Suntory Beverage & Food has selected Japan-based company Asahi Kasei’s AWP water-washable flexographic plates to print its bottle labels.

The flexographic plates will be used for Suntory’s 550ml polyethylene terephthalate bottle labels in Japan, marking a significant step towards sustainability in the beverage industry in the country.

Flexographic printing, a prevalent method globally, traditionally uses solvent-washable plates that require organic solvents for cleaning.

Kasei’s AWP plates, however, use a water-based solution, offering a more environmentally friendly alternative.

These new plates have been deployed at Suntory’s Kyushu Kumamoto Plant, transitioning from the previous solvent-washable technology.

The company’s collaboration with Fuji Seal has reportedly been instrumental in this development.

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According to Fuji Seal’s research, Kasei’s plates are set to reduce carbon dioxide emissions (CO₂) by 30% for Suntory’s bottle labels compared to the previous process.

Earlier this year, the European headquarters of Kasei joined Plastics Europe Germany to further its relationship with the European plastics industry.

A Pan-European association of plastics manufacturers, Plastics Europe aims to engage with stakeholders and deliver solutions which are safe, circular in usage, and sustainable.

Plastics Europe Germany says it has close to 100 members producing more than 90% of all polymers across Europe.