An innovation from Avery Dennison that enables closed-loop PET recycling has won this year’s Finat Recycling and Sustainability award. The CleanFlake™ portfolio enables production of high-quality recycled PET (rPET) from post-consumer bottles while maintaining visual impact and food contact approval. The portfolio is further reducing environmental impact by using recycled PET liner material.
Jeroen Diderich, vice president and general manager EMEA, said: ‘Finat is an important organization representing our customer base and we are delighted with this win. CleanFlake technology is one example of the many initiatives we are introducing to reduce material use and waste. Generating clean PET flakes, free of label and ink contamination, is a difficult task for recyclers. We worked to develop a label that would separate from bottles completely in a conventional recycling facility, and CleanFlake can close the loop – generating high quality rPET suitable for making new PET bottles or other food packaging.’
The portfolio meets many application needs, with a clear ‘no-label look’ rigid facestock, a cavitated white version, and flexible facestocks that can adapt to semi-squeezable containers or dimensional changes in freshly blown bottles, eliminating or significantly reducing label wrinkle defects.
Jenny Wassenaar, sustainability and compliance director, said that the environmental benefits are substantial, including the sustainability gains available from the option of a rPET23 liner which contains 30 percent post-consumer waste: ‘Our analysis shows that using a million square meters of rPET23 reduces fossil fuel use by 30 percent (60 barrels of oil), energy use by 23 percent (equivalent to 17 households for a year) and water by 20 percent (123 people’s annual consumption).’
Extensive collaboration has ensured that the portfolio meets widely varying recycling standards in many countries. CleanFlake adheres to EPBP design guidelines and delivers 100 percent wash-off when following the in Petcore PET tray recycling protocol. It is also approved by Returpack (Sweden) and Infinitum (Norway).
Jenny Wassenaar said that such widespread testing is important: ‘A recycling washer can operate at anything from 65 to 85 degrees, and CleanFlake performs well either way. This initiative has shown how much can be achieved when manufacturers, suppliers, recyclers and converters all work together on sustainability improvements.’