Flint Group Narrow Web, Rogers, Minnesota, has released two UV-flexo coating products to improve the recyclability for shrink sleeves and pressure-sensitive labels. Flint Group’s new coating products are available in North America and will soon be available in Europe and other regions.
Flint Group’s Evolution Deinking Primer for shrink sleeves and the Evolution Caustic Resistant Over Print Varnish (OPV) for self-adhesive labels are designed to increase the yield of material in the recycling process. The company says both of these new coatings have been recognized by the Washington-based Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) to comply with the critical guidance for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging.
According to Flint Group, the new Evolution Deinking Primer coating for shrink sleeve materials makes the ink release in the caustic bath of the recycling process. When used with crystallizable polyester shrink sleeve material (CPET), the primer keeps the ink anchored to the substrate through the usable life of the sleeve but releases it in the caustic bath. The ink is removed from the sleeve material without contaminating the bottle flake. The materials are rinsed and pelletized into recycled polyester for reuse.
The company says the Evolution Deinking Primer is applied by the conventional UV-flexo process and works with Flint Group’s EkoCure XS flexo inks that are designed for shrink sleeves.
The new Evolution Caustic Resistant OPV is a UV-flexo overprint varnish to improve the process of recycling PET bottles that have pressure-sensitive labels. Flint Group says the varnish minimizes contamination of the wash water and bottle flake in the caustic bath by keeping the ink secured to the label substrate. When immersed in the float-sink bath, the label is released from the bottle and floats to the surface where it is separated from the bottle recycling stream.
According to a news release from Flint Group, neither the Evolution Deinking Primer nor the Evolution Caustic Resistant OPV impacts ink color, image quality or code readability. As a result, the company says, converters can have a smooth transition to the new coatings.
“The Deinking Primer and Caustic Resistant OPV are simple to use and offer optimal performance at all stages of the label or sleeve life cycle while meeting the stringent requirements of the APR critical guidance. Switching to these new products is disruption-free, has no adverse effect on functionality, and works with our standard inks,” says John Pogatschnik, North American marketing manager for Flint Group Narrow Web. “Both products are plug-and-play solutions that enable better recycling without impacting the quality or application performance. A converter doesn’t need to qualify a new ink series and rematch several colors: simply splice into a recognized substrate, turn on the primer or OPV, and more sustainable labels or sleeves are rolling up on the winder.”