UPM and Lohmann partner for liner recycling

UPM Specialty Papers and adhesive tape specialist Lohmann have partnered to promote recycling of paper liners in the tape industry

UPM Specialty Papers and adhesive tape specialist Lohmann have partnered to promote recycling of paper liners in the tape industry. 

Until now, liner recycling in the tape industry has proven to be very difficult. As part of its own sustainability strategy of driving forward sustainable adhesive technologies, Lohmann saw the opportunity to spearhead design for recycling in the tapes industry. The collaboration builds on UPM LinerLoop, which is the closed-loop paper liner recycling platform launched in 2018. 

For adhesive tape liners, the greatest technical barrier to high-yield recycling is that the industry has traditionally used siliconized release liners with a darker brown shade. As the typical shade of glassine is white or some other light shade, recycling darker colored glassine grades in the same stream would contaminate the recycled pulp. Darker shades are comparatively small in volume so recycling them separately is not economically viable. 

From a functional perspective, the performance of lighter shades have to match the performance of darker shades. High-performing white liners were already available from UPM and even other suppliers, which is why Lohmann introduced its biobased and solvent-free tapes, DuploCOLL Eco, with the new white paper liner to facilitate recycling with the highest possible value. 

Solutions such as UPM LinerLoop and other established paper and paperboard recycling streams offer a drop-in solution for meeting Lohmann’s target of improving the recyclability of liner waste. Lohmann is pursuing various measures to reduce waste, increase the reusability of packaging as well as the number of recyclable products and product components. The aim here is to minimize the consumption of primary resources while keeping the fibers in the recycling loop for as long as possible. 

‘We are delighted to have been able to support Lohmann in removing the obstacles for recycling of paper liners in the tape industry,’ said Mikko Rissanen, director, technology at UPM Specialty Papers. 

After working closely with UPM Specialty Papers, Lohmann has seen a positive response from customers who have themselves identified a new opportunity to reinforce their own sustainability targets. 

Evert Smit, director scouting at Lohmann, explained: ‘We were aware that the recycling of liners needs to be on our sustainability action plan. We wanted to make the first move and set a new standard for our industry and now, in cooperation with UPM Specialty Papers, we hope that others in the tape industry will follow suit and promote sustainability as a collective.’