The problem with pressure-sensitive labels and label stock is that although it is very convenient to print, convert, apply and use for decoration and information, it has some severe environmental implications because of the waste residues it leaves. These are the waste material around the label face stock known as the matrix. The silicone-coated base material is the liner on which the face stock is the outer printable and visible layer. Naresh Khanna, the editor of Packaging South Asia, reports.
On 17 September 2021, Avery Dennison India held a webinar which is a part of an extended series to outline its established matrix and liner waste collection system in India. Liner waste is collected from brand owners, their co-packers, label producers, and converters around the country and mainly from seven cities. The matrix material is gathered from approximately two to three dozen cities.
“We designed a program in which the glassing paper is collected from users, who have to keep it separately since any contamination will adversely affect the recycling. Then, after sufficient collection, all they have to do is call us up,” said Disha Shinde, managing the Avery Dennison India program. Notably, AD has a considerable team that took part in this webinar, and the implication is that this is a vital mission for the company. More than 50 individuals – a few brand owners and mostly label printers and converters participated in the excellent webinar.
The program has been in place since the last quarter of 2019, and the liner program has run smoothly since the start – collecting and recycling more than 300 tons of material. More than 35 brand owners, including Himalaya, the personal care and cosmetic brand, and many converters are in the program, which entails waste segregation and keeping it from contamination till it is picked up by Avery Dennison partners in each city or region.
Only glassine paper liner is collected and recycled into low grammage paper and tissue in the paper mills designated by Avery Dennison in each region. Around the country, about ten paper mills are in the recycling program, and they are spread out all over the country.
Disha Shinde is the AD assistant manager for Sustainability in the country. The other speakers in the webinar included Naresh Panchal, the director of Dhartie Warriors, a waste management company associated with AD for this program; Vikas Mahajan, the commercial head of Mahajan Recycle Resources; Vivek Kumar, director of business development and Tapes for AD South Asia; and, Ravi Shinde, manager Tech Services LPM for AD, South Asia.
Matrix waste to energy program recently revamped
The matrix waste collection program needed some changes and was revamped in early 2021 and has thus far collected and recycled more than 550 tons of material. Matrix or matrices of both paper and film face stock are collected in this program. The material, in this case, is converted into briquettes that are used for fuel in waste to energy plants.
All the major global Indian brand owners have already taken sustainability pledges that commit them to reduce their carbon footprints and becoming a part of the circular economy by 2030. Readers should keep in mind, especially brands and label converters that export either through these brands or directly to Europe, that the European CEFLEX protocols come into effect in 2025. As many brand owners and consumers already understand climate change is something label converters and packaging companies in India will have to pursue sooner than later proactively.
Wake up and take up this program
If you have any commitment, as a brand owner, label converter, or co-packer, please take up this waste removal program. Unfortunately, as an industry and as a nation, we have a dismal record and behavior with waste, whether sorting at source, collection, or putting into the appropriate recycling stream. Although we have done well as an industry in the past 20 months, according to several experts, we are falling behind on the collection and recycling of packaging and labels. This is another opportunity for the label industry to show leadership within the economy and the recovery. Call up or email Disha Shinde right away.
Avery Dennison bears the cost of freight and transport of the waste material from your plant. While their associate recyclers and paper mills process the waste, there is no cost to the brand owners and label converters. Certificates are also given to the growing number of companies that participate.
This article was originally published in the Packaging South Asia print issue of October 2021.