Story | 10/21/2020 10:41:27 | 6 min Read time

Harper Hygienics S.A.: Closing the recycling loop and taking positive climate action

Market interest in reducing plastic use, increasing recycling and mitigating climate change continues to rise. Therefore, many personal care manufacturers are not only seeking natural ingredients for their products but are also carefully considering preferences concerning packaging. Harper Hygienics S.A., a Poland-based producer of hygienic products, has worked with UPM Raflatac to label their new line of cotton buds – Cleanic Pure Effect. How did they work together to tackle sustainability challenges?


1. Harper Hygienics S.A. has recently launched a new line of cotton buds – Cleanic Pure Effect. These buds are made of 100 percent cotton and biodegradable paper sticks and are packed in a unique paper box.

2. To match this ecodesign, UPM Raflatac’s labeling solution for Harper Hygienics S.A. was UPM Raflatac RAFNXT+ paper labels with a recycled content paper backing. This recycled content is sourced from the label waste recycling service RafCycle™ by UPM Raflatac.

3. By joining RafCycle and choosing RAFNXT+ labels, Harper Hygienics S.A. has been able to close the recycling loop and take positive climate action.

“Consumers are more and more interested in sustainable products. They scrutinize them based on the ethics around the ingredients sourced, packaging and the manufacturing company. To answer that need we have decided to focus on ecodesign at every stage of product creation. Month by month, our range of natural and sustainable products is growing,” says Justyna Michalak, Marketing Director at Harper Hygienics S.A.

Harper Hygienics S.A uses a lot of natural nonwovens like cotton, bamboo viscose, organic cotton and cellulose in its products. Cleanic is the first Polish brand in the buds and pads category with GOTS by Ecocert and Vegan certificates, which means that the cotton from which the product is manufactured comes from certified and controlled crops with no pesticides used and that the product does not contain ingredients of animal origin. Cleanic’s new cotton buds feature a biodegradable paper stick instead of plastic. Additionally, the company has developed a new unique paper box with paper lid.


To match this new eco-design, Harper Hygienics S.A. has been searching for a new labeling solution. Subsequently, the company discovered UPM Raflatac RAFLACOAT NXT+FSC paper label material combined with HONEY GLASSINE 45 PCR-FSC paper backing. RAFNXT+ is the world’s first label material verified by the Carbon Trust to reduce carbon footprint. Additionally, the paper backing includes recycled content originating from label release liner waste collected from brand owners through the RafCycle™ by UPM Raflatac recycling service. All these solutions have helped Harper Hygienics S.A.  close the recycling loop and take positive climate action. But how does it work in practice?

Closed recycling loop in action  

“As the first step, we invited Harper Hygienics S.A. to join RafCycle. They are now gathering release liner waste, and we are collecting it. Next, this liner waste is being desiliconized, recycled into new fiber and turned into the new raw material for HONEY GLASSINE 45 PCR-FSC paper backing. UPM Raflatac manufactures RAFLACOAT NXT+FSC paper label material by utilizing this backing paper containing recycled fiber. In the end, Harper Hygienics S.A. labels its Cleanic Pure Effect cotton buds paper boxes with this labeling product, and the recycling loop is closed,” explains Izabela Antczak, Packaging Solutions Manager at UPM Raflatac. 


Harper Hygienics S.A. has been delighted with the RafCycle service and the possibility to close the recycling loop with RAFNXT+ paper labels. In fact, the company is the first end-user in Poland to close the recycling loop thanks to this holistic solution. “The main benefits for us are indeed achieving our waste recycling targets, cost savings related to waste disposal and the ease of operations of the RafCycle service. Last but not least, this solution allows us to turn our label waste into new paper backing for labels that we can use on our packaging,” says Piotr Galas, R&D Director at Harper Hygienics S.A.

“Collaboration with UPM Raflatac helps us not only move from a linear to circular economy but to also play our part in mitigating climate change. To do this we need sustainable solutions like UPM Raflatac’s RAFNXT+ label material. Harnessing the power of responsibly managed forests helps us reduce our carbon footprint,” concludes Justyna Michalak.

Harper-receives-recycling-certificate Izabela Antczak, Justyna Michalak, Piotr Galas (l-r)



Harper Hygienics S.A.

Harper Hygienics S.A. was established in 1990. Over the years, it has been building up its market position in the personal hygiene, baby care and household categories, becoming a recognized producer of brand name products and private labels for retail chains.

Harper Hygienics S.A. owes its good market position to tracking consumer trends and meeting the ever-increasing needs connected with changing lifestyles. The company prides itself on the highest quality products as well as investments in new production lines and innovative technologies. Since 2010, Harper has been listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The company manages the total production chain – from nonwovens to the manufacturing of the final product – with a constant focus on innovation.

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RafCycle by UPM Raflatac

Our RafCycle™ by UPM Raflatac label waste recycling service is a fine example of acting circular. We don’t just recycle our own production waste; we offer brand owners a recycling solution that gives their label waste a new life.

Learn more about RafCycle

UPM Raflatac RAFNXT+

UPM Raflatac RAFNXT+ is the world’s first label material verified by the Carbon Trust to help mitigate climate change. The product design results in superior carbon performance by leveraging a smarter choice and use of materials. To show this impact, we have developed a science-based model demonstrating the carbon footprint reduction and the forests’ increased capacity to remove carbon. Choosing RAFNXT+ is a positive climate action.

Learn more about RAFNXT+ range