The labelling industry’s first-ever facestock made from recycled polyethylene (rPE) has been introduced by Avery Dennison. 

With growing demand for recycled materials among consumers, Jenny Wassenaar, Avery Dennison Label and Graphic Materials sustainability director EU, said that the new material is an important step towards meeting brand owners’ sustainability goals and complying with emerging regulations.

“Polyethylene labels are a very widely used component of packaging, so improving sustainability is important. The technical challenges we faced when developing this recycled polyethylene (rPE) product were significant in terms of matching technical performance, and development work is ongoing. Our expectation is that films with recycled content will improve still further as we pursue new lines of research.”

Recycled PE contains more impurities than virgin PE film, which the company says gives the film a unique aesthetic, without compromising printing, dispensing or application. Rob Groen in ‘t Wout, senior marketing manager films, said that consumers are expected to quickly adopt and prefer the rPE look.

“There is a big appetite for making a personal contribution to sustainability, and brands are actively looking for more sustainable material options. An rPE label will make a contribution towards that goal.”

Avery Dennison’s says initial indications are that rPE will print and convert very well and therefore it will be included in a number of sustainable solutions that will be launched this year at Labelexpo Europe in Brussels in September.