Following the partnership established in 2022 between European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP) and RecyClass, the first joint approval was issued to MultiColor Corporation (MCC) technologies – ‘RecycLABEL Floatable SSL Flexo F779752’ & ‘RecycLABEL Floatable SSL Gravure 40951’.
The tested technologies are printed shrink sleeves and the analysis consisted of evaluating the effects of inks and the shrinkage on the PET recycling process. The use of shrink sleeves eliminates the need for adhesives, which are among the main design for recycling concerns for PET bottles.
Independent testing was carried out by Plastic Technologies Inc. (PTI), in line with the EPBP’s quick test procedures for bleeding inks and for separation by density. Results show that the two technologies are fully compatible with the PET recycling stream in Europe, given that the coverage of the sleeves should not exceed 70% for bottles of 500ml and above; and not more than 50% for bottles smaller than 500ml. The limitation tied to the size is important to safeguard the efficiency of the sorting of clear PET bottles.
With this approval, the industry gains momentum in accelerating the uptake of design for recycling principles, even when it comes to the use of decoration technologies in plastic packaging. With shared knowledge, this transition is set to continue and contribute greatly toward the achievement of the targets as stated in the proposal for the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.