UPM Raflatac’s smart label solution makes recycling “smarter than ever”

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20 Jun 2018 --- UPM Raflatac combines digitalization with circular economy ideals to optimize the waste collection process for its customers. By adding RafMore smart label solution to recycling containers, customers are able to regulate when waste is ready to be collected by scanning the label with a mobile app.

RafCycle is a cost-efficient waste recycling solution that collects label release liner waste from Raflatac partners throughout Europe. The RafMore smart label solution was tested with several RafCycle customers in Denmark and Sweden, and the waste material collected from these customers can be turned into new products at UPM Plattling paper mill in Germany where the paper release liners are de-siliconized and recycled into pulp and paper, closing the loop.

Click to Enlarge“UPM Raflatac aims to be a frontrunner in the sustainable management of waste streams arising from label industry. Our RafCycle program deals with different waste streams including waste from labelstock manufacturing, label printing and finally label dispensing by the brand owners,” Juha Virmavirta, Director, RafCycle Solutions, explains to FoodIngredientsFirst.

“With the smart labeling solution, we can make waste collection more efficient and easier for our partners in different parts of the value chain. Creating circular business models is one of our targets and RafCycle is UPM Click to EnlargeRaflatac's solution in this respect,” he adds.

Previously, the waste collection process was done manually, which required a lot of communication between UPM Raflatac and customers. By combining two innovative solutions, UPM Raflatac makes recycling smarter than ever, according to the company.

“RafMore technology will be rolled out first in Scandinavia and gradually on other European markets as well after we have received customer feedback about the system,” says Virmavirta. “There is no reason why the system could not be taken into use outside of Europe as well. We have launched RafCycle already in China last December and we are preparing the launch also in other markets.”

“The main recycling stream is label backing liner waste which we recycle in Europe in UPM Plattling paper mill into high-quality magazine paper. When the packers and brand owners label their products, the backing liner becomes waste and UPM Raflatac can support in converting this waste material into new products. Our partners are operating in a wide variety of different areas such as wine and beer, home and personal care, food and so on,” he adds.

Xellia Pharmaceuticals was an early adopter within the pharmaceutical industry to take advantage of the RafCycle program and enter into a circular economy solution for their glassine waste.

RafMore is much more than a label – it is an innovative solution that allows brand owners to turn ordinary product labels into smart packaging that tells an ever-evolving story. Using the latest digital printing technology, RafMore transforms traditional product packaging into connected packaging with a unique traceable identity.

UPM Raflatac is pioneering the label industry with RafCycle, an innovative recycling concept that offers a new life for label waste. Label recycling provides numerous benefits to printers, packers, brand-owners, and, of course, the environment. UPM Raflatac currently has more than 100 RafCycle customers globally.

“WClick to Enlargee now give our RafCycle customers unique codes through which we can track the exact amount of waste and give direct feedback via the RafMore mobile application. This helps us to better manage our logistic processes, making the waste collection process more efficient. By doing so, we offer our customers better service and help them to make more sustainable choices,” says Claus Søndergaard, Sales Manager, Denmark, UPM Raflatac.

“We have been using RafCycle for recycling our glassine liners from our production for several years now and it has been a great solution. Recently, we implemented the new RafMore solution which made for logistic efficiency in our warehouse because it moved the planning of RafCycle pickups into the hands of UPM Raflatac. The mobile app itself is easy to install and use. On top of the logistic app solution, we now have a better overview of the total volume that has been moved from waste to a resource,” says Per Hasso, Warehouse Assistant, Xellia Pharmaceuticals.

By Joshua Poole and Laxmi Haigh

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