The Flexographic Technical Association (FTA)
, Bohemia, New York, has presented its Environmental Excellence Award for Innovations in Sustainability to Glendale, California-based Avery Dennison’s Materials Group
at FTA’s annual forum. Avery Dennison, a labeling and packaging materials and solutions firm, was recognized for its CleanFlake portfolio, a collection of label materials developed to advance the recycling of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers.
Direct printing, paper labels and standard pressure-sensitive labels applied to PET bottles tend to lower the recycling efficiency and the quality of recycled PET. In 2010, nearly 1.5 billion pounds of PET were collected for recycling domestically, yet reclaimers reported yield losses ranging from 24.4 percent to 32.2 percent due to contamination by labels, adhesives and other components—amounting to a loss of more than 40 million pounds of bottles.
“We understand that industry-transforming innovations begin with a view of the entire value chain—from responsible sourcing to end-of-life analysis,” says Darrell Hughes, vice president and general manager of Avery Dennison’s Materials Group North America. “We worked closely with stakeholders including raw material suppliers and reclaimers to solve a very real challenge: improving the recyclability of PET containers. We are proud to be offering the industry a solution that will allow more high-quality recycled PET to enter the supply stream.”
Avery Dennison says its CleanFlake product is a patent-pending adhesive technology that “switches off” when submerged in a caustic bath so the label cleanly separates from the PET flakes. While the labels adhere firmly to PET bottles or containers during use, they detach readily in a conventional recycling facility and rise to the surface in the float/sink separation phase, allowing clean PET flakes to sink for easier reclamation.
FTA’s Sustainability Excellence Awards recognize companies for pioneering efforts in developing innovative processes, products and management approaches that have had a positive impact on the environment. Winners were selected by the FTA Sustainability Committee.
This is the eighth industry award Avery Dennison has received for the CleanFlake Portfolio. The company received the Sustainability Award at Labelexpo 2013 in Brussels and the Global Green Award during Labelexpo 2012 in Chicago. In addition, the company received the Society of Plastic Engineers Environmental Award in the Design for Sustainability category in 2013 and the Koreastar, Asiastar and Worldstar packaging awards between 2012 and 2013. Most recently, it received the Environmental Leader 2014 Product of the Year Award.