Going green to become the label industry theme Sustainable development is the core of the company
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Being more sustainable and environmentally friendly is the core job of most companies in the label industry today. In today's market, it is an indispensable principle.
In 1987, the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (WECD) produced the Bruntland report. The document defines sustainable development as "a development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs."
The way companies can achieve this goal can be exemplified by many long lists. Such as reducing waste, reducing the use of water, reducing the use of energy and packaging materials, etc., can improve the company's environmental carbon footprint. The reduction in thickness with lighter weight, the use of single-layer packaging instead of double-layer packaging, and the extension of shelf life with the use of breathable films also have an impact on the production costs of companies.
“Brand owners and suppliers have recognized the economic strength and advantages of ‘green’”, said Calvin Frost, president of Chaneled. “Everybody is the same, companies engaged in and endorsing sustainable development all have a more active workforce, and continue to increase production efficiency, resulting in innovative ideas. This has been confirmed. Once the company regards sustainability as part of its culture, this Become its second nature."
According to Laura Cummings, UPM Raflatac’s US security and environmental manager Laura Cummings, many factors have entered the company’s environmental stance. “Some people regard eco-friendly products as some kind of property that suits the environment, such as recyclable contents or environmental certifications,” said Cummings. “Another common environmental feature is the printing of self-adhesive labels that meet the U.S. government's ‘‘environmentally friendly’’ criteria for recycling from paper.”
However, there are also some organizations that provide certifications such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or PEFC procedures. The regulatory certification chain provided by these organizations ensures that the wood fiber labelled on paper is legally harvested from well-managed forests.
A new trend in environmental management includes Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). The end user fully evaluates the quality of the label and its impact on the environment. This can be applied to the composition of labels, such as carbon footprint, water use, and energy usage.
“The overall approach of UPM Raflatac is the Eco Design eco-design programme, which starts with the life cycle analysis of raw materials collected and energy input from the value chain, and converts them into emissions to air, water, land and waste. Into output," Cummings added.
In 2011, Avery Corporation proposed a five-year plan for its environmental vision. In 2015, the company's sustainable development goals included reducing greenhouse gas emissions and production waste. Avery expects to reduce the GHG emissions index to 15% of net sales in 2005, reducing 15% of manufacturing waste shipped to landfills based on the total amount of waste generated. In addition, the company plans to achieve a security accident rate of 0.40% and triple the investment in the emerging green market.
“By setting science-based goals to help us promote a more sustainable world, we have become a more sustainable company,” said Rosalyn Bandy, head of sustainable development at Aere North America. . “The key is to make everyone’s work sustainable, from business to R&D to marketing, to sales. Because each of us has a different role, we can all see the integration of sustainable development into our Different ways of working. Continuous innovation is everyone's job."
Many companies are adopting this type of business model. Donnelley believes that cost awareness and environmental friendliness are not mutually exclusive. Its slogan “Reuse, Maintenance, Reuse, and Recycle” relates to environmental protection measures, such as using the remaining packaging material on the core of the coiled paper, returning the wooden pallet to the supplier for reuse, and extracting it from the waste fixer. In silver, the old ink is reprocessed into a new specification ink, or remixed into a black ink.
The label industry's products continue to involve more efficient sustainability. UPM Raflatac can provide more than 760 products containing recycled products worldwide, all of which have been FSC or PEFC certified, or contain environmentally friendly adhesives. The company also has a tool called Label Life that helps customers evaluate their most viable options when it comes to sustainability.
"In this tool, packaging processing companies and end-users can compare the impact of more than 650 products on the life cycle of the product worldwide, of which 300 can be found in the United States," Cummings said. "For example, if a company is seeking to switch from a 1.6 mil or 2.0 mil polypropylene material to a thin film sticker, Label Life's label life application software can be shown to reduce energy use, water, The benefits of use and greenhouse gas emissions can be compared to the effects of recycling, landfill or incineration."
Avery Corporation has developed its Clean Flake product line. Clean Flake can cleanly remove labels from PET plastic containers. According to Bandy, the company can also provide FSC-certified paper label products without increasing costs.
“We also have our Green Life printing application for the screening lifecycle tool, which can tell you if there are any improvements in the six impact categories: these six categories are the use of fossil materials (such as petroleum, coal), and biomaterials. Use, water use, energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and waste generation," Bandy said. “Earlier this year, we announced a partnership with L'Oréal. The company's Green print green printing application allows brands to see the impact of the label materials they use, including the extraction of raw materials, manufacturing, and finally labelling. The end of the life cycle. This method identifies the location of the greatest environmental impact and helps formulate strategies for how best to mitigate these effects."
Cummings said that environmental protection does have an impact on consumers. "It seems that it is becoming more and more important," she said. "An online survey recently conducted by Neilson on 60,000 consumers in 30 countries shows that 55% of consumers are willing to pay extra for the products and services of companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impacts. cost."
The products provided by Green Bay Packaging are designed to help consumers improve the environment. The company's KONA paper, which is used to print coffee bean bags, is made from corn. Other materials are wood and recycled fibers. In addition, Green Bay Packaging's brown 39# (39NK) natural kraft liner board has not been used in the bleaching process.
