UPM Raflatac has introduced new paper label materials – with certification for recyclability for PET and HDPE bottles – into its wash-off SmartCircle portfolio in a bid to facilitate complete circularity for plastic packaging solutions.

Apparently, the labels can be separated cleanly from recycled packaging to enable PET and HDPE flakes to be recovered without contamination from the label materials. As such, the solution is thought to enable a greater yield for recycled plastic, increase the accessibility of high-quality raw material, and reduce both waste and reliance on virgin plastic.

As such, Institut cyclos-HTP has certified that PET and HDPE bottles utilising the labels are recyclable in the most common recycling processes. UPM Raflatac also anticipates that designing its packaging for recycling will contribute towards the goals of the EU’s Plastic Strategy, in which all plastic packaging should be reusable or recyclable in a cost-effective manner by 2030.

“We are determined to develop solutions for circularity,” says Sylwia Jurys, vice president, Paper Laminates SBU EMEIA, UPM Raflatac. “While plastics have remarkable features to keep valuable content safe until consumption, we also seek ways to increase the share of certified renewable materials in the packaging that go beyond fossils.

“Now, in addition to our multiple plastic wash-off solutions, we are excited to expand the offer into sustainably sourced paper labels. These innovations enable high-quality recycled PET and HDPE flakes to be used again as the label material separates cleanly in the recycling process.”

“The right label material choice plays a critical role in enhancing the recyclability of any packaging. With the comprehensive SmartCircle portfolio we can offer our customers materials for many different purposes, enhance packaging sustainability, and support in the shift to a circular economy.”

Fedrigoni Self Adhesives has been aiming to upcycle glassine backing from other self-adhesive products into a new premium labelling solution via its Re-Play product line.

In another development for labelling, Avery Dennison’s new Neck Label Collection seeks to prevent label detachment for products stored in ice buckets. It is claimed that the range contains materials made from 100% recycled pulp, and the rPET liner featured on some labels can be recycled through the AD Circular programme.

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy:

McDonald’s Director of Sustainability in Europe on the company’s approach to packaging sustainability

McKinsey on whether or not on-pack sustainability claims affect consumer spending

Perspectives from industry-leading experts on the EU’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive revisions

A deep dive into the most important packaging sustainability trends and solutions