Full-Wrap Label Consortium Reviews Positive Results Of Potential Solution To Solve PET Plastic Recycle Stream Issues

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Full-Wrap Label Consortium Reviews Positive Results Of Potential Solution To Solve PET Plastic Recycle Stream Issues

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 4:30pm

Kingsport, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2013 /3BLMedia/ - In a continued effort to generate and test solutions to the recycling stream issues surrounding full-wrap labels on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, 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.

The full-wrap label consortium, organized by Eastman Chemical Company, is dedicated to solving current recycling stream issues, including identifying PET containers with full-wrap labels, removing those labels, separating label material from PET and developing non-bleeding ink. At each of the consortium’s meetings since its formation more than a year ago, a growing number of members have continued to assess solutions to best solve current issues.

Top solutions
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 percent 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,” said 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.”

Growing interest
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.

At the August 2013 consortium meeting, numerous attendees noted the innovative thinking the group is putting toward solution development. There were comments that the consortium has helped educate the value chain about the challenges in recycling PET containers with shrink labels and that the group should serve as a model for how to solve complex recycling issues.

In addition, the consortium has been contacted by additional equipment manufacturers to help work toward potential solutions.

“Through discussions with members of the value chain during the consortium meetings, we’ve gained a better understanding of potential innovative solutions, including perforations and near infrared capabilities, as well as new equipment options available to the market,” Whitt said.

The next full-wrap label consortium meeting is in December. Before the end of the year, the group plans to obtain formalized organization recognition. For more information about the consortium and to get involved, contact Holli Whitt at hwhitt@eastman.com or (423) 229-8236.

About Eastman Chemical Company
Eastman is a global specialty chemical company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. Eastman focuses on creating consistent, superior value for all stakeholders. As a globally diverse company, Eastman serves customers in approximately 100 countries and had 2012 pro forma combined revenues, giving effect to the Solutia acquisition, of approximately $9.1 billion. The company is headquartered in Kingsport, Tenn., and employs approximately 14,000 people around the world.

For more information, visit www.eastman.com.



Maranda Demuth
+1 (423) 229-6135
Corporate Communications
Keywords: Environment & Climate Change | Conservation | Consortium | Eastman Chemical Company | Environment & Climate Change | Recycling | pet | stream | sustainability | wrap label