaning chemistries. In 2022, we began launching a series of green cleaning solvents that are TMAH- and DMSO-free while still being effective in removing thick photoresist (both liquid and dry) film, for example AZ® Remover 910 and Dynastrip 5008, Dynastrip 8889, and Dynastrip 8070T.
Electronics: PFAS replacement program
PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) have unique chemical properties and are widely used in our daily lives. However, there is strong evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans. Therefore, over the last decade, international regulations have started focusing on PFAS as chemicals of concern. They have become known as “forever chemicals” due to their extremely long lifespans.
Chemical products containing PFAS are essential in today’s electronics manufacturing processes. Therefore, PFAS pose a serious dilemma for the electronics industry as emerging global regulations trend towards restricting the use of PFAS in the future.
We are committed to intensifying our R&D efforts to actively drive a PFAS-related substance replacement program. As a trusted partner in the electronics industry, we are working closely with our customers and providing information throughout this process.
Electronics: Dynamic liquid crystal glazing
Liquid crystal dynamic window glazing adjusts its tint level within seconds according to the weather conditions. The self-darkening glazing effectively regulates glare and solar heat gain without blocking the view. As a result, it increases the occupants’ visual and thermal comfort while simultaneously lowering air conditioning and lighting energy consumption by up to 10% compared with conventional shading. We offer these products under the eyrise® brand. Many real estate investors regard eyrise® as an important building feature for delivering on their ESG targets. One company installed 3,000 m2 of our product in its new flagship building in Zurich, Switzerland.
Electronics: Shifting to more natural cosmetic ingredients
We are working closely with our partners in the cosmetics industry to find solutions for more naturally based cosmetic ingredients. The resulting cosmetic formulations comply with strict criteria. At the end of 2022, 84 of our cosmetic pigments and active ingredients had been confirmed as being compliant with Ecocert’s COSMOS standard for organic and natural cosmetics. We have also obtained halal certificates for all our cosmetic ingredients.
Electronics: Vegan cosmetic products
A growing number of consumers view the use of non-animal and non-animal derived ingredients, i.e. vegan and plant-based raw materials, as a critical product attribute. Therefore, the majority of our cosmetic raw materials, including our special effect pigments and functional fillers, contain no components of animal origin, by-products or derivatives and are thus suitable for vegan cosmetics.
Making product packaging more sustainable: Life Science
Within the scope of our SMASH Packaging sustainable packaging strategy, we are pursuing a number of projects for the Life Science business sector:
How product design affects packaging: ZooMAb®
Most traditional antibody products need to be shipped at temperatures between 2 °C and 8 °C, using specific insulated shipping containers with wet ice bricks. This results in high packaging material consumption and transport emissions. Our ZooMAb® antibodies were developed as a freeze-dried product, giving them improved storage stability and allowing them to be shipped at ambient temperatures. This makes it possible to eliminate the use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) coolers and ice bricks, resulting in significant packaging weight reductions for product shipments. In 2022, it allowed us to avoid the emissions of around 12 metric tons of CO2eq.
Shrink: How we minimize the amount of packaging
We seek eco-friendly alternatives for shipping our products safely, which is why we partnered with a biotech company a few years ago and jointly developed a more sustainable bulk packaging design for transporting our Millistak+® Pod Disposable Depth Filters. We also expanded this approach to a subset of our Durapore® and Millipore Express® filter cartridges. These products are dedicated to high-volume clients and deliver both environmental and economic benefits to our customers compared with traditional individual or multipack packaging.
For example, changing from a three-pack to the new bulk packaging for our ten-inch filter cartridges reduces the amount of corrugated cardboard required by 55%. This corresponds to a 49% decrease in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout the life cycle of these packaging materials. In addition, our customers spend approximately 50% less time unpacking, reducing labor costs. In 2022, these bulk packaging solutions allowed us to save around 19 metric tons of corrugated cardboard and we continued working on developing similar solutions for additional products.
Shrink: Packaging for Smalls
In 2022, we developed and implemented new packaging solutions that significantly reduced the air space and material consumption associated with the shipment of small products from some of our U.S. and European distribution centers. Through these measures, we will be able to achieve around 50% air space reduction for 1,150+ shipments daily, leading to a reduction of 65 metric tons of packaging materials annually.
Secure: How we are moving towards zero deforestation
A large proportion of our packaging consists of fiber derived from wood. As part of our SMASH Packaging strategy, we have set ourselves the objective of ensuring that none of our wood or fiber-based packaging materials contribute to deforestation.
We assess the practices of our suppliers and the characteristics of our packaging annually in order to measure our progress towards our zero deforestation ambitions. This also enables us to identify opportunities to increase the volume of recycled material and the percentage of packaging we use with sustainable forestry certifications, which are awarded in line with sustainability standards developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).
