Story | 03/15/2024 10:29:08 | 3 min Read time

Towards a Circular Economy with Recycling Compatible Label Materials

Packaging waste remains a pressing environmental challenge, and the quest for recyclable packaging solutions is more critical than ever. The EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) will further push packaging value chain to adopt more sustainable practises, focus on recycling and navigate the complexities of waste management and reuse. By choosing materials that are designed for recycling, businesses can enhance material circulation and contribute to a more sustainable packaging value chain.

The Role of Label Material Choice

The choice of label materials plays a pivotal role in enhancing the recyclability and reuse of packaging. UPM Raflatac has been committed to developing filmic and paper label solutions that promote recycling and reuse across various packaging types. 

“European PPWR aims to harmonize the design for recycling criteria in EU area, but we’ll need to wait for them for a few more years. In the meantime, approvals and recognitions act as trusted external verifications, providing reassurance to our customers and brand owners that our label materials meet specific recycling criteria and do not hinder the recycling process or impair recyclate quality,” says Suvi Rasa, Manager, Sustainability, UPM Raflatac

Over the years our SmartCircle™ portfolio has received approvals and recognitions from several organizations that facilitate the transition toward a circular future. For example:

  • European Certifications of Recyclability from Institut cyclos-HTP:

Our wash-off portfolio with paper and filmic label materials have received European certifications of recyclability from Institut cyclos-HTP for PET packaging. In addition, our wash-off portfolio with paper label materials has the certification for HDPE packaging. 

  • RecyClass Recognitions:

Our pressure-sensitive labels for PP and HDPE containers have received RecyClass recognitions. This acknowledgment highlights their compatibility with recycling streams for colored PP and HDPE packaging.

  • APR Recognition:

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) has recognized our undecorated pressure-sensitive label solutions as meeting or exceeding APR Critical Guidance criteria for recyclability. Recognitions include label materials for several packaging types: PET, HDPE bottles, PE films and PP bottles.

By promoting the use of packaging materials designed for recycling, these organizations foster a circular system where packaging waste is minimized, and materials are continually repurposed.

 

 

Building trust and transparency

Widely accepted approvals and recognitions allow businesses to adopt sustainable packaging designs and choose materials that enhance recycling. This ultimately contributes to reducing waste and keeping valuable raw materials in the recycling loop for longer which, in turn, can reduce the need for virgin fossil materials. The choice of recycling compatible labels has the potential to contribute to climate change mitigation by increasing recycling yield and so lowering environmental impacts. 

“At UPM Raflatac, we remain committed to driving sustainability through innovation. Our recycling compatible label materials are a step towards a more circular future,” Suvi Rasa concludes.

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