Avery Dennison is set to launch the industry’s first-ever facestock made from recycled polyethylene (rPE) following the completion of print and dispensing trials.
Developed to meet end-users’ sustainability goals, the rPE stock has been tested successfully on a variety of conventional printing processes, including UV flexo, screen, offset, letterpress, silkscreen, gravure, thermal transfer and hot or cold foiling. It can also be digitally printed using dry toner and UV inkjet.
It will be launched at Labelexpo Europe 2019, which take places over 23-26 September in Brussels, Belgium, intended for applications such as squeezable bottles and other flexible containers in the home, personal care and food sectors.
EU label and graphic materials sustainability director Jenny Wassenaar said: “There is an increasing need and pressure to use recycled content in packaging. Increasing consumer awareness means a demand for more sustainable packaging.
“The rPE film is produced using polyethylene coming from recycled post-consumer waste streams. Recycled PE resin is not as widely available as recycled PET resin. The first challenge is to find a reliable recycling source and then evaluate the quality of the product.
“Avery Dennison aims to be a responsible corporate citizen. Hence the company has set its own 2025 sustainability goals. One of the goals is that 70% of the films we buy will conform to our sustainability principles. Launching rPE contributes to achieve our sustainability goals and helps to close the loop on single-use plastics on the market.”
Due to containing more impurities than virgin PE film, the rPE film will have a “unique aesthetic” which Wassenaar said would “emphasise the sustainability aspect” of the packaging to consumers when seen on shelves.
The rPE film will be recyclable following the same recycling streams for standard LDPE/HDPE films. It will be offered in white and clear at 80 micrometre thickness.