German adhesive materials specialist VPF has developed, in cooperation with Gmund Papier, a self-adhesive labelstock made entirely from hemp fiber as an alternative to conventional papers made of wood.
The 120 g/m2 hemp paper consists of pure European hemp fiber, offers a soft feel, excellent printability, and improved wastepaper cycle.
Hemp is one of the oldest cultivated plants used early for paper production. The Gutenberg Bible from 1455 was made of hemp paper, and until about 1880, 75 to 90 percent of the world’s paper demand was covered by hemp fibers. Unlike trees, hemp grows quickly, can be easily cultivated, and is fully utilized.
A hemp field has four to five times the yield of a forest of the same size. Hemp grows to a height of up to four meters within a year and can be harvested three times a year, producing more biomass than any other domestic crop.
Since the fiber is naturally light in color, a small amount of bleaching agent is needed for subsequent paper production. Hemp is characterized by fibers that are five times as long as those of paper fibers, which means high tensile, tear and wet strength with accompanying long durability; at the same time, the long fibers mean hemp improves the waste paper cycle and can be recycled often.
After lengthy trials and aging tests, VPF now coats the Gmund Hemp 100 percent paper (VPF 10555) with a strong adhesive UV acrylate, HM716UV with 25 g application weight. Because of the strong final adhesion, the material can also be reliably bonded to almost all more difficult substrates despite the relatively high grammage of 120 g/m.
To further optimize the carbon footprint, VPF exclusively uses a 70 g recycled liner (NSA700-476) for the self-adhesive finish of the hemp paper, which consists of 70 percent recycled content.