Question: Welcome Andrés, it’s great to have you join the Label Academy hosted Label Summit Latin America session covering sustainability. Without giving too much away, tell us a bit about what you will be presenting in your session, and why….
AFP: As an expositor, I will present ARclad S.A.'s approach to the development of sustainable products in the labeling industry, from three approaches: reduce, recycle and renewable.
Question: What are some of the barriers towards meaningful sustainability action in the region, from your perspective as a major materials supplier in Latin America?
AFP: Experience at industrial level has shown that the best way to encourage the use of products with a low impact on the environment is through the design of government regulations for consumers and the production chain for this transition towards sustainable products. However, other factors such as the high cost of raw materials, high-cost certifications, at this time the market is not willing to pay.
Both factors, together, make it very difficult to position sustainable products.
Question: How do you foresee this will evolve in the region over the next five years?
AFP: As the regulation of single-use plastic spreads in the Americas over the next few years, it will facilitate the large-scale production of sustainable products.
Question: Can a converting business be sustainable and profitable at the same time?
AFP: Yes, as long as in the future the markets are protected from smuggled materials, low cost and without certifications, and the regulatory authorities enforce the rules.
Question: Can you outline some of the steps ARclad has taken to become a more sustainable materials business?
AFP: Increasing local purchases of adhesives, and in-house production of some of them, has a positive impact on the carbon footprint. Likewise, the use of waste for the production of briquettes as an energy source and to prevent them from reaching a landfill are important activities to achieve sustainable products.
At the product level, we are encouraging them to use self-adhesive material with a renewable print face in short periods of time, for example, produced from sugarcane bagasse.
We are also in the process of developing self-adhesive structures that facilitate the recycling process of PET, glass, among others.
Question: What single piece of advice would you give to package printing converters in Latin America wishing to make their business more sustainable – where should they start?
AFP: The first easy message to deliver is: less is more. That is, to reduce in an organized way the weight of a self-adhesive structure including its printing elements, in order to increase the environmental benefit for the entire chain. Second, something very simple, specify that the component of the label is compatible with the recovery process of the substrate to be labeled, in this way our product will not be an obstacle, but a facilitator.
Question: What are you most looking forward to seeing at Label Summit Latin America 2024?
AFP: Very important megatrends are approaching worldwide, one of them is the development of sustainable products, therefore, the value chain is making for this. And secondly, the digital world, from the value chain, to understand what positive and negative impacts it can have for the manufacture of self-adhesive material.
See Andrés present “Demystifying label and package printing sustainability” from 11.00 – 11.30 on 12 March 2024. For the full program, visit https://www.labelsummit.com/colombia/conference-program.
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