Revolutionary UPM Raflatac Forest Film wins multiple awards

Product news, Other news 13.11.2020 18:40 EET

One of the most unique labeling materials to hit the market in many years continues to win awards in innovation.


UPM Raflatac, in collaboration with UPM Biofuels and Vellamo, earned Silver at the 2020 Packaging Innovation Awards sponsored by Dow for the UPM Raflatac Forest Film™ PP label material. Vellamo exclusively uses Forest Film PP on bottles of its award-winning Finnish water for a truly innovative sustainable label.

Forest Film PE also earned top honors with the 2020 China Packaging Innovation & Sustainable Development Award at the China Package Technology Innovation & Sustainable Development Forum organized by M. SUCCESS. This is the first award for the polyethylene version of the product.

Forest Film is the world’s first wood-based plastic label material and is based on UPM BioVerno naphtha, a 100 percent wood-based solution from crude tall oil, a residue from the pulping process. This first-of-its-kind material brings UPM Raflatac’s vision of “labeling a smarter future beyond fossils” to life. Forest Film has identical performance to traditional plastic film label materials. It is now available as either polypropylene or polyethylene, in both clear and white films for a number of packaging end-uses.

“The quality of innovations we saw in the 2020 Packaging Innovation Awards is remarkable, especially considering that the entry process had virtual components this year for the first time,” said Diego Donoso, business president for Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics. “I’m inspired that the packaging industry continues to move sustainability and innovation forward even during complicated times. All winners should be proud of their accomplishment.”

Forest Film’s story begins with UPM Raflatac’s sister company, UPM Biofuels, who convert pulp production residue called crude tall oil from sustainably managed forests into renewable naphtha, a drop-in raw material for the chemical industry. This product, called UPM BioVerno, is sent to a resin supplier and then a film supplier to convert it into the filmic face material UPM Raflatac then manufactures into the laminate label material known as Forest Film. 

It is an International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS-certified product, meaning it uses sustainable resources to replace an equivalent amount of fossil resources in the production process – the mass balance approach. Forest Film products are proven to deliver savings on greenhouse gas emissions. When a comparison is made between a standard label construction and Forest Film, the carbon footprint, including biogenic carbon, significantly reduces emissions up to 66 percent (based on UPM Raflatac’s life cycle assessment study critically reviewed to be in accordance with ISO 14040/44 and PAS2050 standards)​.

“Thank you to both Dow and the China Package Technology Innovation & Sustainable Development Forum for recognizing UPM Raflatac Forest Film for the truly innovative product it is,” says Katja Kivelä, Senior Marketing Manager, Films, UPM Raflatac. “Forest Film answers our customers’ and brand owners’ needs for using renewable instead of fossil-based raw materials and we look forward to continuing to innovate unique new sustainable labeling materials.”

UPM Raflatac Forest Film also recently won the 2020 Innovation in Responsible Sourcing Award from the Sustainable Packaging Coalition.