“The FTA Sustainability Excellence Award program clearly illustrates that flexographic printers and suppliers have integrated environmentally conscious manufacturing methods into the very core of their businesses,” says Judge Marygrace Quigley, Label Technology, Merced, CA.
A similar assessment was offered by Judge Dolores Corcoran, productivity system manager, Lauterbach Group, Inc., Sussex, WI. She says, “The 2014 FTA award winners surpassed and outshined their competitors. The winners demonstrated incomparable and unparalleled programs, which could be applied to other industries wanting to drive sustainability.”
Avery Dennison took home the 2014 FTA Excellence in Sustainability Award in the Innovations in Sustainability category for its CleanFlake portfolio, a product built on its proprietary SR3010 adhesive, which debounds and cleanly separates the label during the recycling process. The label floats and the pure polyet hylene terephthalate (PET) sinks to deliver food grade quality PET flakes.
“CleanFlake was designed to address the lifecycle impacts of pressure sensitive labels and full bottle shrink labels on PET recyclability,” explains Maria Kula, communications manager within the North American Materials Group. “CleanFlake can help brands and consumer packaging companies adhere to design for recycling guidelines, so that their PET bottles and containers can be easily collected and do not contribute to contamination and yield loss of recycled PET supply.
Kulas says that Avery Dennison is facilitating a network for printers, packagers and packaged goods brands to reduce waste across the industry. "We are in the process of setting new, long term targets. We will raise the bar for energy, greenhouse gas emissions, waste, and workplace safety, and at the same time continue to work with our stakeholders on recycling and social compliance.
“CleanFlake has proof of meeting all of the recyclability guidelines and is fully adaptable to existing assets at both the converter and the end user," Kulas says. "The label, adhesive, and release liner materials function in existing high speed converting and bottling. In addition, the release liners used are ultra thin 92 gauge or 75 gauge PET, bringing additional benefits of more labels on a roll, reduced transportation costs per roll, and less liner material for the end user to recycle.”
Darrell Hughes, vice president and general manager of Avery Dennison Materials Group North America, comments, “We understand that industry transforming innovations begin with a view of the entire value chain—from responsible sourcing to end of life analysis.” Alluding to how the product was developed, he says, “We worked closely with stakeholders including raw material suppliers and reclaimers to solve a very real challenge: improving the recyclability of PET containers. We are proud to be offering the industry a solution that will allow more high quality recycled PET to enter the supply stream.”
Flexible Packaging specialist Accredo Packaging won in the Sustainability Programs category. “Accredo Packaging Inc. embodies sustainability throughout the business model clearly demonstrating an exceptional unprecedented sustainable program,” Judge Corcoran says. “I applaud the work.” To that, Quigley adds, “Accredo has made sustainability the backbone of its company.”
Accredo is in the process of obtaining certification as an SGP Printer with the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership. The converter received a 2013 Green Power Leadership Award from the US Environmental Protection Agency, which recognizes the country’s leading green power purchasers for their commitment and contributions to helping advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market. Accredo is a registered member of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership and the Organic Trade Association.
Malcolm Cohn, director of sustainability for Accredo, says, “Accredo Packaging has established itself as a leading flexible packaging manufacturer with a strong commitment to sustainability. As one of our core values, sustainability is critical in the products we create, our worker safety initiatives and our environmental policies. Our owners and executives take a leadership role in promoting a sustainable operating environment – whether that’s looking at current, day to day operations, or forecasting future needs and requirements.”