Avery Dennison develops recycled polyethylene facestock

Avery Dennison has introduced a new label facestock that’s made with recycled polyethylene (rPE), which the company claims is a first for the label industry.

Jenny Wassenaar, Avery Dennison’s Label and Graphic Materials sustainability director for the EU region.

Jenny Wassenaar, Avery Dennison’s Label and Graphic Materials sustainability director for the EU region, explains: “Polyethylene labels are a very widely used component of packaging, so improving sustainability is important. The technical challenges we faced when developing this recycled polyethylene product were significant in terms of matching technical performance, and development work is ongoing. Our expectation is that films with recycled content will improve still further as we pursue new lines of research.”

The new stock contains 30 percent of recycled content. However, there is a trade-off as recycled PE contains more impurities (small un-melted particles in the film, typically known as gels) than virgin PE film so that the stock has a different look to it though Avery Dennison says that this does not affect the printing, dispensing or application. Nonetheless, most people are extremely sensitive to minor changes in labelling, something that brands will be keenly aware of. 

Rob Groen in ‘t Wout, senior marketing manager for Avery Dennison films, says that customers will accept this, adding: “There is a big appetite for making a personal contribution to sustainability, and brands are actively looking for more sustainable material options. An rPE label will make a contribution towards that goal.”

You can find further details from www.averydennison.com.

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