FINLAND – Global supplier of label materials for branding and promotion, UPM Raflatac has launched label material to fight ocean pollution.

Ocean-bound plastic is abandoned plastic waste recovered from areas up to 50km inland from waterways, defined as “at risk of ending up in the ocean” by OBPCert.

UPM Raflatac is reportedly the first company in the world to invest in Ocean Bound Plastics (OBP) waste as label raw material in their new Ocean Action labels.

The innovative label material is made possible by close collaboration with multiple partners in the product’s value chain.

The world desperately needs more sustainable and commercially viable ways to recycle post-consumer plastic.

The United Nations has recognized the need to recycle more post-consumer plastic and launched a new plastic pollution treaty in 2021.

OBPCert has estimated that ocean-bound plastic generates 80% of plastic marine litter. Currently, only around 10% of plastic waste globally gets recycled, while the rest ends up in landfills, incineration, and leakage to nature or oceans.

Around 8 million metric tons of plastic trash are entering the ocean every year, and we are facing the prospect of 250 million metric tons of plastic in the ocean by 2025 according to a report by Trash Free Seas Alliance & The Ocean Conservancy.

One solution to this problem lies in creating markets for products made from ocean-bound plastic.

‘The new innovative Ocean Action label material does not only help prevent the plastic waste from ending up in the oceans but also offers brand owners the possibility to meet their recycled content targets for packaging,” said Eliisa Laurikainen, Business Development Manager from UPM Raflatac.

The Ocean Action label material is an easy-to-use drop-in solution created especially for food and cosmetics end-uses as it has exactly the same performance as the current fossil-based labels.”

The plastic waste used in the value chain of making Ocean Action label material is certified under the Zero Plastics Oceans program, and the final label material is under ISCC PLUS.

The label material is produced using sustainable recycled feedstock, replacing the equivalent amount of virgin fossil resources used in the production process, using a mass balance approach, accounting for the number of sustainable resources.

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