Labels, Sustainable development

Recycling (or reusing) labels is now almost comprehensive. The paper is recycled and we can “de-ink” labels. Glues and adhesives can now be made without solvent, and therefore be recycled as well.


But there is a part here we’re forgetting. For “pressure sensitive” labels, there’s a coating called the release liner. The label is placed on this liner before being released permanently on a product or surface. The sole mission of this liner is to hold the label until it is used.

Once the label is applied, the liner becomes useless and often ends up incinerated or buried with common garbage. A very large amount of paper is wasted. If this paper is not recycled, it’s because it has a layer of silicone on it to facilitate the labeling process.

Reculiner, a Belgian company, has the idea to tackle this problem. What do they do with the tons of liner paper they recover? They manufacture an insulating cellulose-based material. This liner is well-suited as raw material for the manufacturing of the “green” insulator, which is usually made of newspaper.

In other words, your label liner will become part of walls and roofs and thus help save energy. The whole process is in compliance with the principles of sustainable development, and we can only welcome the willingness of many companies to reuse or recycle as much as possible.

It remains to be seen whether this initiative will work on this side of the Atlantic, and more importantly, if the process is reliable and viable for businesses.