Following the announcement last month of the launch of the first polypropylene label film manufactured from post-consumer recycled plastic on a mass balance basis, UPM Raflatac is now debuting another first: UPM Raflatac Forest Film PE, the latest member of its family of sustainable film labelling solutions.
With this new PE film label, UPM Raflatac is moving beyond the use of fossil-based raw materials as a source for its labelling products in order to be able to offer customers a wide variety of sustainable alternatives to choose from, according to Timo Kekki, vice president, films SBU UPM Raflatac
“As one of the signatories to the Ellen MacArthur New Plastic Economy initiative we will continue driving the industry forward by innovating products that reduce the use of non-renewable virgin raw materials,” he said.
Produced in collaboration with UPM Biofuels and Dow, the Forest Film PE label material is derived from the 100% wood residue-based raw material UPM BioVerno naphtha produced by UPM Biofuels. This is then processed by Dow into bio-based plastic granules to be extruded into label film.
“This new product shows the versatility of UPM BioVerno as a raw material. Crude tall oil, a residue of paper pulp production, is transformed into UPM BioVerno naphtha, which can be used as raw material for different kinds of plastics that helps brand owners meet their sustainability goals in packaging,” says Panu Routasalo, Vice President, UPM Biofuels.
Dow has used UPM BioVerno naphtha to produce different types of bio-based polyethylenes since last year, which the company announced the commercialisation of bio-plastics offerings for the packaging and labelling industry made from a bio-based renewable feedstock. This is the first labelling product the collaboration has produced.
“This new film label material helps customers and consumers reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and therefore reduces the carbon footprint in the entire value chain,” said Carolina Gregorio, Biobased project leader at Dow. “At the same time the bio-based PE label materials have exactly the same performance as fossil-derived ones, and they do not have an impact in the recyclability of the final package, when used in HDPE bottles for home and personal care products.”
The Forest Film product range has an International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS). It is produced using sustainable bio-feedstock, replacing the equivalent amount of fossil resources used in the production process, using a mass balance approach, accounting for the amount of sustainable resources.