Canadian Manufacturing

Recycling the unrecyclable

Henkel Adhesives enlists TerraCycle to launch recycling program for anaerobic adhesive packaging.

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—Sponsored article by Henkel Adhesives

Bringing a new energy to the world of recycling, New Jersey-based TerraCycle is an innovative eco company developing simple programs to tackle the hard-to-recycle.

While paper and pop can recycling solutions have become ubiquitous, there are plenty of materials where no easy answers exist. With many successful consumer-facing programs already in place, TerraCycle is turning its sights towards the industrial sector and partnering with suppliers to divert more challenging waste streams from flowing into landfills.henkel-loctiteLR-group-anaerobic-box

Launching this month, TerraCycle is partnering with Henkel Adhesive Technologies’ general industry division and launching a Zero Waste Box program to collect and recycle the packaging of Henkel’s Loctite anaerobic adhesive products.

Henkel, a $26 billion German-based global organization, has made sustainability a core pillar of the 140-year-old company’s culture. TerraCycle’s involvement with Henkel originated with the company’s North American consumer product goods beauty care division (which includes brands like Dial, Schwarzkopf, and Right Guard). It was Simon Mawson, head of Henkel’s adhesives industrial division in North America, who made a connection to pursue an industrial-focused project.

Visiting the TerraCycle headquarters was eye opening for Mawson. “I’ve never seen anything like it, and when you walk into their headquarters there’s an energy and creativity that I’ve never experienced anywhere else,” he says.

Henkel is the first adhesive manufacturer TerraCycle had worked with. “There were definitely some challenges and interesting conversations to start with,” notes Rhandi Goodman, global vice-president of the Zero Waste box program with TerraCycle.

Henkel’s anaerobic adhesive packaging is not easily recyclable because of the residual glue left inside the package, a substance that could ruin a typical recycling machine. TerraCycle’s team developed a cryogenic process to recycle the empty bottles along with any residual material in a safe way.

According to Mawson, there was a lot of work to be done with legal, regulatory and R&D to ensure the safety of the program and to make sure everything was compliant—right down to making sure the collection containers that will be placed in customer manufacturing facilities are safe to ship and have the proper multi-lingual labeling and the required warnings.

Henkel is rolling out the program in Canada and the U.S. To collect the empty adhesive containers, Loctite-branded Zero Waste Collection boxes are being sold through Henkel adhesives distribution partners. The double-wall corrugate collection boxes come equipped with a pre-paid return-shipping (UPS) label, and they are available in three sizes ranging in price from around $194 to $445.

Requests for the boxes will funnel through TerraCycle, who will fulfill and ship the orders, and then when the boxes are full they will return to TerraCycle for recycling.

According to Mawson, the program aligns with the adhesive group’s mandate to offer its customers a complete solution. “This is just one more differentiator that allows us to bring something unique to our customers,” says Mawson.

“A lot of manufacturing companies have done everything they can in terms of changing light bulbs and making processes more efficient, so facilities are always looking for other ways to improve their footprint. By being able to eliminate a waste stream like this, it’s a very compelling subject for anybody who is running a manufacturing plant.”

As part of TerraCycle’s unique offering, the companies are working together to determine the types of products that will be made from the recycled packaging materials, a finishing touch that will bring the program full circle.

Beyond developing the full-circle recycling program, TerraCycle also assists in marketing the program in order to gain exposure and maximize utilization. As part of the ongoing story, the Loctite Adhesives team is going to be involved in an episode of TerraCycle’s TV show “Human Resources” with appears on the U.S. network Pivot TV.

“This relationship is taking us to places that we would have never thought we would go to as an adhesives company a year ago,” says Mawson, adding that there is a lot of excitement within the company. “I think this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what I think we’re going to be able to do with this partnership.”

Now that they’ve established the anaerobic adhesives program, Henkel is looking to expand to other parts of the adhesives portfolio. TerraCycle has made recycling fun again.

Henkel is a leading solution provider for adhesives, sealants and functional coatings worldwide. We offer a comprehensive portfolio of tailor-made solutions for our customers and of high-quality consumer products. For more information visit: Henkel Canada Corp.
For additional case studies on adhesives and other strategies to boost shop floor efficiency, visit the Productivity Success Centre.

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