New sustainable solution for Berner’s heavy-duty cleaning detergent bottles

16 May 2023, 10:07 EEST

A Finnish family company Berner, specialising in consumer products, healthcare, laboratories, industry, and agriculture, wanted to increase the use of recycled plastic in their products. Berner started to look through possible options with their plastic manufacturing partners and ended up choosing Fortum Circo® for their new bottle for professional cleaning detergents.

Detergent bottle made of Fortum Circo recycled HDPE plastic

In 2022, Berner decided it was time to update their existing mould for their professional cleaning detergent bottle. While doing so, they also wanted to change the bottle’s material to entirely recycled plastic. When Fortum suggested using Fortum Circo, a plastic recyclate produced from post-consumer plastic waste, Berner decided they had found the right match.

Safety first

Before implementing Fortum Circo in their manufacturing process, Berner needed to ensure that the plastic recyclate was durable enough for their product. Professional cleaning detergents are strong solutions that have strict criteria for storing. It is imperative that the bottles used for heavy-duty detergents can hold the liquid in for at least five years without showing any signs of disintegration. For this purpose, a new Fortum Circo® HDPE material was developed, which passed the extensive material tests.

Berner’s tests included artificially aging the material in heating chambers to see how it would react to the solution in the long term. After acing those tests, the durability of the bottle made from Fortum Circo was also confirmed by third-party testing organisations in Europe.

“The Fortum Circo HDPE has usually been used in products, whereas now it is used in packaging. It is important that these new applications for recycled plastics are developed, since technically recycling happens after the packaging sorted by consumers is upcycled into new products. Legislation will also guide towards using of recycled plastics - the EU has proposed a mandatory recycled content for plastic packaging, meaning that packaging will have to contain a certain amount of recycled material in the future,” says Anniina Rasmus, Brand Sales Manager, Fortum Circo®.

Smooth cooperation and easy implementation

Berner had decided to change their bottle mould for the first time in two decades and ended up choosing a new plastic manufacturer as well, which made implementing Fortum Circo into their production process even easier. At the same time, the bottle’s design was modified in a way that eliminated 6 grams of plastic from each bottle, thus decreasing the amount or raw material needed for the bottles’ manufacturing and improving the environmental impact of the bottles.

The new bottle design will be used in Berner’s professional detergent product line HETI Pro, which will be manufactured entirely out of Fortum Circo.

“Working with Fortum was really smooth, they kept all their promises despite some delays from our end. It was also nice that we got the opportunity to visit Fortum’s plastics refinery and see the upcycling process of how consumer plastic packaging waste actually turns into the Fortum Circo granulates,” says Terhi Salo, Berner’s Product Manager.

Clear messaging about the material is a key

Berner wanted to include an explicit marking and explanation of Fortum Circo on their bottle, as studies show that consumers want to see clear messaging regarding recycled materials.* Environmental labels also require that the recycled plastic used in products such as detergent bottles is collected from consumers.

“We are proud that we can say to our customers that the plastic comes from them, Finnish consumers. The overall feedback has been very positive, and people clearly want to see more recycled materials used in manufacturing,” Salo says.

The new bottles made from Fortum Circo will enter the market gradually over the course of 2023.


* Consumer preferences for recycled plastics: Observations from a citizen survey", Finnish Environment Institute. Ruokamo, Räisänen & Kauppi, 2022


Berner is a Finnish family company established in 1883 with four business areas and subsidiaries in Finland, Sweden, Norway Denmark and the Baltics. Company's diverse product portfolio is managed through four business areas: Consumer Goods, Medical and Laboratories, Industries and Agricultural trade. The main customers are the private sector, the public sector and consumers.


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