Label material company UPM Raflatac has launched new paper label materials intended to improve the recycling of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

The new label materials are now a part of the company’s SmartCircle portfolio.

Institut cyclos-HTP, a company specialising in the classification, assessment and certification of the recyclability of packaging, has certified the new materials to be recyclable when implemented via PET and HDPE packaging through common recycling processes.

According to UPM Raflatac, the label materials can be neatly separated from the recycled packages without contaminating the PET and HDPE flakes in the process.

These flakes can be recycled into new high-quality materials or used within closed-loop systems to reduce waste and the need for virgin plastic.

Vice-president of UPM Raflatac’s Paper Laminates SBU EMEIA division Sylwia Jurys said: “We are determined to develop solutions for circularity. While plastics have remarkable features to keep valuable content safe until consumption, we also seek ways to increase the share of certified renewable materials in the packaging that go beyond fossils [fuels].

“Now, in addition to our multiple plastic wash-off solutions, we are excited to expand the offer into sustainably sourced paper labels. These innovations enable high-quality recycled PET and HDPE flakes to be used again as the label material separates cleanly in the recycling process.”

The launch follows the ongoing effort in Europe to make all plastic packaging reusable or recyclable by the end of this decade.

Earlier this year, UPM Raflatac partnered with packaging company Coveris to develop a range of label and recycling solutions for UK-based food producer Cranswick.