German consumer goods firm Henkel has made EasyD4R packaging recyclability software tool publicly available.

The company developed the EasyD4R tool based on public criteria catalogues such as Plastics Recyclers Europe.

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Companies can now access and use the tool to develop sustainable packaging solutions.

The solution ‘accurately’ tests the recyclability of packaging during the early stages of product development based on its composition and the individual weight proportions of the respective components such as basic materials, closures, labels or colours.

It also tests the identification of materials during sorting and processing during recycling based on suitability information stored for all materials.

Additionally, the tool offers recyclability information of each design as a percentage and the material combinations that can be used to optimise them for recycling in order to support sustainable packaging.

Henkel international homecare products packaging development head Dr Thorsten Leopold said: “We want to promote open collaboration and accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

“This can only succeed if all participants along the value chain cooperate, especially with clear definitions and consistent evaluations. By sharing our assessment tool, we want to contribute to the recyclability of packaging.”

Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT approved the solution by analysing its evaluation capability and results through an independent test and comparing them with national and international standards.