Eco-Friendly Packaging For Adhesives & Sealants
Adhesives & sealants are used to make almost everything. They’re the binding forces that allow things to become much more than just a collection of parts. They are great enablers for building a sustainable future. But each year in the UK construction and DIY sector alone, packaging from millions of waste single use plastic cartridges ends up in landfill.
Waste Sealants & Adhesives
Common plastic containers for sealants & adhesives are made from durable, high-density polyethylene (HDPE). But they don’t biodegrade. They are resistant to natural biodegradation processes. Because microbes that break down other substances simply don’t recognise plastic as food!
It is possible to recycle HDPE. But this process relies on a number of factors. Most important of which is that waste must be disposed of properly. Unfortunately, the majority of sealant and adhesive users fail at the first hurdle because it’s simply far too easy for their waste to become consolidated with everything else.
Difficult To Recycle
On the occasions when HDPE cartridges are disposed of using the correct waste channel, before a plastic recycling process can begin, it must be completely cleaned of all contaminants. At this is stage what’s left inside the tube is important. Most cleaning processes use a float-sink tank system. By floating HDPE in water these tanks separate polymers and remove contaminants. But to work they rely on the normal density of HDPE being .94-.96. Unfortunately HDPE thats been used with sealants & adhesives more often than not is still heavily contaminated with stubborn product. This prevents this cleaning process from working.
Single Use Plastic Waste
As a result, most of the time using plastic cartridges will leave behind a lot of permanent waste. The enormity of our plastic waste plastic problem is already well publicised but more must be and can always be done to tackle it. The UK government announced during the 2018 budget that it would introduce:
“A world leading new tax on produced or imported plastic packaging”
Subject to consultation, they announced the tax will apply to all plastic packaging that doesn’t include at least 30% recycled content. Future revenues from the tax will also be invested back into managing waste plastic.
This is largely welcomed but the question still looms. Should the government be doing more? Because I’m left wondering will a “30% recycled” caveat merely negate any financial need to drive product packaging changes?
I suspect this new tax alone won’t be be enough. Something needs to force Europe’s big sealant & adhesive manufacturers to revamp their products in to new, more environmentally friendly packaging.
Hippo ECO-PAC Adhesives & Sealants
For adhesives & sealants foil sausages have surprisingly been a credible packaging alternative for decades. But in the UK and Western Europe we’ve so far seen no desire from the dominant manufactures to drive these eco-friendlier form factors to market.
It seems that the barrier for the vast majority of big brand manufacturers has been their existing production infrastructure. They’re currently chained to plastic and this has changed very little over the years. Given this situation it’s no surprise that there’s been a general lack of enthusiasm and investment from them towards educating and incentivising consumers to use plastic alternatives. For things to improve the way consumers shop for and dispense their sealant & adhesive products needs to change.
The time to get sausages on the shelves of merchants and retailers is now. Tradesmen and DIYers deserve a credible alternative to the sea of plastic that they’re currently presented with.
PRO3 Adhesive, Sealant & Filler
I’ve been working with Hippo to bring these well overdue changes to the adhesives & sealants market. Starting with the new PRO3 Adhesive, Sealant & Filler ECO-PAC which is launching in builders and decorators merchants.
Hippo ECO-PACs Contain Less Than 1% Plastic
ECO-PACs are strong, durable sausages that are easy to use and contain less than 1% plastic.
Sausages Are Better For The Environment!
Sausages are much better for the environment because they quite simply take up less physical space on their way into the supply chain and again once they’ve been used.
A plastic cartridge occupies exactly the same amount of space before being filled with product as it does all the way through to dispensing that same product and becoming waste material. Meanwhile up to a quarter of a million Hippo ECO-PACs can arrive at production on just a single foil roll. This makes them far more efficient on their way into production resulting in lower carbon emissions.
A used ECO-PAC occupies 96% less space than an old plastic cartridge.
Some of this projects biggest challenges have been around the need to communicate ECO-PACs wider benefits. To achieve this a strong merchandising package has been created. The package delivers strong on shelf visual impact and offers shoppers incentives to switch over from plastic cartridges.
The Grab Your Sausage Campaign
Grab Your Sausage is targeted at professional trade users who are already buying adhesives & sealants. It’s been designed to catch their attention in a cheeky way, one that first appeals to a sense of humour.
Using a combination of core Hippo blue and a shade of green. The colours evoke a feeling of change towards something more eco friendly. Each campaign element coordinates to bring shoppers on a journey to the point of purchase.
Purpose Built Display
Merchants can greet shoppers with a new purpose built fixture. It includes a TV to show shoppers exactly what PRO3 and ECO-PAC are all about.
Shoppers are also presented with a financial decision. Both packaging options are merchandised comparably side by side to help them choose. Would they prefer to try the new 400ml ECO-PAC. Or do they want the old format, which only contains 290ml of product. Both pack types are offered at exactly the same retail price.
400ml of product in an ECO-PAC for the same price as 290ml packaged in the old format.
Success depends on professional users becoming accustomed to working with this new type of packaging. The Grab Your Sausage campaign is intended to bring that change. It communicates day to day operational advantages alongside easy to understand financial inducements.
With the right level of support from merchants. DIY and construction will benefit from long overdue changes to the sealant & adhesive market. The kind of practical changes that bring environmental positives. Changes that I’m sure you agree, we desperately need.