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UPM Raflatac develops adhesive for PET clamshells

UPM Raflatac has developed a range of products constructed with RP45, its permanent, water-washable adhesive. These products for the Americas market are suitable for food and beverage labeling applications that require easy, thorough water wash-off. Additionally, one of the products in the RP45 range has recently been approved by the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) for use on recyclable PET clamshell packaging.

UPM Raflatac’s RP45 products are claimed to offer exceptional performance throughout their life-cycles: providing both branding and point-of-sale information and securely affixing to metal, plastic and cardboard containers in a range of environmental conditions. In certain end-uses such as beer keg labeling and multiuse plastic container applications, these products offer an additional attribute: warm and hot water wash-off, which results in thorough removal of both the facestock and adhesive and makes the job of rotating, relabeling and reusing containers easier.

In a move designed to increase recycling of thermoform clamshell containers, and move the food industry towards more sustainable packaging, the Retail Council of Canada recently announced that beginning in January 2012, all food clamshell containers supplied to its members must be manufactured from a single material: PET.

To facilitate recycling of PET clamshells, leading grocery chain members, including Walmart, Loblaws, Safeway, Metro and Sobeys, expressed their need for pressure sensitive labels that are compatible with existing PET bottle recycling operations. These retailers collaborated with APR and the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) to develop a test protocol that evaluates clamshell labeling systems and uses seven different parameters for verifying satisfactory removal of pressure sensitive labels from clamshells. Passing the test is a strong indicator that a labeled clamshell can be successfully recycled along with PET bottles.

UPM Raflatac says that it is one of the first labelstock suppliers to submit a product passing APR’s multi-parameter test protocol as of October 1, 2011. The company’s newly developed product, SP184W, which pairs a 54# Raflacoat facestock with RP45 adhesive and a 40# white kraft (2.5 mil) liner, is currently listed on APR’s website as one that officially conforms to the Protocol for Evaluating PET Thermoform Labels and Adhesives for Compatibility with PET Recycling.                                                                                                              

‘We understand the need to recycle one-time use plastic containers, like PET clamshells, as well as the challenges involved in the effort by retailers to create a new, valuable recycling stream from these materials,’ said Jean-Marc Borel, specials business director, Americas, UPM Raflatac. ‘We’re excited to aid in this effort by developing labelstock products to meet retailers’ needs and are eager to learn more and help others find sustainable solutions that promote package reuse and recycling.’

Source: L&L.com