At UPM Raflatac we understand that we have responsibilities both to society and the planet. When the company was founded in the 1970s we created new technology that drew on environmentally sound, water-based emulsions to replace solvent adhesives. As production volumes continued rising and the technology behind our products developed in parallel with market demand, solventless silicone technology made it possible to add hotmelt adhesives to our product range.
Laminate waste, recycling, energy recovery and disposal
Paper labelstock and label waste
UPM Raflatac is working on exciting alternative uses for labelstock waste. The RafCycle waste management concept takes by-products generated throughout the lifecycle of self-adhesive labelstock and turns them into new, sustainable raw materials in a way that’s cost-efficient.
Labelled packages can be recycled if the label content is low. According to our estimates, the level of adhesive has to be below 0.01%, or 5 m² of labels per tonne of waste, in order to minimize subsequent problems in paper machines. The actual level, however, depends on the cleaning technique and the requirements of the end product.
In most cases, film labels on plastic packages can be recycled. As a general rule, polyolefins (PE and PP) can be combined to a certain extent. PET can only be recycled on PET packages and PS on PS packages. PE and PP packages cannot be recycled if paper, PVC, or PET labels are attached. If you are uncertain about the suitability of some product in a recycling process, thorough testing is recommended before proceeding.
Siliconised release liner
Siliconized paper release liner can be recycled once all the labels have been removed, but it is not as easy to re-pulp as newsprint. Filmic backings can be recycled if mixed with other synthetic waste streams using the guidelines above. Thorough testing is recommended to establish the suitability of a product and process for recycling.
EN13432 concerns the composting and biodegradation of packaging. A pdf detailing the current situation is at the bottom of this page.
European Directive 94/62/EC concerns packaging waste, and as labels belong to the packaging industry they must comply with this legislation. For further information about the possible effects of this legislation on your business, please seek advice locally. Information about conformance to legislation limiting heavy metal content is detailed in the pdf at the bottom of this page.
Certificate of conformance for levels of heavy metals in UPM Raflatac products
European norm regarding composting and biodegradation for packaging waste
European norms regarding re-use, recycling, recovery, composting for packaging waste