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HERMA Self-Adhesive Materials: Eight years of carbon-neutral driving

Because it contains silicone, paper release liner was regarded as unsuitable for recycling for a long time. But for many years now, it has been establishing itself as a sought-after raw material. Despite being mostly discarded as waste, this material is ideally suited for recycling, which is not only climate-friendly but also counteracts the continuing shortage of certain resources. For the eighth year in succession, self-adhesive materials expert HERMA based in Filderstadt has equalized the CO2 emissions of its entire 78-vehicle fleet by collecting release liner for recycling. According to Cycle4Green’s (C4G) certification, HERMA has collected approximately 201 metric tons of discarded release liner from self-adhesive materials production for a special recycling process in 2018. With the help of Cycle4Green and the Austrian paper manufacturer Lenzing, this was again turned into label paper or release liner, both of which are reused by HERMA, amongst other things. Manufacturing the same amount of product from virgin fibre would have increased CO2 emissions by 406 metric tons. By comparison, the family company's fleet only generated CO2 emissions of just under 400 metric tons.

Continuing resource shortages
“By participating in this recycling program, we not only make an important contribution to preserving the environment. We also somewhat counteract continuing resource shortages. Due to extreme demand in Asia, especially China, and continuing growth in Europe, we are facing continued resource shortages just like last year, for instance regarding paper”, explains Dr. Thomas Baumgärtner, HERMA managing director and head of the Self-adhesive Materials Division. Since 2010, the self-adhesive materials specialist has been supplying discarded release liner from production to the specialist recycling company Cycle4Green (www.cycle4green.eu). “We must be prepared for the necessary resources to become even harder to procure in the future”, says Dr. Thomas Baumgärtner. “I therefore appeal to all label printers and users to participate in the C4G recycling initiative. It is worth it – not only for the climate, but also because it curbs the continued price hikes for raw materials.”

Cycle4Green organizes the collection of waste release liner in a large number of European countries. Lenzing, a pioneer of eco-friendly paper manufacture, then undertakes the recycling. Cycle4green collects a minimum quantity of five metric tons of material from wherever it is generated anywhere in Europe, without costs being incurred. A precondition is that the waste is sorted into different materials. Approximately 360,000 metric tons of siliconized release paper is generated every year throughout the European Union, the bulk of which comes from within companies applying labels.