Fresh Focus – CCL

5 reasons why bottle labels can be high-tech powerhouses (when it comes to recycling…)

Often brands and consumers think of label and sleeve decoration merely as a small part of the overall packaging. Think again! Many of them have been engineered to perform a certain way at the end-of-life of the packaging – thus supporting recycling!

1. Looking to boost PET recycling? Consider your label!

“For successful PET recycling it is important that the label or sleeve has a low density and floats! CCL offers EcoFloat shrink sleeves, EcoStream pressure-sensitive labels and Stretch Sleeve solutions that are made from polyolefin materials and are floatable. They detach automatically from the PET bottle in the sorting and recycling facility, taking printing inks and adhesives with them – for clean washing water. This enables a very high quality and quantity yield that is the basis for bottle-to-bottle recycling, closing the packaging loop”, explains Marika Knorr, Head of Sustainability and Communication.

2. Refillable glass or PET bottles for multiple trips? Take a close look at your label!

Returnable bottle schemes are on the rise – and will increase in the future. It is very important to use a label that can be washed off easily and without leaving any traces on the washing lines of the bottlers. Glass bottles are washed at a different and higher temperature than refillable PET bottles, so it is important to choose the right “WashOff” label that fulfils the demands of the ecosystem that is in place. The WashOff solutions of CCL have been carefully engineered with extra shrink in the labels for them to pull off the bottle by themselves on the washing lines without contaminating the water basin.

3. HDPE and PP Recycling – the right label can increase the quality!

In the recent years there has been more development regarding high-quality HDPE and PP recycling. The “Design for Recycling” guidelines recommend using label and sleeve materials that are made from the same plastic family as the primary packaging. CCL has invested in new extrusion lines for polyolefin materials that fit the need of brands that use HDPE and PP containers and want to use these with recycled content in the future. CCL’s label material makes sure that there is no contamination of the recycling streams.

4. PCR content from household waste for labels and sleeves – yes please!

Integrating Post-Consumer Resins directly from household waste into film that can then be used for labels and sleeves has been an area of focus for CCL Label. As we are backwards-integrated with our in-house film development sister company Innovia, we are able to develop especially engineered film materials that have similar properties to film made from virgin material, thus resulting in a lower overall carbon footprint and integrating recycled materials – moving towards a circular economy.

5. Connected packaging – Intelligent label solutions for the future

“The last two pandemic years have accelerated digitalization in many areas, including packaging”, says Simon Pearce, Vice President Beverage Sales & Marketing. “We will be showcasing label solutions for the beverage market that can transform packaging into a virtual communication channel where brands can really get creative top connect with the consumer.” Other solutions CCL is working on are labels that include RFID and NFC technology which is the basis of intelligent labeling of the future to for example prevent food waste.

Smart labeling technology can also be used to tackle the sorting and recycling challenges – by using digital watermarks on the packaging that are invisible to the eye but give the packaging a digital passport. This digital passport can be detected in the sorting facilities and so the package is sorted into the right recycling stream. “We are licensed partners of the Digimarc technology and are members of the HolyGrail 2.0 consortium – which is driving smart sortation on a large scale across the whole value chain”, adds Pearce.

Dive deeper! CCL will showcase their “Sustainable Label Family” and Digital Labels at the drinktec 2022 trade fair in Munich from September 12 to 16.

Visit us in hall C6 at booth 344

You can find more information on our special drinktec website at