“We are excited that our CleanFlake portfolio has been recognized by Environmental Leader,” says Don Nolan, president of Avery Dennison’s Materials Group. “Industry experts predict that PET usage will increase dramatically over the coming years, and we are proud to offer a solution that will ensure more of that material will enter the recycling stream.”
The Environmental Leader Product & Project Awards is a program recognizing excellence in products and services that provide companies with energy and environmental benefits, or in projects implemented by companies that improved environmental or energy management and increased the bottom line. Scores were determined by a panel of independent judges representing international consumer packaged goods brands, retailers, universities, electronics manufacturers and other organizations.
“PET is one of the plastics most in demand, and loss due to contamination is truly significant,” one Environmental Leader judge wrote in an evaluation of the CleanFlake portfolio. “Avery Dennison’s CleanFlake solves a very real problem with genuine innovation and is just what I consider to be worthy of acclaim.”
Direct printing, paper labels and standard pressure sensitive labels applied to PET bottles tend to lower the recycling efficiency and the quality of recycled PET. In 2010, 1.5 billion pounds of PET were collected for recycling in the United States, yet reclaimers reported yield losses ranging from 24.4 percent to 32.2 percent due to contamination by labels, adhesives and other components – amounting to a loss of over 40 million pounds of bottles.
CleanFlake is a patent-pending adhesive technology that “switches off” when submerged in a recycling bath so the label cleanly separates from the PET flakes. Although these labels adhere firmly to PET bottles or containers during use, they detach readily in a conventional recycling facility and float to the surface of the bath, allowing clean PET flakes to sink to the bottom for easier reclamation.
An Avery Dennison Greenprint life cycle analysis showed that if 50 billion square inches of typical pressure sensitive labels were changed to CleanFlake, there would be a 75 percent reduction in solid waste. This amounts to more than 53,000 tons of waste – the equivalent of the waste generated by more than 20,000 US households.