Switch: How we substitute plastics
In the past, we used insulated containers made of expanded polystyrene (EPS) for the shipment of our chemicals in glass bottles and our temperature-controlled products. While EPS offers good insulation and cushioning properties, it is a petroleum-based material that takes hundreds of years to decompose. As the options for recycling EPS are limited, it is generally incinerated or sent to landfill.
Wherever possible, we are replacing EPS with molded components made of cellulose and recycled paper pulp. Our molded pulp components can be easily recycled with other paper materials and compacted together for storage and transport. We use molded pulp inserts to pack a variety of liter bottle configurations in shipping boxes, thereby replacing around three million EPS parts per year.
In 2022, we completed the validation and pilot implementation of our new greener coolers at one of our U.S. distribution centers to replace EPS in our cold-chain shipment. The greener cooler is made from renewable resources and is certified recyclable with corrugated materials. We will roll out these greener coolers at our major U.S. distribution centers in early 2023 for wet ice shipments. At the same time, we continued investigating solutions to expand the use of greener coolers for dry ice shipments. We also initiated a project to develop a greener cooler solution that meets the requirements of our European market.
Aqueous solutions are usually supplied in plastic bottles. We use Titripac® because it offers an ecologically sustainable alternative. The cardboard carton and plastic liner with an integrated withdrawal tap have made the packaging lighter and more recyclable. Since the withdrawal tap protects the product against contamination, customers can now use the entire contents and reduce chemical waste. In 2022, our products sold in Titripac® 10L packaging configurations avoided non-renewable packaging materials by 14 metric tons, resulting in a reduction of 66 metric tons of CO2eq emissions across the life cycle of the packaging compared with 1L plastic bottles.
Save: Reusing wooden pallets
At our site in Darmstadt, Germany, we implemented a new process for reusing wooden pallets employed in the delivery of raw materials. Instead of recycling the pallets after one use, we now reuse them for an expected average of three cycles until they show signs of damage. This initiative eliminates around 1,000 metric tons of wood pallets sourced annually, leading to a reduction of about 330 metric tons of CO2eq.
Making product packaging more sustainable: Healthcare
We launched our MPact sustainable packaging initiative in 2022. Our solutions will ensure the safe and secure delivery of products to our customers while decreasing the environmental footprint of our packaging.
Slim packaging solutions
Our new packaging for Pergoveris®, Gonal-f® and Ovidrel® fertility pens is decreasing the adverse impact on sustainability by reducing the pack size by 40% and eliminating plastic pollution by replacing plastic inserts with paper-based materials.
It is estimated that the new pack will also reduce our carbon emissions in the supply chain, as it requires less cold storage space, thereby allowing more products to be transported in each shipment.
Making product packaging more sustainable: Electronics
Our Electronics business sector uses a variety of packaging types, each tailored to the specific needs of the individual business fields and with its own unique sustainability characteristics.
In 2022, we launched a new packaging solution for cosmetics and skincare products in collaboration with five other companies. This packaging consists of new lightweight tubes that require 37% less material. It is produced with mono-materials for easy recycling and is designed for easy waste separation. We provide Colorstream® effect pigments for packaging, Iriotec® laser-sensitive pigments for durable laser marking and Ronastar® pigments that veil shower gel in liquid shimmer.
The packaging for our specialty gas, thin films and some patterning products – manufactured in semiconductor technology – is designed to be reused. Our reusable packaging types include various sizes of cylinders and tube trailers for bulk specialty gases, smaller stainless steel and quartz containers for thin films and totes and drums made of high-density polyethylene for patterning.
Once our customers have used the product within the container, the used containers are returned to our production facility for cleaning, refurbishment and refilling. This cycle greatly reduces the number of containers to be disposed of. It reduces the demand for construction of new containers and the associated resource requirements, thus moving us closer to a circular economy.
For large quantities of products in our patterning and planarization business, we use totes for packaging. Totes are typically made of high-density polyethylene. One of our main tote suppliers has a recycling program in place that our customers can also use. Each tote from this supplier has a return ticket attached to it and the supplier picks up the used tote so that its parts can be reused or recycled.
Redesign packaging labeling approach
Plastic packaging generates almost half of the world’s plastic waste. With Iriotec® 8000 pigments, we enable inkless printing with contact-free and durable laser marking technology, making it possible to label plastics, which in turn, can be traced and recycled more easily afterwards, thus restoring value to the used plastic packaging.
The laser marking provides a unique identifier and, as a digital product passport, serves as the link between the product and the database. It can replace ink and labels, thus further increasing recyclability. Laser marking is a unique, sustainable, reliable, durable, and economic way to achieve an individual mark for any plastic product and can be used for plastic packaging, automotive components, cables, and electronic devices.