Meeting of Pioneers Generates New Ideas for Circular Economy

Werner_Mertz_cradle_to_cradle_Recyclate_Initiative

Werner & Mertz participated at the Cradle to Cradle® Expert Talks in Vienna about "closing the loop". Latest achievements and developments of the Recyclate Initative, a pioneering initative for packaging recyclability, were presented by Frank Vancraeyveld, CEO of tana-Chemie, and Immo Sander, Head of Packaging Development at Werner & Mertz. Furthermore the Material Health Certification in GOLD was credited to the new printing inks which Siegwerk Druckfarben worked out together with Werner & Mertz.

Experts and pioneers in the circular economy met for the fifth time at the Cradle to Cradle® Expert Talks. Approximately 100 politicians and persons representing sustainable companies from different industries and trades met in Vienna to speak about the “Transformation of Industry and the Economy” with the emergence of the circular economy.

The managing directors of well-known companies and political representatives made up the panel for the “Discussion of Pioneers”. Reinhard Schneider, CEO of Werner & Mertz GmbH and the initiator of the Recyclate Initiative, reported on the pioneering accomplishments of the Recyclate Initiative and explained how close cooperation has led to breakthroughs in the development of high-quality plastic recycling.

"For a long time we have been dealing with the question of how to make a sustainable way of life feasible for most people," said Schneider. "Resolving the apparent contradiction between ecology and the effectiveness of cleaning products is our main concern. In concrete terms, we want to be one development generation ahead of ecological benchmarks in all essential elements of our products, that is, in formulas, packaging and production. With our newest development in PE packaging from post-consumer recyclates, we show what genuine recyclability looks like. We are creating real solutions where other companies claim to have visions or simply make promises. SMEs have the opportunity to take on a pioneering role here."

During the final panel discussion entitled “Closing the Loop”, attendees heard from politicians and the development departments of participating companies, including representatives from Werner & Mertz who presented the newest developments achieved by the Recyclate Initiative. Frank Vancraeyveld, CEO of tana-Chemie, and Immo Sander, Head of Packaging Development at Werner & Mertz, spoke about the development of packaging and liquid cleaners in accordance with the Cradle to Cradle™ principle. “Developers working toward better recyclability see how difficult it is to find solutions,” Vancraeyveld said. “Credibility plays a major role. What matters here is doing the right things right.” He also spoke about the need for infrastructure and recycling systems and appealed to communities to come up with some answers. Their contribution is essential, he said, if progress is to be made in development.

Material Health GOLD Certificate for Development of Sustainable Printing Inks

During the talks the president of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and the accredited examiner from EPEA Switzerland presented the Material Health Certification (MHC) in GOLD to the Siegwerk Druckfarben AG & Co. KGaA and Werner & Mertz. Together they worked with the EPEA Switzerland on the development of printing inks which are now used on Werner & Mertz products. This breakthrough in the development of sustainable printing inks is another step toward complete recyclability.

Since 2011 sustainability pioneers from trade and industry and politicians have met to share knowledge and to network at Expert Talks organized by EPEA Switzerland. As participation is limited to 100, there’s always and lively and intense exchange of know-how and ideas. The results are an important signal from Europe to the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, the parent organization in California.

Pioneers in the circular economy met for the fifth Cradle to Cradle™ Expert talks. (from left): Lewis Perkins, President Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute; CEO Albin Kaelin, EPEA Switzerland; Dr. Jörg Peter Langhammer, Vice President Global HSE + Sustainability, Siegwerk Druckfarben; CEO Reinhard Schneider and Immo Sander, Head of Packaging Development, Werner & Mertz; and Dr. Thomas Boucoiran, Senior Project Manager Brand Owner Business, Siegwerk Druckfarben.

Photo: EPEA Switzerland / Österreichischer Gewerbeverein / Martin Pabis

Frank Vancraeyveld, CEO of tana-Chemie, sees the need for infrastructure and recycling systems and appeals communities to contribute.