Avery Dennison joins Circular Economy for Labels consortium

The consortium seeks to offer solutions and provide education to enable matrix and release liner recycling.

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October 29, 2020

Avery Dennison Corp., Glendale, California, says it has joined other leaders in the pressure-sensitive label industry to form the Circular Economy for Labels (CELAB) consortium, which aims to offer solutions and provide education to enable matrix and release liner recycling.

According to a news release from Avery Dennison about its participation in the consortium, only 52 percent of matrix and liner scrap is recycled globally. CELAB seeks to accelerate matrix and liner recycling industrywide, which aligns with Avery Dennison’s sustainability commitments, including 2025 targets to ensure its operations will be 95 percent landfill-free, that 75 percent of its waste is repurposed and that the company helps customers reduce waste from Avery Dennison products by 70 percent.

“Collaboration is at the heart of our sustainability vision,” says Renae Kezar, senior director, global leader, sustainability, label and graphic materials, Avery Dennison. “This marks our first industrywide effort to work together, and we're learning a lot. In a competitive environment, this isn’t always easy, but CELAB is the embodiment of how shared goals can reach across an entire value chain to push the industry forward towards circularity.”

She adds, “Our commitment to forming CELAB further underscores the complementary efforts we are undertaking throughout our global operations to reduce our environmental impacts and engage in and influence sustainable, circular practices throughout our value chain.”

According to Avery Dennison, CELAB is guided by four principles:

  1. developing cost-effective solutions and working toward the most environmentally favorable options;
  2. using the value chain to build scale and effectively advance recycling solutions for the label printers and applicators;
  3. establishing an impartial organization to drive progress aligned to legislative and consumer requirements; and
  4. enabling, through regional working groups, global oversight for consistency of communications and process.

“This consortium is a timely and much-needed resource to help address one of our industry’s most difficult challenges,” Kezar says.

Avery Dennison says other actions it’s taken to advance circular approaches globally to its matrix and liner recycling through its AD Circular Program include launching a scalable matrix recycling program in North America with RoadRunner Recycling in September to help label converters achieve their zero-waste-to-landfill goals.

In the Asia Pacific region, the company has partnered with EcoBlue, a Thailand-based company that specializes in recycling polyethylene terephthalate (PET) label liner for use in other polyester applications, to add PET label liners to its liner recycling program. In China, Avery Dennison has launched a PET liner and matrix scrap recycling program in partnership with Lvhuan.

In Europe, the company says it has piloted a liner collection program in selected countries. Among its partners was Romei Replastics, which converted scrap material from the labeling process into new raw materials. The process includes collecting PET liner from customers, reshaping it into flakes and high-performance compounds and producing new products. Avery Dennison says it plans to extend the liner collection activities to other countries in the near future.

In Latin America, Avery Dennison Brazil’s Programa Circular collects PET and paper label liners and film label matrix from converters and end-users in collaboration with the São Paulo-based Boomera, which specializes in repurposing waste material. The paper liner is processed by Polpel to make cellulose pulp for tissue paper manufacturing. This program received a Label Industry Global Award in September.