The first polypropylene (PP) label film made from 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic uses certified “circular” PP material, giving brands an option for meeting more of their sustainable packaging goals.
Now available globally from UPM Raflatac, the PP PCR Clear and White label films are made with SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE recycled-content polymers, produced “on a mass-balance basis,” according to the manufacturer — and are certified and traceable from feedstock to the final product by ISCC PLUS, a widely recognized sustainability certification scheme that verifies the mass-balance accounting follows predefined and transparent rules.
Chain of custody is maintained throughout the supply chain. Timo Kekki, vice president, films business, for UPM Raflatac, explains, “ISCC PLUS is a leading global sustainability certification scheme for fully traceable supply chains and UPM Raflatac, SABIC, as well the PP film manufacture and the whole value chain before UPM Raflatac, works according to this chain of custody to deliver this new innovation to the market.”
Launched at the K 2019 show in October 2019, TRUCIRCLE products from SABIC are certified circular polymers from the chemical recycling of mixed plastic waste, using the mass-balance approach to “deliver virgin-like resin feedstock,” according to the company. Chemical recycling takes mixed-waste plastics and turns them back into their original molecules, which are then made into polypropylene that can replace virgin PP while adhering to strict food-safety regulations.
So why is UPM Raflatac focusing on recycled-content polypropylene labels when most containers are polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or high-density polyethylene (HDPE)? “We already have PET PCR label in our range,” Kekki says. “But more importantly, PP label is dominantly used in fast-moving consumer goods plastic packages. Circular use of raw materials is important, but equally important is the raw material input that is fed to the system and, to achieve the biggest impact, it makes sense to introduce recycled PP label to the market. PP label is widely recommended and considered compatible for recycling with main plastic packaging materials: PET, PP, and PE.”