Study to look at lifecycle of labels from raw stock to finished end product to the customer.
August 30, 2016
by Canadian Packaging staff
MILLS RIVER, NC—To help understand the full “label life” of their products from the extraction of raw materials to delivery of finished label stock to customers, UPM Raflatac has collaborated with leading Brazilian converter Baumgarten on a life-cycle assessment (LCA) of label material release liners, with exciting results to report.
These two frontrunner companies in the label value chain have adopted this voluntary guidance to assess – and reduce – their impact on the environment. The study will be publicly available at Labelexpo Americas in Chicago from September 13-15, 2016.
Baumgarten began its LCA efforts with a foundational study comparing glassine (landfilled) and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycled release liners for a product it produces with UPM Raflatac label stock.
Although PET liners are manufactured from petrochemicals, they are easier to recycle in Brazil than glassine liners. Additionally, because PET liners are thinner, they can yield more labels per roll and offer fewer roll changes on-press, allowing printers, converters and end-users to achieve greater productivity.
By using UPM Raflatac’s Label Life figures to help evaluate a switch from glassine (landfilled) to PET liners (recycled) and applying this information to the consumption of 100,000 sets of labels, Baumgarten identified a reduction of water consumption by one-third (equaling more than 3,000 loads of laundry), a decrease in solid waste by 20 percent (the equivalent of the daily waste generated by nearly 500 Brazilian citizens) and a decrease in carbon dioxide emissions by 15 percent (roughly the amount produced on a short airline flight) during the product life-cycle.
“Our LCA study was insightful,” says Baumgarten research and development manager Gabriela Neves Ferri. “We saw real value from analyzing UPM Raflatac’s Label Life figures so that we can build towards creating a total picture of the environmental impact of our products.”
Baumgarten has already embarked on a second LCA collaboration with UPM Raflatac.
Working with customers is an integral part of UPM Raflatac’s holistic approach to sustainability. Baumgarten shares a common approach, and acquiring deeper insights through LCA enables them to deliver on their sustainability strategy, which aims to reduce the environmental impact of its products.
“UPM Raflatac is an environmental leader, from our adoption of ISO systems and Label Life LCA tool to our cooperation studies around LCA with our customers and end-users,” says UPM Raflatac sustainability specialist Tyler Matusevich. “We help converters like Baumgarten empower their customers to make sustainable choices that benefit their businesses, end-users, and the environment.”
About UPM Raflatac
UPM Raflatac is one of the world’s leading producers of self-adhesive label materials, supplying high-quality paper and film label stock for consumer product and industrial labeling through a global network of factories, distribution terminals and sales offices. It employs around 2,900 people and had sales of US$1.5 billion in 2015. UPM Raflatac is part of UPM – The Biofore Company. Find out more at www.upmraflatac.com.
Labels shown in image above are not from the LCA study mentioned above, but are the property of Canadian Packaging magazine showing Utica labels.