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Be ready for 2020 with EU-compliant BPA-free thermal labels

UPM Raflatac – meet new EU legislation with BPA-free thermal paper

​Thermal paper, commonly used in the retail sector for receipt paper and weighing scale labels, has traditionally used Bisphenol A (BPA) as a color developer. However, new European Union legislation requires all thermal paper sold in Europe to be free of BPA after 2 January 2020. 

What is BPA?

Bisphenol A is an organic synthetic compound widely used around the world in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, and as a color developer in thermal papers. It is also used in consumer products as varied as sports equipment and CDs, but recent concerns about safety have led to restrictions on its use. The latest is European Union regulation 2016/2235, which amends the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) Annex XVII restricted substances list. In practice, this legislative change means that thermal paper with concentrations of BPA above 0.02% in weight will be banned in Europe after January 2, 2020.

Color developer is usually about 1–1.5% of paper weight, so a maximum BPA level of 0.02% means that it can no longer be intentionally added during production. However, trace amounts of BPA (below 0.02%) that originate as residue transfer from the different stages of self-adhesive label production are acceptable.

Keeping you a step ahead

UPM Raflatac had anticipated the change in regulations with a full range of uncoated and top-coated BPA-free thermal papers that fulfill most typical end-use requirements already available. We also offer bisphenol-free and phenol-free products for more specific end-user demands. These products are already available for all our most popular adhesives and an increasing number of label products. 

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​Since BPA has been added on the REACH list of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC), we have a duty to communicate to our supply chain when levels are above a concentration of 0.1% weight by weight (w/w). We now mention on each product’s technical information sheet if it contains BPA, as well as in our SVHC statement which can be found below.
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Our BPA-free thermal paper products

Most of our top-coated thermal papers and films are produced without BPA-based chemistry. You can find that information from product level technical information documents.

For our full product range, please use our Product search or contact your closest UPM Raflatac representative.

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