Herma has launched PE film label that is manufactured entirely from recycled material.
This new PE label, manufactured exclusively from recycled polyethylene, was jointly developed in Germany by the printer schäfer-etiketten and Herma, with the aid of the PE film experts of Polifilm.
Half of the raw material for the labelstock originates from industrial waste, and the other half from the single-use PE commonly discarded by households, typically in the form of plastic bottles and packaging remains.
‘This novel label material prints very well no matter what the technique, from flexo and offset to screen and digital printing,’ said Volker Hurth, who oversees the cosmetic industry business of schäfer-etiketten. ‘Customers who have seen the samples have given the material an enthusiastic reception, and actual projects and orders are already being processed.’
Dr Ulli Nägele, Herma’s head of development, said: ‘The material responds well to coating, and the conventional roll sizes can be fabricated without any constraints.’
The PE label material produced from recycled waste is white, but on closer inspection so-called gels are visible as well.
‘These are tiny specks that arise during the recycling process and cannot be entirely avoided,’ said Volker Hurth of schäfer-etiketten. ‘On the other hand, they give the label material an authentic character and signal to end-users that it has genuinely been produced from recycled waste. The new label is therefore ideal for brands and manufacturers who, as a general rule, want their packaging materials to reflect a commitment to sustainability.’
Dr Nägele said: ‘We ought not to demonize plastics in view of the tremendous progress they have delivered on many fronts. But it’s important that we continue to challenge the throw-away mentality and focus more on actively initiating or fostering material cycles. We would be very pleased if this new self-adhesive material, based on recycled PE film, could make a small contribution towards this end.’
In related news, Herma will presents a linerless label system at the Fachpack and Labelexpo tradeshows. It is envisaged as an alternative to the millions of shipping labels that are consumed every day worldwide. The new product would eliminate the need for logistics and distribution centers to dispose of vast quantities of unusable release liner – the waste would simply not arise in the first place, according to the company.