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To enable retailers to reduce their impact on the environment, while ensuring they can increase their sales, Checkpoint Systems has become one of the first global label manufacturers to reveal that its security labels can be fully recycled as part of kerbside paper-based recycling collections.
Sustainability is essential
As one of the largest suppliers of RF-based Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) labels globally, Checkpoint’s labels are applied to millions of products, which are packaged in different materials. Typically, when recycled, packaging labels tend to end up in a combination of different garbage and recycling streams, depending on the packaging material and the consumer commitment to recycling. However, with brands making strong commitments to sustainability – including investing in more environmentally friendly forms of packaging like cardboard – and consumers increasingly demonstrating their preferences for sustainable packaging it is pivotal that anything applied to an item – at any point along the supply chain or in-store – does not affect the recyclability of its packaging.
Security labels play a vital role in ensuring products remain available to purchase. Retailers have been using a diverse range of labels to protect their merchandise, working with suppliers to ‘tag’ items at source or relying on store associates to apply labels in-store.
However, until today, the recyclability of these labels has been relatively unknown. It means that retailers and consumers could inadvertently be contaminating the paper-based packaging recycling stream with millions of security labels – still attached to packaging which could have otherwise been recycled up to 25 times1.
Ensuring Checkpoint labels can be recycled
To ensure that its retail customers are not negatively affecting the recyclability of product packaging by attaching security labels, Checkpoint partnered with PTS – an organization with over 70 years’ experience researching the use of fibre-based solutions – to conduct a series of technical tests on its range of labels.
The Germany-based research consultancy tested a range of Checkpoint labels. All labels – including the 410 RF, 2928 RF and 4210 RF labels – achieved an excellent overall recyclability rate of over 94 per cent.
PTS analysed the labels, which were different sizes and materials, to ensure that following the standard kerbside recycling process, the recycled, fibre-based material would be of acceptable quality. Each label was applied to a piece of cardboard to simulate a real-world scenario and the results show that all are classified as being recyclable in accordance with current regulations.
The technical report concluded that consumers can safely dispose of a Checkpoint security label in a household recycling bin, without having to separate the label from the packaging, knowing that the entire pack will be recycled.
Ivan Gosling, Product Manager RF Consumables, Checkpoint Systems, said: “Brands of all sizes are investing in a wide range of practices as part of their sustainability agenda. The likes of Proctor & Gamble and Roku Gin are among those to switch packaging materials in recent years to minimize their impact on the environment.
“Security labels play an important role in helping retailers protect their profits, but it is vital they don’t stop packaging from being recycled. If they do there was little point in brands making a positive switch in the first place. We are delighted to have achieved this accreditation from PTS that shows our labels can be recycled through the existing kerbside collections. It means that brands and retailers can be assured they are not negatively affecting a country’s recycling rate, while also knowing their customers can conveniently dispose of the entire pack, packaging material and label, in the same household recycling bin. Our labels passed all of PTS’ stringent tests meaning they have little to no impact on the recyclability of a piece of cartonboard packaging.”