Self-adhesive label industry announces consortium to promote global recycling

Celab - Toward a circular economy for labels

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self-adhesive label
Celab will operate as a coalition, empowered to reach across the entire value chain to promote a circular economy of self-adhesive label materials. Photo - Wikipedia

With a shared goal of creating a sustainable self-adhesive labeling industry, more than 30 companies worldwide on 26 October 2020 announced the creation of a new Consortium, Celab – Toward a Circular Economy for Labels. Celab (Circular Economy for Labels) is an industry initiative founded by companies in the self-adhesive label industry to create greater circularity for its products by enhancing and promoting matrix and release liner recycling around the world.

According to the press statement, comprising many of the self-adhesive label industry’s largest companies, Celab will operate as a coalition, empowered to reach across the entire value chain to promote a circular economy of self-adhesive label materials. Celab is designed to facilitate collaboration globally and encourage the universal adoption of best practices while fostering regionally appropriate initiatives and cooperation.

“The moment has arrived to create a globally focused platform for recycling solutions,” said Paul Nathanson, a senior principal at Bracewell and spokesperson for Celab. “Brands are eager to communicate their commitment to sustainability in response to consumer demands to reduce their carbon footprint. With increased recycling capability gradually emerging from suppliers, producers, waste management, chemical recyclers and others, we see a tremendous opportunity to facilitate collaboration with partners up and down our industry’s value chain.”

Due to the wide variance in production processes and recycling capability in different markets, Celab’s structure includes a Global Steering Committee and regional Branches. The Global Steering Committee sets priorities for the consortium. The regional branches create workstreams on various aspects of matrix and release liner recycling, including analyzing technical issues, promoting recycling networks and solutions, interacting with government regulators, and educating the industry and public. There are currently two regional branches—one in Europe and one in North America — with plans to form additional regional Branches in the future. Matrix and liner accessibility will be measured in cost difference to landfill, a metric to be established by working teams in each region.

“Celab is technology- and solution-neutral in order to ensure that the most viable solutions that contribute to sustainability are developed and promoted for matrix and release liner recycling,” said Nathanson. “The steering committee is designed to serve as a ‘clearinghouse’ for best practices and solutions developed by the regional Branches and to be promoted globally.”

Membership is open to all companies in the self-adhesive label supply chain who commit to Celab’s objectives and are willing to help support its work.

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The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

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