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Earth Day 2024

Driving Innovation Against Plastic Waste: Solenis’ Commitment to Innovative Packaging Solutions

By: Dr. Daniel Daggett | April 18, 2024 | Reading time: 4 minutes

The theme for Earth Day 2024 is "Planet vs. Plastics", highlighting the pervasive issue of plastic waste and the environmental impact of plastics. I’m proud to say that as a company we’ve helped transform the way our industry uses plastic in packaging with innovative and sustainable packaging solutions that have had a significant positive impact. Super-concentrated products, dilution control that eliminates product overuse, packaging efficiency, recycled content, and improved recyclability have all contributed to huge reductions in plastic packaging. Earth Day is an opportunity for us to briefly reflect on this, but more importantly, to emphasize our commitment to continued improvements through further packaging innovations. 

Understanding the Impact of Plastic Pollution 

Plastic pollution is an urgent environmental challenge that transcends borders, affecting not only our oceans but also human health, wildlife, and ecosystems. Every day, the equivalent of 2,000 garbage trucks full of plastic are dumped into our oceans, rivers, and lakes1. This relentless influx of plastic waste—19-23 million tons annually—pollutes aquatic ecosystems, disrupts habitats, and hampers natural processes. The consequences ripple through our interconnected planet, directly impacting millions of livelihoods, food production, and social well-being. It’s abundantly clear that we need improved infrastructure to capture these materials before they enter the environment and ensure it contributes positively to the circular economy. 

Furthermore, the widespread presence of microplastics, tiny particles less than 5 millimeters (about 0.2 in) in size, has raised alarm bells among scientists due to their potential to enter the food chain and pose risks to human health2. Microplastics come from a wide variety of sources, such as clothing fibers, tires, paints and coatings, and marine litter. Despite growing recognition of the significant impacts of microplastics, efforts to address microplastics remain inadequate. A report by the World Economic Forum highlights the need for coordinated action across sectors to tackle the root causes of plastic pollution and transition to a circular economy model that minimizes waste and maximizes resource efficiency3 

Innovations in Sustainable Packaging 

At Solenis, we are dedicated to minimizing the environmental footprint of plastics through innovative packaging solutions and strategic partnerships with suppliers and customers. Our commitment extends beyond product design; we are actively collaborating to implement best practices and drive industry-wide change. By harnessing the power of innovation and collaboration, we're not only reducing the environmental impact of plastics but also shaping a more sustainable future for generations to come.  

Here are a few examples of our goals and innovations that illustrate our commitment to sustainability: 

  • Solenis joined Piloting Alternatives for Plastics, a global initiative focused on developing novel fiber-based materials to replace plastics and to dramatically reduce energy and water used in papermaking. 
  • One of our current sustainability goals is that 90% of innovations will contribute to the circular economy or sustainability by 2025.
  • Diversey, as part of their former sustainability strategy, set an ambitious goal of ensuring that 100% of its packaging contributes to a circular economy by the year 2030. By committing to this target, we demonstrate our dedication to sustainability and waste reduction. In Diversey’s last sustainability report, 78.3% of packaging was found to contribute positively to the circular economy. 
  • By supporting PlasticShreds, a Solenis Gives program, we help reduce plastic litter by finding ways to use plastic waste. 
  • SafePack is an innovative eco-friendly monolayer polyethylene pouch for liquid packaging. This new packaging solution prevents product contact and spills, maximizing safety and ease of use.   

In addition, we have received recognition for our innovative products, including an award in the NextGen Cup Challenge, Innovative Cup Liners category, for our TopScreen recyclable and compostable barrier coatings technology. 

Advancing Toward a Circular Economy 

Over the past decades, we have been a strong influence in the industry to move away from ready-to-use products that contribute to a linear economy. Through innovative solutions like super-concentrated products, dilution control, packaging efficiency, recycled content, and improved recyclability, we've substantially reduced the amount of plastic in circulation. However, the scale of the challenge remains immense. At Solenis, we're prioritizing sustainability and embracing the principles of a circular economy. Through collaboration with our partners and ongoing dedication to innovation, we're not only reducing the environmental footprint of plastics but also paving the way for a more sustainable future. As we reflect on Earth Day, let us renew our commitment to driving positive change and protecting our planet for generations to come. 

To learn more about our innovative solutions and commitment to sustainability, visit 

Dr. Daniel Daggett

Vice President, Sustainability

Dan joined Solenis in March 2023, through the acquisition of Diversey, bringing 22 years of experience in various fields such as sustainability, Life-cycle assessment (LCA) and product safety. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology.