Digital Magazine

Eastman Reports on Full-Wrap Label Consortium


KINGSPORT, TN | Eastman Chemical Co. has issued a report on the recent meeting of the full-wrap label consortium the company organized. The consortium is dedicated to solving current recycling stream issues, including identifying polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers with full-wrap labels, removing those labels, separating label material from PET, and developing non-bleeding ink.

During its August 2013 meeting, the consortium toured a recycling facility and reviewed test results from a trial run using delabeling equipment. The test runs showed positive results, as the majority of labels were cleanly removed and the bottles sustained almost no damage, helping keep the recycling stream free of labels and maximizing yield.

Delabeling equipment is one of the top near- and long-term solutions the consortium members think has among the highest potential to solve the recycling stream issues. During the recent trial run, an intact bale was fed through the entire bottle recycling system, including debaling, whole bottle wash, and delabeling. This trial showed that up to 97% of labels with perforation were removed.

“There is a great amount of dedication to improving and creating new delabeling equipment that can work with multiple systems and with greater degrees of efficiencies than what previously was available,” says Holli Whitt, market development manager, sustainability for specialty plastics, Eastman. “The consortium has opened opportunities for collaboration among groups that were already independently working toward similar goals.”

The consortium—which has met five times since August 2012—includes more than 100 representatives from approximately 50 companies, which is double the number of participants since the first meeting. Membership includes a wide range of representatives across the value chain, including major brands, consumer goods manufacturers, resin producers, film extruders, print converters, and label producers, equipment manufacturers, bottlers and packagers, plastics recyclers, and independent testing firms.

The next full-wrap label consortium meeting is in December. Before the end of the year, the group plans to obtain formalized organization recognition.

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