Suntory Beverage & Food selects Asahi AWP water-washable plates

Use of Asahi plates to print labels for PET bottles is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 30 percent compared to the previous process.

Consumer packaged goods brand Suntory Beverage & Food, headquartered in Tokyo, has switched to Asahi Photoproducts AWP water-washable flexographic plates for the printing of beverage labels in Japan on its 550 ml PET bottles.  

This is the first time for AWP plates to be used for printing labels in the beverage industry in Japan. In implementing this next-generation flexo printing technology, Asahi Kasei, parent company of Asahi Photoproducts, collaborated with Fuji Seal. According to research by Fuji Seal, this is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 30 percent compared to the plate technology that had previously been used.  

Flexographic printing is a widely used printing method around the world. Currently, the printing plates used are primarily solvent-washable plates that require an organic solvent-based washing solution in the wash out step of the plate-making process. Asahi Kasei develops and manufactures water-washable plates that use a water-based washing solution, which is environmentally friendly, according to the company. The AWP water-washable plates adopted for label printing at Suntory Beverage & Food are now used at its Suntory Kyushu Kumamoto Plant, where solvent-washable plates had previously been used. 

Based on Asahi Kasei’s group mission of contributing to life and living for people around the world, the company will continue to promote its AWP family of water-washable plates to replace solvent-washable plates in beverage label applications. It is expected that this can reduce the environmental impact of printing, which will contribute to the achievement of a sustainable society, Asahi reported.