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UPM Raflatac expands Forest Film range with wood-based polyethylene label film

UPM Raflatac has launched Forest Film PE to complement its range of sustainable film labeling solutions.
"We want to bring value to our clients by offering a wide variety of sustainable alternatives to choose from. Examples of these include UPM Raflatac Forest Film PE and PP, the first wood-based film label materials on the market, and UPM Raflatac PP PCR manufactured from post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic,” said Timo Kekki, Vice President, Films SBU UPM Raflatac.

UPM Raflatac has expanded its Forest Film range of sustainable self-adhesive label solutions with Forest Film PE (polyethylene) in cooperation with Dow Chemical Company (photo courtesy UPM Raflatac).

One of the world’s leading producers of self-adhesive label materials, UPM Raflatac, is a company within Finland-headed forest products major UPM. The Forest Film PE (polyethylene) label material is produced in collaboration with UPM Biofuels, another UPM subsidiary, and global chemicals major Dow Chemical Company (Dow), a subsidiary of DowDuPont holding company comprised of Dow and DuPont.

We want to bring value to our clients by offering a wide variety of sustainable alternatives to choose from. Examples of these include UPM Raflatac Forest Film PE and PP, the first wood-based film label materials on the market, and UPM Raflatac PP PCR manufactured from post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic. As one of the signatories to the Ellen MacArthur New Plastic Economy initiative we will continue driving the industry forward by innovating products that reduce the use of nonrenewable virgin raw materials said Timo Kekki, Vice President, Films SBU UPM Raflatac.

UPM Raflatac Forest Film PE complements its range of sustainable film labeling solutions and part of its “quest for a smarter future beyond fossils”, decreasing the use of fossil-based virgin raw materials in home– and personal care labeling applications.

UPM Biofuels provides the 100 percent wood residue-based raw material UPM BioVerno naphtha, which is then processed by Dow into bio-based plastic granules to be extruded into label film.

“This new product shows the versatility of UPM BioVerno as a raw material. Crude tall oil, a residue of paper pulp production, is transformed into UPM BioVerno naphtha, which can be used as raw material for different kinds of plastics that help brand owners meet their sustainability goals in packaging,” said Panu Routasalo, Vice President, UPM Biofuels, here seen during the Lignofuels 2020 conference in Helsinki, Finland earlier this year.

Start for collaboration with Dow in labeling applications

In 2019, Dow announced the commercialization of bio-plastics offerings for the packaging and labeling industry made from a bio-based renewable feedstock. Dow integrated the wood-based UPM BioVerno naphtha – a key raw material used to develop plastics – into its slate of raw materials, creating an alternative source for plastics production. Dow uses this feedstock to produce different types of bio-based polyethylenes (PE).

Forest Film PE is another step in the right direction for sustainability in packaging. UPM is a world leader in sustainable biofuels and we are working together to accelerate the move towards sustainable plastics. This new film label material helps customers and consumers reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and therefore reduces the carbon footprint in the entire value chain. At the same time, the bio-based PE label materials have exactly the same performance as fossil-derived ones, and they do not have an impact in the recyclability of the final package when used in HDPE bottles for home and personal care products, said Carolina Gregorio, Biobased project leader at Dow.

The Forest Film product range has an International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC Plus). It is produced using sustainable bio-feedstock, replacing the equivalent amount of fossil resources used in the production process, using a mass balance approach, accounting for the amount of sustainable resources.

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