Avery Dennison has joined with other leaders in the pressure sensitive label (PSL) industry to form the Circular Economy for Labels (CELAB) consortium. The consortium aims to offer solutions and provide education throughout the industry to enable matrix and release liner recycling.
Currently, only 52% of matrix and liner waste is recycled globally. CELAB is catalyzing a unified effort to accelerate matrix and liner recycling industry-wide to create greater circularity for labeling products. This aligns to Avery Dennison’s sustainability commitments to address waste, including 2025 targets to ensure its operations will be 95% landfill-free, 75% of the company’s waste is repurposed. The company claims to help customers reduce waste from Avery Dennison products by 70%.
“Collaboration is at the heart of our sustainability vision. This marks our first industry-wide effort to work together and we’re learning a lot. In a competitive environment, this isn’t always easy but CELAB is the embodiment of how shared goals can reach across an entire value chain to push the industry forward towards circularity,” said Renae Kezar, senior director, global leader, Sustainability, Label and Graphic Materials, Avery Dennison.
Avery Dennison’s participation, as a founding steering committee member, in CELAB is part of the company’s strategic commitments to circularity — to not only launch products that promote recycling, but to also take responsibility for the waste generated as a result of manufacturing labels, including waste by customers and the end-users, or CPGs.
The company’s work to help form CELAB is part of stepped-up global actions by Avery Dennison to advance circular approaches globally to its matrix and liner recycling through its AD Circular Program. This includes numerous initiatives by the company.
The launch in September 2020 of a scalable matrix recycling program in North America with RoadRunner Recycling to help label converters achieve their zero waste-to-landfill goals.
Avery did a collaboration in Asia Pacific with EcoBlue, a Thailand-based company that specializes in recycling PET (rPET) label liner for use in other polyester applications, to add PET label liners to its liner recycling program; and in China, Avery Dennison has launched the PET liner and matrix waste recycling program in partnership with Lvhuan.
In Europe, Avery Dennison has successfully piloted a liner collection program in selected countries. Among others, they partnered with Romei Replastics to convert waste material from the labeling process into new raw materials. The process includes collecting PET liner from customers, reshaping into flakes and high-performance compounds, and recycling into new products. They plan to extend the liner collection activities to other countries in the near future.
In Latin America, Avery Dennison Brazil’s Programa Circular collects PET and paper label liners and film label matrix from converters and end-users. The program is a collaboration with the São Paulo firm Boomera, which specializes in repurposing waste material. The paper liner is processed by Polpel, and returns in the form of cellulose pulp for the manufacture of tissue paper.
Additionally, Avery Dennison’s Brazil team was recognized last month by the Label Industry Global Awards for its Programa Circular recycling program – the third year in a row, and the fourth year overall, that Avery Dennison has won the award for its innovations in sustainable labeling products and services.
“Our commitment to forming CELAB further underscores the complementary efforts we are undertaking throughout our global operations to reduce our environmental impacts and engage in and influence sustainable, circular practices throughout our value chain,” Kezar said.
CELAB is guided by four principles – developing cost-effective solutions and working towards the most environmentally favorable options; utilizing the value chain to build scale and effectively advancing recycling solutions for the label printers and applicators; establishing an impartial organization to drive progress aligned to legislative and consumer requirements; and enabling, through regional working groups, global oversight for consistency of communications and process.
“This consortium is a timely and much-needed resource to help address one of our industry’s most difficult challenges. We are pleased to contribute to its success and to look forward to working collaboratively with our industry peers,” said Kezar.
Avery Dennison is a global materials science company specializing in the design and manufacture of a wide variety of labeling and functional materials. The company’s products, which are used in nearly every major industry, include pressure-sensitive materials for labels and graphic applications; tapes and other bonding solutions for industrial, medical, and retail applications; tags, labels and embellishments for apparel; and radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions serving retail apparel and other markets. Headquartered in Glendale, California, the company employs more than 30,000 employees in over 50 countries.