UPM Raflatac has made further progress towards a more circular economy for plastics and a future beyond fossils during 2021. This is detailed in the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment 2022 Progress Report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). UPM Raflatac joined the Global Commitment as the first label materials company in October 2018.
“As a company committed to labeling a smarter future beyond fossils, we are glad to participate in the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment Progress Reporting. As a supplier in the packaging value chain, this presents an opportunity to transparently showcase the actions we have taken to provide solutions for brands and designers as they aim for more circular packaging,” says Robert Taylor, Sustainability Director, UPM Raflatac.
The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment Progress Report provides transparency on how major businesses are addressing the plastic pollution crisis. According to this year’s report, the target of 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable plastic packaging will almost certainly be missed by most organizations. Not meeting all 2025 targets reinforces the urgency for businesses to accelerate action, particularly around reuse, flexible packaging, and decoupling business growth from packaging use. Businesses need to exponentially increase the use of recycled plastics and reduce total plastic packaging use to accelerate progress on the virgin plastic reduction target.
“This year’s report clearly shows the need for the industry to accelerate the transition to the circular economy. For us, the report serves as a milepost giving guidance towards our targets set for 2025. Our role as a solutions provider is more crucial than ever, as we continue to deliver meaningful impact and concrete actions that the rest of the packaging industry can benefit from,” says Ronja Dorairaju, Sustainability Specialist, UPM Raflatac.
Turning label waste into a resource is a key component of UPM Raflatac’s approach to enabling the circular economy
As highlighted in UPM Raflatac’s 2021 reporting, the number of RafCycle™ recycling service partnerships and PET liner recycling cases continued to increase. The company strengthened the development in internal capabilities of the RafCycle service through organizational, technical, and logistic capabilities.
In addition, UPM Raflatac has continued to develop its SmartChoice™ and SmartCircle™ product ranges that enable smart, more sustainable, and innovative label material choices. In 2021 the company’s unprinted SmartCircle™ PE labels with acrylic and hotmelt adhesive technologies received recognition from RecyClass. The granted approval proves SmartCircle PE can be recycled in the HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) colored stream.
UPM Raflatac is developing label materials with more recycled content and reducing the use of unnecessary plastic packaging
During 2021, UPM Raflatac launched 30% C-PCR PP materials and new FSC Recycled paper materials. The PP material contains 30% chemically recycled post-consumer plastic (PCR). The FSC Recycled face materials contain 100% recycled fibers and are a sustainable solution for primary food applications. The FSC Recycled face materials are offered with recycled content glassine liner through the RafCycle™ recycling service – LabelLoop™ solution. The company also relaunched their Label Life LCA tool, adding a functionality to calculate the life cycle of Raflatac’s recycled content products and UPM Forest Film™ products.
In addition, UPM Raflatac was able to reduce film wrapping usage by up to 45% through their pallet optimization project in the Polinyá and Scarborough terminals. This resulted in yearly carbon emissions reductions of 94 tons. These actions are part of the company’s Biofore site program which includes a scorecard for each factory with approximately 40 performance measures mapped to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
UPM Raflatac is committed to moving beyond fossils by developing alternative bio-based labeling solutions
During 2021, UPM Raflatac introduced a new PP Food/Biobased product, which uses 30% renewable content in its face material and a resource-optimized lighter construction for both reduced environmental impact and cost efficiency.
In addition, UPM Raflatac’s RAFNXT+ range continued to grow and at the end of the year it included over 100 RAFNXT+ products. Notable additions in the RAFNXT+ range were two adhesives, RH9F and RH9L, that are made with around 50% forest-based materials that replace fossil-based materials. The company also introduced the world’s first label materials certified as CarbonNeutral® by Climate Impact Partners for selected RAFNXT+ materials.
For further information please contact:
Robert Taylor, Director, Sustainability, UPM Raflatac
Ronja Dorairaju, Sustainability Specialist, UPM Raflatac
Media contacts coordinated by Saku Uotila, Senior Specialist, Communications, UPM Raflatac, tel. +358 2041 50828 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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UPM Raflatac is leading in sustainable labeling through our innovative self-adhesive label materials and services. We offer high-quality paper and film label stock for branding and promotion, informational labels, and labels with functionality. We operate a global network of factories, distribution terminals and sales offices. Our company employs around 3,000 people and made sales of EUR 1.7 billion (USD 1.9 billion) in 2021. UPM Raflatac is part of UPM. Find out how we are labeling a smarter future beyond fossils at www.upmraflatac.com.
We deliver renewable and responsible solutions and innovate for a future beyond fossils across six business areas: UPM Fibres, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Communication Papers and UPM Plywood. As the industry leader in responsibility, we are committed to the UN Business Ambition for 1.5°C and the science-based targets to mitigate climate change. We employ 17,000 people worldwide and our annual sales are approximately EUR 9.8 billion. Our shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. UPM Biofore – Beyond fossils. www.upm.com