UPM Raflatac introduces New Wave label material

The first RecyClass certified paper label material to obtain a compatible for use on rigid HDPE and polypropylene PP containers.

UPM Raflatac has launched its New Wave paper label material compatible with recycling. It is said to be the first RecyClass certified paper label material to obtain a Letter of Compatibility for use on rigid high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) containers.  

The test results confirm the compatibility even for natural and white material streams, which require the highest purity of recyclate from the recycling processes. This new label material represents a major step forward in the recycling of rigid plastic packaging, helping brand owners continue to make the shift towards enhanced circularity, according to UPM. At the moment, New Wave is said to be the only RecyClass-recognized label material for rigid natural and white HDPE and PP material streams. 

The New Wave label material is designed to provide functionality for the full life cycle of products, primarily home and personal care products such as soap bottles or washing detergent containers. It supports the purity of recycled materials by washing off cleanly at just 40 degrees Celsius using plain water with no chemicals required. Available now to customers in EMEIA, followed by the Asian market, the New Wave label material is tested to perform without fiber loss in the recycling process, helping to prevent contamination in material streams. This ensures the resulting recyclate can be used again in new packaging without compromising on quality and gives producers more choice when it comes to using label materials from a renewable source. 

Until now, obtaining RecyClass approval for natural and white HDPE and PP rigid packaging has been difficult due to the lack of any RecyClass approved label. However, with the introduction of the New Wave paper label material, brands can now achieve certification for the final packaging with New Wave label material certified by RecyClass. This Letter of Compatibility confirms that the label material is compatible with recycling technologies used at an industrial scale. 

Robert Taylor, director sustainability, UPM Raflatac, said: ‘When brands choose the New Wave Label material for their rigid HDPE or PP packaging, they can make the full package eligible for RecyClass certification. Brand owners will not have to test the packaging further if all packaging components have either a letter of compatibility, a technology approval letter, or the material choice meets RecyClass Design for Recycling Guidelines.' 

Sylwia Jurys, vice president, paper laminates, UPM Raflatac, added: ‘This launch marks a significant breakthrough in our efforts to enhance the circularity of plastic packaging. As regulations such as the European Packaging and Packaging Wate Regulation (PPWR) continue to evolve, we have worked with RecyClass to provide a solution that not only meets strict recycling criteria but also sets a new standard for sustainable packaging. We are proud to lead the way in recyclable packaging solutions, helping brand owners meet their sustainability targets and close the loop to support a circular packaging economy.’