Upcycling with labels



Two expert panels from the German Packaging Institute DVI visited HERMA to learn how labels can help optimize the environmental balance of packaging materials. Participants got an exclusive preview of HERMA’s new linerless label system which will be presented at the Labelexpo and Fachpack exhibitions. The visit also focussed on labels featuring multi-layer technology and how they can promote the upcycling of plastic packaging.


How can labels help optimize the environmental track record of packaging materials and labelling processes? What should labels be made of in order to foster better recycling or even upcycling of plastic packaging? Following an invitation by renowned German Packaging Institute DVI, many packaging experts from leading brand manufacturers visited self-adhesive technology expert HERMA in Filderstadt. The visit entailed, among other things, an exclusive preview into an R&D project for an innovative, linerless label system which will be officially introduced at this year’s Labelexpo and Fachpack exhibitions. “This system will drastically increase the application scope of so-called linerless labels”, stressed HERMA Managing Director Dr. Thomas Baumgärtner. “Label users therefore no longer need to worry about professional disposal or reconditioning of release liner material, as it is simply no longer needed. That is a strong argument in view of scarce resources that must be used sustainably.” Dr. Baumgärtner announced that more detailed information about the new linerless system would be released in late summer.


The label as part of the solution

By now, labels and their residue-free removability also play a key role in the genuine recycling of plastic packaging materials. “If all impurities – i.e. especially printing ink – can be removed along with the label, the resulting granulate has the highest possible quality. This makes it suitable not only for recycling, but also for upcycling”, explained Marcus Gablowski, head of adhesive and special coating development at HERMA. Some participants of the DVI events asked about how to manage the balancing act between ensuring reliable adhesion of labels and removing them without any residue. For that purpose, HERMA uses an innovative multi-layer technology. “With this technology, it is possible to combine seemingly contradictory product characteristics. Costly special materials are not required, as we are able to assign specific properties to every individual adhesive layer. Therefore, labels are not part of the problem, but rather part of the solution.” Gablowski is sure that multi-layer adhesive systems for labels are an absolute must with regard to the recycling of plastic packaging. “In the future, packaging will have to comply with considerably stricter requirements concerning its environmental balance and fundamental recyclability. I can speak for the participants in saying that HERMA has given us valuable suggestions as to what labels can contribute to solving this problem”, summarized DVI Managing Director Winfried Batzke. “And we are not talking about lofty visions, but very concrete, practical solutions.”


Located in Filderstadt near Stuttgart (Germany), HERMA GmbH is a leading European specialist in self-adhesive technology. In the 2018 fiscal year, the HERMA Group generated sales of € 361.3 million in its three divisions with 1,051 employees.



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