Avery Dennison becomes first label manufacturer to enable rigid plastic recycling across film portfolio
12 Aug 2022 --- Avery Dennison has become the first label manufacturer to enable rigid plastic recycling across its film portfolio with its next-generation AD CleanFlake technology, helping brands and converters boost packaging circularity.
The technique makes recycling possible by coordinating with rigid plastic recycling operations to either detach cleanly (PET) or stay with the packaging (HDPE), producing high-quality flakes and reducing trash sent to landfills.
Mariya Nedelcheva, marketing manager of film solutions for AD Labels and Packaging Materials Europe, tells PackagingInsights that CleanFlake has been on the market since 2014 as a label that enables the recycling of PET.
She explains that “the clear need on the market was for more than a wash-off adhesive to bring performance to the same first-class level as our standard films and to have one solution compatible also with HDPE recycling.”
“We’ve developed the adhesive to the next level, delivering good performance on adhesion, clarity and conversion, to make [environmental] sustainability an easy choice for brands.”
These advantages are provided by the AD CleanFlake Portfolio for both HDPE and PET plastics, with the potential to prevent over 200 billion rigid plastic bottles and containers from ending up in landfills.
As a result, conversion solutions are made available to businesses that support recycling procedures without sacrificing performance to help achieve sustainability objectives.
First time challenges
Speaking on being the first label manufacturer to enable rigid plastic recycling across its film portfolio, Nedelcheva elaborates on the difficulties of the recycling process and why this breakthrough is important.
She says: “Typically, label solutions that are compatible with HDPE or PET recycling would be offered as a separate, premium offering versus the standard filmic labels.”
Nedelcheva adds that the next generation of CleanFlake labels, which the company is introducing now, is offered as its standard filmic label, bringing sustainability and performance together.
“Labels will perform as versatile as our standard film labels throughout the life-cycle of the product, on PET, HDPE, PP, glass, or metal, and enable recycling of PET and colored HDPE packages at the end of life.”
“This consolidation reduces cost, complexity and lead times for label converters and brings down significant barriers for brands to choose a more sustainable label.”
Nedelcheva continues to explain that with demand for recycled plastic and regulations on sustainability growing, companies and consumers can expect to see an increase in eco-modulation taxes for packaging.
“Bringing our main film portfolio to one that enables recycling of plastics is providing an incredibly broad choice of solutions that brands will increasingly need to meet the upcoming regulations.”
Recycling HDPE and PET containers
Nedelcheva elucidates that labels will perform on the HDPE and PET package the same as on any other package throughout the life-cycle of the product – as permanent labels. They are suitable for food applications and can withstand both the humidity in the fridge and the long usage and squeeze under the shower.
“Once the package is disposed of, AD CleanFlake labels are designed to ensure that the package will be sorted correctly into the HDPE or PET stream respectively.”
She says that for the HDPE colored stream, where recycling still happens at lower temperatures (40 degrees celsius), the labels are designed to keep the monomaterial principle and stay with the package.
“Following the RecyClass recognition for Avery Dennison emulsion adhesives, AD CleanFlake is compatible with this stream and will not deteriorate the quality of the HDPE flakes.”
For the PET recycling stream, the labels are designed to detach from the PET, leaving pure flakes that will sink. The label, with the adhesive, will float and thereby enable the extraction of the food-grade clean PET flakes without any contamination.
AD CleanFlake is recognized by EPBP for PET bottle recycling.
By Mieke Meintjes
To contact our editorial team please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscribe now to receive the latest news directly into your inbox.