UPM Raflatac expands its portfolio with addition of paper label for PET and HDPE recycling

FINLAND – Global supplier of labeling materials for branding and promotion, UPM Raflatac added new paper label materials intended to improve the recycling of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

The label materials have received European certifications of recyclability from Institut cyclos-HTP for PET and HDPE packaging, and they are part of UPM Raflatac’s SmartCircle portfolio.

According to UPM Raflatac, the label materials can be neatly separated from the recycled packages without contaminating the PET and HDPE flakes in the process.

These flakes can be recycled into new high-quality materials or used within closed-loop systems to reduce waste and the need for virgin plastic.

Vice-president of UPM Raflatac’s Paper Laminates SBU EMEIA division Sylwia Jurys said: “We are determined to develop solutions for circularity. 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 goes beyond fossils [fuels].

“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 recycling of plastic waste is a worldwide issue that calls for attention from every part of the recycling value chain.

The EU’s Plastic Strategy foresees that by the year 2030, all plastic packaging should be reusable or recyclable cost-effectively.

To achieve these goals, the packaging itself and the recycling value chain must be designed to ensure the recyclability of the packaging.

“The right label material choice plays a critical role in enhancing the recyclability of any packaging,” added Jurys.

“With the comprehensive SmartCircle portfolio, we can offer our customers materials for many different purposes, enhance packaging sustainability, and support the shift to a circular economy.”

Early this year, the Finnish company unveiled recyclable labels for food producer Cranswick in collaboration with Coveris.

Made from UPM Raflatac RAFNXT+, the lighter and recyclable liner will replace Cranswick’s existing polyethylene terephthalate (PET) release liner.

Cranswick is currently using the new material on all base labels for its cooked meat range, with plans to introduce it across more than 175 million packs.

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