Labelmakers Group has marked an important milestone for its Liner Recycling Services program which, in its first six months, has seen 130 tonnes of glassine liner diverted from landfill, and onboarding of 40 brand owners.
Labelmakers says the goal is to increase this volume to over 1000 tonnes in the next year.
The program is currently in phase one, which involves Labelmakers managing the end-to-end liner collection process, including supply and replenishment of all approved cartons and pallets, collection of the liner, and shipping of full containers back to the original glassine manufacturer in Europe.
Returning glassine liner to the manufacturer has been the only recycling solution to date given there are only a few locations worldwide that can remove silicone from glassine, necessary for recycling.
Labelmakers says this first phase has allowed the company to organise the logistics infrastructure in readiness for phase two, which kicks off in early 2022 with the commercialisation of its local liner recycling program in early 2022, branded as Labelmakers Recycling Services.
The company describes the level of customer engagement as “exceptional” since the start of the program, with 40 brands already on board. One of the first to show support has been dairy company Bega.
Labelmakers Group sustainability manager Damian Smyth said, “Bega has been an early adopter of this landfill diversion strategy and has shown a strong commitment to conversations around sustainable packaging and label design. Using our liner collection program, Bega has in recent months already diverted 50 tonnes of glassine liner waste from two of their facilities and we are working to roll this out to other sites.”
Smyth says Labelmakers is working on a wide range of sustainability initiatives with the Bega team. As fellow members of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), both businesses are seeking to deliver on the 2025 National Packaging Targets.
And, while this is a great step forward from a recycling position, Labelmakers has maintained its stance that “a local solution is the only real solution”, which is why it's moving to commercialise phase two of the program.
As a key customer and program partner, Bega will be one of the first to transition from phase one to to the local recycling program.
As announced in March, Labelmakers Group is launching Australia’s first local recycling program for glassine liner, having secured a patent for Australia and New Zealand to convert glassine liner waste into insulation products for the commercial and residential building industry. In this application, the silicone delivers some unique properties and therefore forms part of the end- product specification.
Beyond building insulation, the patent allows Labelmakers to explore a raft of new market applications for glassine liner waste, including hydroseeding and insulation for transport packaging.