WACKER Supports CELAB Recycling Initiative
Munich, Nov 17, 2020
Leading label manufacturers launched a recycling initiative for release coatings at the end of October. Future recycling of coated wastepaper is to be achieved by creating a collection system and sustainable circular economy. The company consortium currently comprises 30 industry members. Besides internationally active label manufacturers such as Avery Dennison and Herma, numerous European raw material suppliers have joined the initiative. The Munich-based chemical company WACKER also supports the campaign.
Self-adhesive labels are always supplied with a protective film or a backing paper. That way they can be transported without sticking. The backing is coated so that the label can be removed easily. “Silicone release agents play an important role here,” says Dr. Hans Lautenschlager, head of the Release Coatings team at WACKER. “Their job is to make sure that the label is not damaged when peeled off. Without the release agent, the label would adhere to the backing paper, rendering it useless.”
At present, Europe does not have a suitable recycling system for backing paper. The Circular Economy for Self-Adhesive Labels or CELAB wants to change this. Under the umbrella of FINAT, the association for the self-adhesive label industry, the consortium’s 30 member companies are committed to creating a European collection and recycling system. This will facilitate a 75 percent recycling rate for release coatings and for the matrix, i.e. the paper left after the labels have been removed, in Europe alone over the next five years.
Joining the CELAB initiative was a no-brainer for the silicone chemist. “For years, sustainable business models and closed product loops have been an integral part of our strategic goals,” says Lautenschlager, a longstanding player in the release agent business. “So, it was obvious that we would actively support a recycling campaign like this.”