Avery Dennison's Liner Recycling Pilot Program: Promoting Sustainability in the Graphics Industry

At Avery Dennison, our expertise lies not only in designing and manufacturing an extensive range of pressure-sensitive adhesives, graphics, labeling, and functional materials but also, we are firmly committed to sustainability and environmental stewardship. One of our key sustainability goals is delivering innovations that advance the circular economy while focusing on generating opportunities for end-of-life recycling solutions. 

The Graphics industry heavily relies on films for visual communication, creating new experiences for the brand’s customers as well as providing functional solutions such as  protecting multiple surfaces like glass, wood, metal, automotive etc. However, the process of installation of graphics materials generates waste, the disposal of which poses environmental challenges. Recognizing the industry-wide challenge, Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions India has successfully piloted a release liner recycling program in South Asia to tackle this.

“Traditionally, each business in the value chain is responsible for safely disposing of its waste. However, as the world grapples with climate change, governments, industries and consumers are searching for ways to reduce waste. As a global leader, we want to take the lead in identifying and delivering innovative solutions that advance the circular economy within the graphics ecosystem. ” said Nitin Mittal, Country Manager Graphics Solutions South Asia.

Avery Dennison Liner Recycling Pilot Program

In 2022, the Avery Dennison team began collaborating with multiple stakeholders, such as NGOs, waste collection agencies, brands, recyclers, and converters. The objective was to develop an effective process for collecting and transporting siliconized release liners to a participating recycling plant. Technical Marketing head, Ganesh Khandare, led the team's efforts to identify appropriate recycling partners and establish a reliable end-of-life reuse or recycling stream.

One of our converting partners in Punjab, India, agreed to a three-month pilot program that involved the recycling of five tonnes of the release liner in 2021. This enabled the team to evaluate the waste aggregation system's efficiency and to determine the minimum quantity required by the waste collectors for the program to be viable. The pilot also helped set up the process and know-how, which can be scaled up to include more convertors in future. Since then, we have recycled almost 80 tonnes of the graphics liner by the end of 2022.

One of the challenges of recycling release liners is separating the multi-layers of PE coat and silicone from the paper. Recycling mills must adjust their processes to achieve optimal results from the recycling process. Mills processing the aggregated liner waste can extract the pulp for reuse in new applications, such as making paper or other pulp-based products. 

The program's continued success is a result of the earnest efforts and collaboration between Avery Dennison, our authorized converters, and our recycling partner. It offers several environmental benefits, such as diverting release liner waste from landfills and converting them into raw materials for new products to giving them a new life.

Avery Dennison's pilot liner recycling program is a significant step towards promoting sustainability within the graphics industry. It is a testament to our commitment towards providing our customers with environmentally and socially responsible solutions and initiatives. The industry needs to come together for a joint effort to power a sustainable circular economy.