Austrian brewer Brau Union Österreich has partnered with Multi-Color Corporation to take the next step in their sustainability journey: sustainable labels. They are working toward a 100 percent sustainable beer production using renewable energy and recycled materials.
The Gösser brand beer packaging is now using 100 percent post-consumer recycled material for an optimal combination with cut-and-stack paper labels. The raw material is 100 percent post-consumer wastepaper, regionally collected and sorted. The fiber pulp is produced while cleaning, sorting, de-inking and bleaching magazine and newspaper waste.
The paper’s carbon dioxide footprint is 20 percent less compared to standard label papers produced from virgin wood fibers. In addition to the reuse of the pulp within the supply chain, the need for virgin paper manufacturing has been drastically reduced. As a result, the consumption of carbon dioxide will be reduced by 20 percent per year. Additionally, the use of water in production will be cut by roughly 40 percent.
Regarding the partnership with MCC, Magne Setnes, chairman of the board of management at Brau Union Österreich, said: ‘The quality convinces us and is particularly sustainable for the environment, as it allows us to preserve 1,000 trees per year.’
MCC faced two challenges in developing this technology at its Romanian plant: developing a constant printability on the label surface and being able to run it efficiently on the finishing lines. The implementation during ongoing operations was also challenging; the test procedure implies that the recycled labels must be checked for the appropriate amount and temperature of glue, the application after dry-out and UV resistancy.