UPM Raflatac receives RecyClass recognitions for pressure sensitive labels for PP and HDPE container recycling

Press Release 9.11.2022 13:00 EET

UPM Raflatac has received recognitions from RecyClass for multiple label products* with different adhesive technologies. The granted recognitions expand UPM Raflatac’s portfolio of RecyClass recognized PE (polyethylene) label materials and extends the portfolio to include PP (polypropylene) label materials. Both the PE and PP materials are recognized to be recycling compatible with colored HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) and PP containers. This means that the PE and PP labels can be recycled either in PP or HDPE colored recycling streams. The recognition for the PP recycling stream compatibility is first of its kind in the world.

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“At UPM Raflatac we are working towards a more sustainable and circular future. One big part of this is making consumer plastic packaging recyclable. We are proud that we are the first self-adhesive label company to provide RecyClass approved recycling compatible labeling solutions for PP packaging. According to extensive, independent testing done by Plastics Forming Enterprises (PFE), our unprinted labels have had limited impact on the recycling quality on both PP and HDPE colored recycling streams. This proves that our labels don’t hinder the recycling process or recyclate quality,” says Katja Kivelä, Business Director, Food and HPC, Films & Specials SBU EMEIA, UPM Raflatac. 

In the past, the traditional drivers of plastic packaging design have been functionality and brand appearance, while the end-of-life management of the packaging has been disregarded. Today it is expected that companies develop and offer solutions that are designed for recyclability.

“Today’s consumers and brand owners demand product solutions where the sustainability aspects including packaging recyclability are considered thoroughly, and in the future the demand will be even higher. We are well prepared for the market demands, as our labeling solutions for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) products are by default designed to support the recycling compatibility,” Kivelä says.

RecyClass is an initiative driven by the interest of brands, retailers, converters, raw material producers and recyclers to advance the recyclability of plastic packaging to improve recyclability and recyclate quality. With its scientific approach, RecyClass enhances and evaluates the recyclability of plastic packaging by developing methodologies and guidelines necessary to assess the recyclability of a package.

"It is not only the composition but also the components of packaging that make it recyclable. That is why labels play a crucial role in determining the compatibility of the designed product with the available recycling streams,’’ says Fabrizio di Gregorio, RecyClass Technical Director. "The UPM Raflatac innovation is a very good example how this compatibility can be ensured. It is worth noting as well that the RecyClass endorsement is valid for the colored stream only. Furthermore, since the labels were tested unprinted the printing inks applied on labels could impact the recyclability,” Fabrizio continues.

*Specific label materials and conditions of the approval can be found in the RecyClass Technology Approval Letters:

Please find all the UPM Raflatac products complying with RecyClass recycling requirements here >>

Read about UPM Raflatac SmartCircle™ PE offer RecyClass recognition here >>

Click here to download images >>

For further information please contact:
Katja Kivelä, Business Director, Food and HPC, Films & Specials SBU EMEIA, UPM Raflatac
Media contacts coordinated by Saku Uotila, Senior Specialist, Communications, UPM Raflatac, tel. +358 2041 50828 or saku.uotila@upm.com

UPM, Media Relations
Mon-Fri 9:00-16:00 EET
tel. +358 40 588 3284

UPM Raflatac
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.

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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

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