Special edition: Track & Trace

UPM Raflatac tracks label footprint

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Franck Accornero at Emballage 2014 in Paris
Franck Accornero at Emballage 2014 in Paris

Related tags: Recycling

Treatment at the end of life is one key factor in the environmental performance of self-adhesive label materials, according to UPM Raflatac. 

Franck Accornero, sales director France and North Africa, told FoodProductionDaily.com about its thinner products and the Label Life tool focussed around environmental performance of labels.

Under EU Regulation 10/2011 each company in the packaging value chain is responsible for forwarding documentation related to the safety of their products.

Label end-users and brand owners have the final responsibility to check for compliance and labels are now classified as part of any plastic packaging and wrapping.

Label Life explained

The Label Life tool calculates and compares the environmental impacts of label materials and different recycling options from raw material sourcing through to end of life.

Calculations are based on a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) study, which collects raw material and energy inputs from the labelling value chain and converts them into outputs such as emissions to air, water, land and water.

The LCA model is based on the ISO 14040/44 standard and provides information for comparing environmental performance of self-adhesive labels, consistent with the methodology used by brand owners to evaluate their environmental impacts, said the firm.

Recycling and thinner products

In terms of recyclability, the firm can take back paper glassine from the end user and send it to paper mills in Germany were it is repulped to reproduce paper and it has the ability to recycle the polypropylene 30 micron backing into outside flooring, said Accornero.

“We have developed an internet site able to compare the impact of the normal product Raflacoat Plus to the Raflacoat Plus Fit and we can see the difference between water and energy consumption and CO2​ emissions​.”

Accornero said benefits of thinner products include less downtime for the machinery as reel changes are not required as often and the thinner labels do not lose product characteristics.

“For us we have developed a thinner product, it is called the Fit range, which is mainly for food and logistics," ​he said.

“We have launched, at the beginning of this year, Raflacoat Plus Fit which is thinner at 70g instead of an 80g product face and having a lower backing from honey glassine backing 65 to backing 45 and available too on polypropylene (PP) 30 micron which gives higher productivity for the printer and end user.”

UPM Raflatac said its RafCycle waste management concept offers options for the closed-loop recycling of paper labelstock liners, the re-use of label manufacturing residuals for UPM ProFi composite materials and energy recovery at the firm’s paper mills.

It offers an opportunity for label convertors, packers and brand owners to mange their businesses more sustainably, efficiently and profitably, said the firm.   

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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