National Geographic and Globales polling companies surveyed 18,000 home buyers in 18 countries. The survey results showed that preference-friendly purchases also showed a similar attitude.
According to an independent international market research and marketing consultancy report conducted by AWA on labels and product decoration, the vast majority of industry executives believe that sustainable development is the trend of the future. The report also shows that in 2007 only 50% of CEO respondents stated that sustainable development is an important part of their future, and by 2010, this number has risen to 81%.
Peel off liner
Self-adhesive labels are usually composed of four parts: surface materials, adhesives, silicon release layers and release liners. Backing paper refers to the material under the label and should be discarded after the label is removed.
However, if this is done, the liner is completely wasted. According to NTI data, about 370,000 tons of liner waste will be generated each year.
However, there is another method that can be used to replace the liner. Many companies in the labeling and packaging industry are exploring linerless labels. In this case, the sticker is characterized by a peeling coating, so that the label does not use a release liner when it is wound into a roll.
Arjan Klapwijk, owner of Bio 4 Life, explained the clear idea of a linerless label. "Pressure label die cutting waste is industrial waste," he said. "I can understand why linerless labels can be popular because they don't generate scrap and paper, and there are more labels in a roll."
No liner labels are green alternatives but they have other related advantages. In addition to reducing the amount of silicone waste to be landfilled, there are also cost advantages in producing, packaging, and shipping these labels. Since there is no release liner, the weight of the entire roll of labels will be lighter. Manufacturing costs will also be reduced because there is less waste to manufacture, which can reduce the time of operation.
According to AWA's survey, liner-free labels account for only 3% to 5% of the current sticker market. The polling company also said in its 2014 report on the linerless label market that linerless labels can “save” the label material produced on the main laminating or 'self-laminating' coater. 14.5% of the total cost of the label."
Peeling liners can also be very expensive. AWA added that about 30% of the total labeling costs are related to liners, and more than 60% of labels can be printed on each unlabeled roll.
Companies have been reluctant to make such a shift for several reasons. Printing these tags usually requires new equipment, and the shape of the tags will also be limited. Some brand owners like to have a sticker on the backing paper, because in this way it is easier to achieve the die-cutting process, but also to create more shapes.
"Die cutting waste is difficult to recycle because it is always a mixture of binder and one other material (paper or film), or it may be a mixture of two materials at the same time," Cummings said. “Although die-cut waste does have significant energy content, the waste disposal site for energy recovery in the United States is limited and transportation costs may be an obstacle. Die-cutting waste is mostly loose in off-line production. For effective transport In order to be more compact, it is usually necessary to pack it in. Handling and storage of die-cutting waste The processing companies that are transported to remote locations also need to spend a lot of time and money on printing companies or label processing companies."
LIFE certified environmental protection options
In 2009, the Label and Label Manufacturers Association (TLMI) developed a LIFE certification program for packaging processing companies and suppliers. LIFE is an abbreviation of the label environmental plan. Its formulation is to help companies become more sustainable and reduce the impact on the environment.
According to the Label and Label Manufacturers Association, the LIFE certification aims to “provide an audited certification process specifically for the narrow web printing and packaging industry”. In order to achieve LIFE certification, companies must address the compatibility of adhesive recovery, the source and purpose of liner materials, and effective methods for recycling these materials. In addition, companies must also use thinner structural backing materials to reduce waste. At the same time, LIFE certification also discusses energy consumption and carbon footprint reduction.
LIFE certification incorporates a scorecard system designed to meet certain basic requirements. Then implement the organization's actions and innovations based on the final score. “LIFE certification is similar to other environmental management systems. Unlike ISO14000, LIFE certification is mainly for narrow flexo printing, which is the core and soul of sticker printing,” said the Association of Label and Label Manufacturers, Environmental Health and Safety Committee Chairman Calvin Frost said. “The Label and Label Manufacturers Association has a good introduction to the LIFE certification process on its website. By the way, this certification standard is for everyone, not just between members. The certification process will not be very It's tedious, but it requires determination and attention. Every company involved in LIFE certification is assigned a mentor who guides the company through the certification process."
LIFE certification is beneficial to both customers and packers. According to Frost, LIFE certification is committed to both the customer and the environment. Through both energy and waste savings, both parties have experienced financial gains. More than 60 factories have already won this honor.
The future of sustainable development
The company will make various changes in going green. According to Krapwijk, using more biomaterials and compostable materials will help the environment. His company will be able to provide label products made from sugar cane fibers, and other materials such as corn, potatoes, tapioca, soy protein and lactic acid can also be used. These products can be decomposed into carbon dioxide, water and other natural elements through the composting process.
All products using Bio TAK adhesive can be naturally decomposed within 90 days. Bio 4 Life has many products for labeling and biodegradable packaging of fruits and vegetables.
“The general focus of the label industry is on 'reduce': less ink, less material, and less glue,” Krampvich said. “I think brand owners should take a look at new materials such as biomaterials and compostable and reusable materials.”
"As the economy recovers, end-users also need to consider several aspects of sustainable development," Cummings said. “We have seen that Unilever’s public commitment to adopting paper and board in an environmentally friendly manner by the end of 2015 will help eliminate the destruction of forests. Sustainability is included in most of the major brand owner’s annual reports. Discussion, this cannot be said that sustainability is not the main focus."