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Bio-based label at Labelexpo

Among the containers featured at the September 13-15 Labelexpo in Chicago was a 1-L bottle of floor cleaner with a bio-based label made entirely from sugar cane ethanol.

Featured at Labelexpo, this container's label is bio-based.
Featured at Labelexpo, this container's label is bio-based.

Though this material was making its North American debut at Labelexpo, it has been out in Europe for about a year. Among the first to use it is EEQO, a privately owned company located in the Netherlands that produces a broad range of natural cleaning and maintenance products. EEQO announced a partnership with Avery Dennison and Braskem to use the bio-based PE pressure-sensitive labels on 1-L bottles of Rhinoc brand floor cleaner. According to Avery Dennison this is its latest addition to its extensive range of sustainably sourced materials. The Bonsucro®-certified material is said to convert in a manner similar to conventional PE. This film is available in white and clear and can easily be exchanged for fossil-based PE.

"At EEQO we strive to make our total value chain sustainable,” says Bas Bakker, CEO of EEQO. “This applies to the product ingredients as well as our packaging materials. We have a sustainability check for all our suppliers and only work with companies having the same footprint as EEQO. We were very pleased to be introduced to Avery Dennison through our label supplier when we asked them for a sustainable solution for our labels. We are proud to collaborate with Avery Dennison and Braskem to create sustainable, environmental value with this new type of label. We are striving to change all of our labels to this sugarcane-based material in the near future.”

The bio-based Polyethylene used in these labels is provided by Braskem, a leading producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas and a world leader in the production of biopolymers. The resin is called I'm GreenT PE and combines technology, innovation, and sustainability to preserve the same characteristics as traditional polyethylene, both in application and recycling, while generating a negative carbon footprint from cradle to grave.Its manufacturing process uses approximately 46% of its energy from renewable sources and makes 0.428 kWh/lb of surplus energy. The surplus renewable energy is then utilized in the Brazilian energy matrix. The net life cycle of the resin production captures more than 2.15 lb of carbon dioxide for each pound of Green Polyethylene produced.

"Supporting Avery Dennison together with all partners in the value chain was a great, collaborative experience,” says Martin Clemesha, Technical Sales at Braskem. “In relatively short order after the idea was considered, the labels were ready for a commercial launch. This would not have been possible without Avery Dennison's competent and professional responsiveness. With Braskem's comprehensive portfolio of bio-based PE, not many trials were needed, which minimized any investment from the film producer. Our I'm GreenT PE simply did the job.”

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