It's a wrap: Label maker aims to solve dairy's recycling woes with novel shrink sleeve

By Teodora Lyubomirova contact

- Last updated on GMT

Many dairy product manufacturers opt for dark-colored plastics that prevent light passage in order to protect the contents within from losing key vitamins. Image: GettyImages/RapidEye
Many dairy product manufacturers opt for dark-colored plastics that prevent light passage in order to protect the contents within from losing key vitamins. Image: GettyImages/RapidEye

Related tags: Sustainability, Dairy, Packaging, Recycling

Brook + Whittle has launched a novel type of recyclable shrink sleeve that provides opacity, allowing manufacturers to switch to more widely-recyclable plastic packaging without fear of light oxidation.

The US maker of sustainable labels and packaging solutions has come up with a fully recyclable shrink sleeve that could enable dairy producers to dispense with hard-to-recycle, dark-colored PET and embrace more environment-friendly alternatives.

GreenLabel BlockOut, a type of shrink sleeve that can be widely recycled according to the manufacturer, has light-blocking properties and can be stuck straight on to clear PET to provide opaque coating while keeping the packaging fully recyclable.

The concept, which is patent-pending, can be key in the dairy industry, where manufacturers traditionally opt for materials that prevent light passage. This is done to protect dairy products from light oxidation - a process that degrades the level of vitamins A and D and riboflavin in dairy – but one key drawback that consumers have become keenly aware of is that hard or dark-colored plastics are less widely recycled than clear plastics.

This new labeling could arguably bring the best of both worlds, allowing dairy packaging to retain its light-blocking properties without affecting the recyclability of, say, clear PET - a material that is also less carbon-intensive to make compared to other types of plastic.

“At Brook + Whittle, we believe great packaging balances aesthetics, performance, cost, and sustainability,”​ commented Tyler Matusevich, director, sustainability at Brook + Whittle.

“This solution does just that. It delivers the same sleek look and feel as traditional shrink sleeves but allows brands to choose more recyclable packaging. Better still, our customers should expect savings on their total package by switching to clear PET with our BlockOut solution.”

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