CELAB – The input into self-adhesive label matrix waste and liner scrap

The end of October 2020 is a milestone moment for the label industry when more than 30 companies from around the world announced the creation of CELAB (Circular Economy for Labels). The mission of this new Consortium is to ensure and promote a circular economy for self-adhesive label materials.


CELAB operates as a coalition comprising the self-adhesive label industry’s largest companies, including CCL Label. 

The concept behind this industry initiative is to advocate closing the loop of product lifecycles within a new circular economy in the context of self-adhesive labels. CELAB is to facilitate the collection and recycling of release liner and matrix material both on the global level and by supporting local initiatives.


What are release liners and matrix materials in the self-adhesive label industry?

Waste matrix is the unused area (much like a ladder) surrounding the self-adhesive material that is a by-product of label die cutting.

Release liners are the layers under the labels - the carrier (otherwise known as backing paper or glassine) that are left behind once the labels have been dispensed, e.g., during machine labelling.

waste matrix and release liners

CELAB - What spurred its establishment?

According to research, 52% of the generated label waste is currently being recycled.

This explains why this Consortium came together.

As highlighted by Paul Nathanson, the spokesperson for CELAB: “We have now reached the point where we are developing a global platform for recycling solutions”.

Growing consumer environmental awareness is making companies in and around the label industry increasingly more aware and concerned about waste collection and recycling.

What actions will CELAB take in the context of self-adhesive label waste management?

CELAB’s efforts can be broken down into four categories:

-       Establishment of an organisation that will set out and implement actions;

-       Oversight and supervision of the action lines set out by regional working groups;

-       Development and implementation of the most environmentally-friendly economic measures and solutions;

-       Development of the most optimal recycling solutions for label printing houses and for final customers.

The idea behind CELAB is to join forces to propose solutions that will help in creating a sustainable industry. The Consortium aims to ensure access to matrix and release liner recycling solutions for at least 70% of the self-adhesive label industry by 2025.

Learn more here.

celab - aims

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