Flint Group Narrow Web Highlights Award-Winning Sustainable Innovations at Labelexpo Americas 2022

Global Label Award for company’s Evolution Series primer that boosts PET and shrink-sleeve recycling; expanded ‘Dual Cure’ LED-UV curable ink range cuts energy costs for label converters


Trelleborg, Sweden, 21 September 2022:

At Labelexpo Americas 2022, Flint Group Narrow Web demonstrated how its new Evolution Series boosts the recyclability of shrink sleeves and bottles made from crystallisable PET. Recognised by the Association of Plastic Recyclers in the USA, the products – a de-inking primer for shrink sleeves and an overprint varnish for PSL labels – prevent ink contamination during recycling so that the PET quality remains clear in the waste stream.

Applied in a single pass on a press, these products require no changes to the converter’s existing ink system or curing processes.

In this way, the Evolution Series makes an important contribution to the circular economy for packaging – where the recycled plastic material remains valuable and is kept in the production chain for longer.

Over Print PSL Varnish Ups PET Yield 

The Evolution Caustic Resistant Over Print Varnish is applied to the pressure-sensitive label after printing the colours. The varnish protects the ink, stopping it from bleeding out in the caustic wash.

After the bottle and label are ground down, the pressure-sensitive label flakes cleanly separate from the package in the caustic ‘float-sink’ bath. The label material containing the protected ink floats to the top and can be skimmed off to an alternate waste system, leaving the uncontaminated PET flake in the recycling stream.

Deinking Primer Keeps Shrink Sleeve in Recycling Stream

The Evolution Deinking Primer for PET shrink sleeves is a primer that goes between the ink and the sleeve itself. When the package is recycled, the primer lets the ink separate from the sleeve and wash away in the caustic bath. The ink and sleeve go their separate ways: the ink and the primer rise to the top of the caustic wash and are swiped off.

This leaves behind the sleeve, which instead of being taken to a landfill, now remains in the recycling stream with the bottle – and adds between 3 and 6 percent of the sleeve pack back into the recycling chain.

Both the overprint varnish and deinking primer are Dual Cure UV flexo inks, curable under LED lamps, as well as conventional mercury lamps.

The Evolution Deinking Primer won the Environmental Sustainability Award at the Global Label Awards, announced on the show’s opening night on September 13th. The judging panel felt that the primer makes a major contribution to developing a circular lifecycle for label materials1.

Julian Cass, Vice President for North America at Flint Group, comments: “Flint Group is committed to driving packaging circularity with innovations that minimise environmental harm and bring value to the wider supply chain.“

“The Evolution Series is a perfect example of that, providing converters with a fast and smooth solution for improving the sustainability of their offering – as well as that of their brand owner customers,” he says. “No additional printing stations are required: the converter can be offering a recyclable pack in the short time it takes to exchange one coating station on the press.”

Lower Energy Costs with LED Curing: Expanded Dual Cure Range

At the show, Flint Group Narrow Web also presented its expanded range of Dual Cure UV-flexo inks that are curable under LED lamps as well as mercury lamps.

Dual Cure Ultra Clear is a UV-flexo clear over-printed coating that does not yellow over time. Free of benzophenone, Dual Cure Ultra Clear offers the assurance of long-term brand integrity and product safety.

Dual Cure inks and coatings allow label converters to embrace the environmental, low-energy and productivity advantages of LED-UV curing while managing the financial risk associated with curing lamp conversions. Switching to LED-UV curing technology with Flint Dual Cure inks brings energy cost reductions of up to 50 percent, compared with using mercury lamps on the press, as the lamp produces less heat.  





1) The Global Label Awards winners were chosen by a judging panel consisting of Lori Campbell, chairman of TLMI; Linnea Keen, president of TLMI; Philippe Voet, president of FINAT; Greg Hrinya, editor of Label & Narrow Web; James Quirk, then group editor of Labels & Labeling, and Jean Poncet, editor-in-chief at Etiq+Pack. The chair of the judging panel was Andy Thomas-Emans, strategic director Tarsus Labels & Packaging Group.


Photo Caption

Description: Julian Cass, Vice President for North America at Flint Group, with the Environmental Sustainability Award for the Evolution Deinking Primer at the company’s Labelexpo Americas 2022 booth.


Press Information

For further press information, please contact Karin Albrektsson, Global Marketing Communications Manager, via email: karin.albrektsson@flintgrp.com

Visit us at www.flintgrp.com.