Imagine recycling your label waste into 75 tonnes of pulp that will be used to make approx. 125 tonnes of magazine paper. It’s achievable thanks to a new, cost-neutral initiative recently introduced to Australia.
Wedderburn team is very conscious of our customers’ waste and disposal issues.
So we wanted to help them find a sustainable way to eliminate their label waste
and reduce the reliance on new resources. We also wanted to find a way to
reduce our own environmental footprint.
a result of our investigations, we are very proud to announce Australia’s first
truly circular way to recycle label backing paper. We’re partnering with
customers and a supplier in a cost neutral program that reduces landfill and
converts label waste into a valuable resource.
as the circular economy, the goal is to create a close-loop system which
minimises the use of new resources and the creation of waste.
For the past
10 years, UPM Raflatac (a global label paper supplier) has been collecting and
recycling thousands of tonnes of label backing paper on behalf of its
In a program
they call RafCycle®, the silicone coating is removed from
the label backing paper (known as Glassine). With the silicone coating removed,
the backing paper can be recycled into paper pulp and used again to create
high-quality paper products, such as more backing paper. In addition, the
silicone waste is used to create energy in power plants.
Giving label waste a new life and
reducing landfill is an excellent example of the circular economy in action.
Now every container load of label waste that’s
- Repurposes 1,300 trees and
- Yields 75 tonnes of pulp that
is converted into high quality paper products
Wedderburn is thrilled to be the first
Australian company – and the first company outside of Europe – to become a RafCycle® partner.
label waste is challenging
are an important part of every organisation’s branding. They also provide vital
information to consumers and often, labels perform important regulatory
compliance duties as well.
the production and use of labels presents an environmental challenge due to the
amount of waste produced by the industry. That’s why Wedderburn decided to look
for a solution.
How does the RafCycle® program work? … It’s very
Wedderburn supplies customers with a RafCycle® pallet box, after the labels
are applied, the re-rolled backing paper is placed into this box. Customers
then ship the full RafCycle® pallet boxes back to selected
Wedderburn branches and we send them another box to fill.
Once Wedderburn has collected a
container load of label backing paper, it’s shipped to the purpose-built RafCycle® plant in Germany. Calculations show that the
shipping only adds 1.6% CO2 emissions to the lifecycle of a label –
a tiny amount compared to the massive benefits of circular recycling.
Importantly, our program is designed to
be cost neutral, but in many cases, our customers are saving money when
compared with landfill disposal costs. Plus, they are reducing their
environmental footprint – which helps everyone.
For Wedderburn customers who are members
of the Australian Packaging Covenant, they can declare this label recycling program
as part of their overall recycling implementation plan. Our RafCycle® program also offers full traceability and certification.
No wonder we’re excited!
We’ve filled our first container!
We are proud to confirm that our first
container load arrived at the RafCycle® plant in Germany in
mid-October ensuring our customers are the first in Australia to participate in
this tremendous initiative!
Illawarra Smallgoods was asked why they joined the RafCycle® program, they simply said,
had a fair bit to do with the amount of waste we were collecting every day. We
were watching the girls come in to clean the lines each afternoon and they
couldn’t even lift the bags of rewind into the bins! They were dragging them
along the floor, into the compacter and squashing them into the bin for
landfill. It seemed like such a waste.”
For another customer, Country
Valley, sustainable practices are high on their agenda so the RafCycle® program simply
“I never thought you could recycle
the label backing paper. I just thought it was waste. But when you look at it
differently, it’s not waste. You can really do something with this stuff and
every container saves 1300 trees.”
Like to get involved?
For information about how you can become involved in Australia’s first RafCycle® program, contact Wedderburn.