Avery Denisson looks at ways to rethink labels by using regenerative solutions


Rethinking labels means taking a new look at how labels can help the industry to better meet the packaging demands in a reshaped retail environment where sustainability, recycling, waste reduction shape the future. Avery Denisson has created a number of solutions to it.

Consumers’ habits are changing and the two-year long Covid-19 pandemic accelerated a trend to move into a “regenerative” economy. This term means a reduction in the consumption of natural resources to move towards circular circuits where recycling, reusing will be part of the way of being. With the challenges linked to the climate change and the exhaustion of natural resources, the world cannot afford anymore to continue wasting materials. As an example, according to Eurostat, individuals in Europe generated 174.1 kg of packaging waste in 2018. This is 12.5 kg more than in 2008.

Avery Denisson is firmly believing that the way of consuming needs to change. “if done correctly, within 10 years, we won’t even talk about sustainability. It [will] just be the way business is done,” tells Tyler Chaffo, Manager of Global Sustainability, Avery Dennison Smartrac. 

Avery Dennison is working at creating solutions for products which can last beyond their point of use. The company is leveraging its legacy of innovation to design label and packaging solutions that are better for the planet.

Avery Dennison is a California based manufacturer and distributor of adhesive materiels such as labels, of apparel branding labels and tags. The almost 90-year-old company is empowering consumer-focused brands to create lasting change, reduce their consumption of natural resources and move towards a circular and regenerative economy.

Introducing Sustainable ADvantage

Avery Dennison has introduced a portfolio of solutions that enable brands to use fewer natural resources, cut carbon emissions, reduce waste and move toward a low-carbon, circular economy. Called “Sustainable Advantage”, it proposes to improve the environmental impact of packaging and elevate the company’s sustainability’s credentials – without sacrificing performance and, in many cases, without paying more.

Many Sustainable ADvantage solutions are created according to EcoDesign principles, such as making labels from the same material as the package to increase the likelihood of the package being recycled. Avery Dennison Sustainable ADvantage explores various fields for companies to become more regenerative in their business approach:

  • CleanFlake materials and technology

For a PET package to be recycled, its label must be compatible with sorting equipment and able to detach properly during the recycling wash. CleanFlake materials come in sizes and thicknesses recognized by sorting equipment, while CleanFlake Adhesive Technology ensures that both the label and its adhesive come off cleanly.

The result is that packaging becomes rPET and less is down-cycled or incinerated. Otherwise, CleanFlake materials are easy to use: they perform like any other label — on press, on the package and on the shelf.

  • HDPE Recycling

RecyClass guidelines dictate that recyclable labels for HDPE packages must wash off at 40°C. However, as water in a shower is generally about the same temperature, it raises the risk that recyclable labels on personal care products will slide off during use. 

Avery Denisson permanent acrylic adhesives however stay in place during a cold wash. They have been approved by RecyClass for pigmented HDPE recycling, an industry first.

Avery Denisson proposes also film labels made from biocircular content. Designed for rigid packaging, Bio-based PP looks and performs like conventional PP, but with less fossil fuel and 9% less GHG emissions. Bio-based PP is made with biological byproducts from other production processes, so no food crops are displaced to produce it.

  • Wash-off paper labels

Single-use packaging is a major factor to pollution and climate change. As more consumers are getting concerned and rejecting it, more regulators are moving to eliminate it. Avery Denisson wash-off paper labels make more packaging reusable. They’re engineered for easy removal at water temperatures between 21°C and 60°C — no added chemicals necessary.

  • Compostable

For a label looking at making disposal of packed or bagged produce easier, Avery Denisson proposes compostable materials. They are compostable under industrial conditions and meet all country and local regulations, yet perform as well as non-compostable labels.

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