Label recycling and the circular economy in action: RafCycle

UPM Raflatac leads the label industry with RafCycle®, an innovative recycling concept that offers a new life for label waste. Label recycling provides numerous benefits to printers, packers, brand-owners, and, of course, the environment.

Turning waste into a resource is a key concept in the circular economy and an important part of our approach to sustainability. Thanks to RafCycle, we can create new materials by recycling self-adhesive label waste. 

RafCycle® partnerships

Because the circular economy is system-wide, we need to come together to develop restorative and regenerative concepts, and to ensure that they are adopted. We already have more than 100 RafCycle partners in Europe, and more are joining us all the time. We have just launched RafCycle in China and we are developing solutions in the Americas.

UPM Raflatac collects label waste from its partners and recycles through a variety of RafCycle solutions. As our partner, we will provide you with a partner certificate, and we will give you the right to use the RafCycle brand in your marketing and communications.

As a RafCycle partner, we will provide you with a tailored program that helps you:

  • Reduce waste disposal costs 
  • Meet regulatory requirements 
  • Achieve your landfill reduction targets 
  • Enhance the circular economy 
  • Build your reputation as a responsible business

For more information, please contact your closest UPM Raflatac representative.

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​The RafCycle concept in a nutshell

Depending on the region, landfilling and waste-to-energy are the typical solutions for label waste. With RafCycle and the circular economy approach, landfill waste can be avoided because RafCycle takes self-adhesive label by-products and gives them new life as paper liners, composite material, or energy.

Label waste arises at three points along the value chain, and we take care of the label waste coming from all of them:

  • Label stock manufacturers: Coating and trimming waste
  • Label printers: Matrix and start-up waste
  • Brand-owners: Glassine/PP waste

We can utilise the label waste material generated in three end-products:

1. Paper liner
Paper release liners can now be de-siliconized and recycled into pulp and paper with RafCycle and the unique technology available only through UPM. Now, nearly 10,000 tons of liner is collected and recycled into graphic paper in Europe every year. As the world’s biggest user of recovered paper in graphic papers, UPM can utilize its extensive collection network to facilitate cost-effective release paper recycling. The re-use of recovered wood fibres in paper products is a closed-loop solution and a shining example of the circular economy in action.

2. UPM ProFi® composite
The by-products from label stock production and label converting can be re-used as raw material for UPM ProFi® composite products in Germany.

3. Energy
Label stock waste can be used as fuel in the highly efficient combined heat and power (CHP) plants at UPM paper mills.

 Sustainability news



UPM Raflatac to address the sustainable future of films labeling at Latin American Summit on Innovation in Plastic Packaging Raflatac to address the sustainable future of films labeling at Latin American Summit on Innovation in Plastic Packaging4/11/2018 3:00:00 PM
Henkel wins UPM Raflatac’s Label Life Awards 2018 wins UPM Raflatac’s Label Life Awards 20183/26/2018 8:00:00 AM
UPM Raflatac joins Ellen MacArthur’s Circular Economy 100 programme Raflatac joins Ellen MacArthur’s Circular Economy 100 programme3/9/2018 8:00:00 AM

UPM Raflatac RafCycle
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