There’s a new technology that lets you recycle label liner for pressure-sensitive labels. Silicone release papers are used as backing liners for adhesive products across thousands of different products spanning a range of industry sectors. And while these papers are essential for helping pressure-sensitive labels and other materials maintain their grip until use, their silicon coating prevents conventional recycling and they are discarded as waste. To that end, Techlan Ltd., a family-owned business based in South Wales, has patented an innovative recycling technology to help solve the problem of waste silicone release liners by processing them at their own recycling center and manufacturing them in to Re-Liner, a 100% recycled silicone release liner.
The technology was developed by Mark Thompson, the company’s managing director, following five years of research and development that involved the technical challenge of refining the process to clean the surface of the release liner but not damage the sensitive release coating. The resulting Re-Liner process is circular, using small amounts of energy and small levels of consumables to “clean” rolls of release liner waste, allowing the product to be reused.
“This means that the natural resources are kept within the supply chain and given an extended life cycle,” he says.
Techlan asserts that Re-Liner reduces cost and environmental impact without compromising quality, and for every tonne of Re-Liner consumed the customers generates a CO2 saving of 670kgs/tonne. Thompson says one of the company’s customers, GTS Flexible Materials, a manufacturer of components for the electrical vehicle market, reduced its carbon footprint by 160 tonnes of CO2 in 2022. [4-26-23 CORRECTION: Techlan reduced its carton footprint by 113 tonnes of CO2 in 2022.]
When it comes to applying labels on the packaging line, Thompson says Techlan’s Re-Liner can completely replace an existing prime grade release liner with an average cost that’s comparable to prime grade release liners.
Recycle label liner to see supply chain benefits.
Re-Liner also offers supply chain stability. “During paper shortages last year, prime grade release liner manufacturers were quoting lead times of up to 10 months. [However,] Techlan Re-Liner lead times reduced from 10 weeks to eight weeks during this time,” he says, noting that Re-Liner is also available in smaller order quantities.
Re-Liner is currently being supplied to European markets, with the intention to develop the sale of Re-Liner further afield in the near future.