Companies have many reasons to make their product packaging more sustainable: the opportunity to drive long-term brand value, consumer demand, and regulatory pressure. But what role do labels play in making your packaging more sustainable?

Your label material choice can have a tangible impact on your packaging sustainability. Not only can you make a difference by using label materials that are resource-optimized or choosing certified renewable raw materials and recycled materials, but also by enhancing your packaging recyclability. Labels, multiplied by millions of packages worldwide, have the potential to make a lasting difference.

The future is built by our choices today. Be the Changemaker – make the switch, close the loop.



Why switch to sustainable labels?

Get an overview of your options and an improved understanding of which sustainable label materials are the best fit for your product.

Sustainable labels



Switch to more sustainable label materials

The environmental footprint of your packaging materials is predominantly defined by your choice of raw materials. Review your raw materials and identify opportunities for reducing the amount of raw material. Switch from virgin fossils to renewable and circular solutions.

When switching from one label to another, credible information on the environmental impact of different labels will help you make more sustainable choices. Utilize Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to understand how your label choice affects your environmental performance.



Lower your environmental impact and reduce the strain on natural resources by using label materials that are resource-optimized.


Reduce the pressure on using virgin feedstocks by shifting to label materials that include recycled materials.


Move beyond fossils by choosing label materials made with verified sustainable and renewable resources.


Recycling and reuse with compatible label materials

Labels are an integral part of your packaging. Selecting a label material the most compatible with your packaging's recycling stream can influence the recyclate quality and even enable reuse. Enhance your packaging recyclability and enable packaging reuse by choosing wash-off labels or compatible label materials.

Another approach to preserving limited resources is the efficient recycling of label waste. Recycle label release liner waste with RafCycle™: you will save costs, cut emissions, and support circularity in the process.



Promote circular economy by choosing label materials that support recyclability and enable recyclable packaging, or allow for reuse.



Carbon Action plastic labels enable the next step in packaging carbon footprint reduction throughout the value chain, including Scope 3 emission reduction for printers and brand owners. The impact is quantified by an externally validated LCA calculation process. Every product in the Carbon Action portfolio combines multiple circular economy Rs, increasing the use of beyond fossils components in plastics. Carbon Action labels are expected to smoothly replace traditional fossil-based options without compromising quality or performance.

Learn more about Carbon Action


UPM Raflatac Ocean Action – RECYCLED

Today, only around 10% of plastic waste gets recycled globally, while the rest ends up in landfills, incineration, or leaks to nature and oceans. Our solution is the Ocean Action label, made from ocean bound plastic. Due to chemical recycling, it has identical properties to standard PP film and it's suitable for demanding applications, such as food and cosmetics. The Ocean Action label is available in white and clear. It is an ISCC PLUS certified C-PCR film. By choosing the Ocean Action label, your product can be part of the solution for saving our oceans.

UPM Raflatac is the first company to offer a product that uses ocean bound plastic as a label material, with an aim to create a demand for reclaiming plastic waste before it pollutes our oceans.

Learn more about Ocean Action


UPM Raflatac Forest Film™ – RENEW

UPM Raflatac Forest Film™ is the first film label material to be made from renewable wood-based raw materials. It is made in an ISCC PLUS-certified value chain and allows you to gradually replace fossil-based film materials. Forest Film combines circularity with renewable raw materials in a truly ground-breaking way, resulting in a sustainable label material that elevates your packaging sustainability without additional adjustments to your packaging or recycling processes.

Learn more about Forest Film



RAFNXT+ is the world’s first sustainable label material verified by the Carbon Trust to reduce carbon footprint and help mitigate climate change. Harnessing the power of responsibly managed forests and using a science-based approach to quantify the positive impact you will make help you to grow your business, not your carbon footprint. Take immediate action to reduce your negative climate impact even further by choosing CarbonNeutral® certified RAFNXT+ options.

Learn more about RAFNXT+


UPM Raflatac Vanish™ PCR – REDUCE , RECYCLED

Vanish™ PCR ultra-clear label materials are thin, robust products that are better for the environment as they use less raw materials compared to other PET products. Vanish™ PCR is the only clear-on-clear sustainable label solution on the market that incorporates recycled content.

Learn more about Vanish


UPM Raflatac Wash-off – RECYCLING & REUSE

Maximize the recyclability and circularity of your packaging by choosing wash-off label materials. Unlike traditional label materials, wash-off labels separate cleanly from containers during common recycling processes without leaving any adhesive residue, improving PET recyclate yield and allowing for glass packaging reuse. Wash-off labels are an effortless drop-in solution, compatible with standard printing and converting processes. Reach your recyclability target and promote packaging circularity by choosing our wash-off labels.

Learn more about Wash-off


UPM Raflatac Recycled labels – RECYCLED

Reduce the pressure on virgin resources by choosing labels that include recycled materials. Make your product labels promote circularity, reach your sustainability goals, and highlight your sustainable brand values. Whether you are a sustainably-minded brand or label converter, recycled labels are the perfect choice to appeal to environmentally conscious customers.

Read more about recycled labels


Guide to sustainable labeling​ – Learn the essentials


Explore other areas of sustainable labeling