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Spear 'Reprocessing' spent liner

December 20, 2011

The Mitsubishi technology allows cradle-to-cradle recycling of spent liner into new, quality liner.

Spear, a leading global supplier of pressure sensitive labels to the beer and beverage Industries, has a global corporate program, Spear Earth, which encompasses numerous environmental initiatives. The latest of these activities is a liner recycling process in partnership with Mitsubishi.

Release liner represents approximately 30 percent of Spear’s product. Traditionally, release liner has been landfilled, a process which is simply not sustainable in today’s industry. Mitsubishi Polyester Films, one of the largest PET film release producers, has developed its “Reprocess” technology that allows cradle-to-cradle recycling of spent liner into new, quality liner.

Mitsubishi has worked with Spear to test the quality of Reprocess liner in high-speed application lines. This has been a success, and Spear is now leading customer collection.

Bill Wells, sales and marketing director, Label, for Mitsubishi Polyester Films Americas, says, "Spear has demonstrated true industry leadership by supporting the commercialization of our Reprocess closed loop product system. The full scale-up of our program requires continued industry support of the collection of spent PET film release liners. It is imperative that we identify the appropriate contacts within the pressure sensitive user-companies, to reach the decision-makers empowered to implement the change to Reprocess. Our association with Spear has been fruitful and invaluable in assisting our efforts to present sustainable solutions regarding the recycling of spent PET film release liner.”

Mitsubishi's goal for Reprocess is for it to eventually become an industry standard. USA is the beta-site, but the program is set to be rolled out globally upon successful implementation. Mitsubishi plans to increase the percentage of recovered content used in construction from five percent to 25 percent over the next 18 months. Spear will continue to help Mitsubishi drive this initiative forward.

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