In the process of label conversion three kinds of wastes are generated: matrix waste, liner trimming waste, and set-up waste which includes complete laminate, inks, etc.
On an average, a converter generates wastage of up to 13 to 15% of his material usage. Every converter has to dispose these wastes for which he has to first identify a wastage collector and then make arrangements with him to collect the waste and then pay for it. This incurs considerable cost.
There are several challenges in disposing off the waste. Firstly, there’s no clarity on the regulations, secondly, the filmic and paper waste needs to be segregated and finally, the lack of efficient infrastructure for pick-up and disposal of waste.
The collected waste is either incinerated or dumped into land filling to a large extent. Either way, it has an impact on environment. In some cases, the waste is reused as a fuel for cement kilns. Some are able to reuse the generated waste in packaging material or making of utility articles like benches or boards etc.
Avery Dennison under its sustainability program has come up with innovations like replacing paper liners by filmic liner (polyester), which can be recycled or reused. It enables going thinner without impacting product performance thus reducing the wastages and in turn reduces the burden on land filling or incineration.
I think going thinner and reuse or recycle of waste needs a good focus for minimising waste and thus its impact on environment. Also as a part of responsible sourcing for its commitment to sustainability, Avery Dennison has come up with the FSC certified face stocks which are now available in its paper laminates range.