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Mitsubishi Polyester Film develops liner recycling program

Mitsubishi Polyester Film, Inc. has developed a technical breakthrough to establish a post-industrial closed loop process for the sustainable recovery of waste polyester liner film.
FILED IN:  Sustainability  > Strategy
Mitsubishi Polyester Film has been developing the Reprocess™ Sustainable Liner Program for several years in an effort to curb its carbon footprint and reduce greenhouse gases. 
“This program will also establish the cradle-to-cradle solution that the labeling industry has been seeking,” said Marshall Ledbetter, program leader for the project. “It is the first time a company
has created a closed loop sustainable recycling process for polyester release liners.”
The plant--located in Greer, South Carolina--produces in-line silicone treated release films, which become the dispensing liner for labels that are placed on consumer goods including beverage
bottles and personal care products.

The labeling process leaves behind a “spent liner” after the label is placed onto a package or container. This leftover liner becomes waste for the companies in the labeling value chain. The waste liner can end up in a local landfill or can be shipped offshore for disposal since no operational means previously existed to convert and reclaim the spent liner in a closed loop fashion.  
Company researchers in Greer have created technologies to blend new and “spent liner” recycled material in a patent-pending proprietary process.  An independent Life Cycle Assessment found that this process, when used to produce recycled PET pellets, will
decrease the energy demand by 91% and the global warming potential by 74% compared to virgin pellet production. 
Promoting environmental sustainability is a continued goal of Mitsubishi Polyester Film. In 2009, it became just the sixth company to receive the Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute’s “Label Initiative for the Environment” (L.I.F.E.) certification in recognition for its environmental best practices. 
“The multi million dollar investment associated with this new environmental initiative is a significant commitment to the industry and is in addition to the more than $200 million that Mitsubishi Polyester Film has invested in its Greer facility in the past 10 years.” said Dennis Trice, president and chief operating officer of Mitsubishi Polyester Film.

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