Isn’t it shocking, how different the mindset towards recycling was back in the day, when we started our careers? I started working in the labeling industry 15 years ago, and if I look back to what business looked like then, it’s almost unrecognizable. Back then companies focused on the price, efficiency of the machine, and the appearance of the label. To put it simply, there were three main goals: everything had to work, be on time and not cost a fortune.
The big switch to sustainability
But then the world got a wake-up call named climate change, and the term sustainability came into the picture stronger than ever. The newly available information and the changing consumer needs started to create pressure on political decision-makers and as a result, we have new legislation and agreements for countries and organizations, creating disruption, where leading companies need to act proactively to stay ahead of the change.
But sustainability isn’t always easy. The information coming from multiple sources can be confusing and paralyzing. And even if the company has a clear vision of its environmental goals, the waste reduction and recycling targets can be hard to reach without suitable services and materials.
Are we finally ready for circularity?
My experience working in the labeling industry is that companies are now ready for a circular economy. Companies have aligned their sustainability goals inside the organization, and sustainability targets are implemented to all departments. UPM Raflatac’s job is to support these goals by adapting them and making circularity as easy as possible. By creating a fitting, feasible recycling service for labeling waste and leftover materials, we can ensure the constant flow of materials and contribute to the circular economy.
Making recycling easier
Our solution, RafCycle™ by UPM Raflatac, offers a sustainable alternative for waste handling. After the products are labelled, instead of having the paper release liner waste end up in landfill or incinerated, we can turn it into a raw material used as new label materials or magazine papers. By using our RafCycle service and the UPM Raflatac RAFNXT+ product family, which uses the recycled materials, the brand owner can close the loop, while making cost savings in waste disposal.
For myself, recycling is more than reaching targets and creating cost savings, and I have noticed this with our RafCycle partners as well. As easy as by putting the liner waste to bin A instead of bin B, we can create new raw materials, reduce the landfill waste, create less CO2 emissions and release hundreds of trees for other sustainable uses. If recycling is this easy, how are there still organizations that aren’t doing it?