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Europe: UPM Raflatac showcases solutions for labeling, sustainability

Under the EU 10/2011 regulation on packaging materials containing plastic and in contact with food, each company in the packaging value chain is responsible for forwarding documentation related to the safety of their products.

Label end-users and brand owners in the food industry have the final responsibility to check for compliance, and labels are now classified as part of any plastic packaging and wrapping.

Besides labelstock products with adhesives formulated for food safety and tested to comply with regulation permissions and limits, UPM Raflatac will present the Label Life tool, which calculates and compares the environmental impacts of label materials and different recycling options at Emballage in Paris, France from November 17 to 20, 2014.

Calculations using the tool are based on the most comprehensive lifecycle assessment (LCA) study in the industry, which collects raw material and energy inputs from the labelling value chain, and converts them into outputs in terms of emissions to air, water, land and waste.

The company’s LCA model is based on the international ISO 14040/44 standard for systematic analysis of environmental impacts.

In addition, Label Life provides information for comparing the environmental performance of self-adhesive labels, consistent with the methodology used by large brand owners to evaluate their own environmental impacts.

Treatment at the end of life is one of the hotspots determining the environmental performance of self-adhesive label materials.

The RafCycle waste management concept offers solutions for the closed-loop recycling of paper labelstock liners, the re-use of label manufacturing residuals for UPM ProFi composite materials, and energy recovery at UPM’s paper mills.

By providing alternatives to landfilling and the associated costs, RafCycle offers label converters, packers and brand owners opportunities to manage their businesses more sustainably, efficiently and profitably.