Industry News

Recycling of Release Liner Waste: Dow Corning & RecuLiner

Published on 2016-11-21. Author : SpecialChem

Dow Corning has announced a new collaboration agreement with RecuLiner. The partnership demonstrates its commitment to sustainability in the packaging value chain. Both companies see enormous potential to contribute sustainability to the packaging and self-adhesive labeling industry by combining efforts in recycling release liner waste with the power of silicones.

Recycling of Release Liner Waste: Dow Corning & RecuLiner
Recycling of Release Liner Waste: Dow Corning & RecuLiner

Release Liner Waste into Valuable Product

As a value chain partner in the packaging industry, Dow Corning understands the industry concern of release liner waste. As a crucial part of label constructions, release liners serve as a carrier for labels to transfer the label to the final product, and as silicone layers are present on release liners, they become part of the waste stream. Kris Verschueren, Global Market Segment Manager Packaging & Pressure Sensitive Industry from Dow Corning highlights, "Coatings for release liners are a very important solution we offer to the Pressure Sensitive industry. Although we as raw material producers do not generate waste directly, we are conscious about the fact that our customer’s customer and their customer beyond are faced with the fact that once the liner served its purpose, it has to be considered as waste. Dow Corning wants to step up and contribute to the footprint reduction of the self-adhesive labeling industry."

Founded in 2010, RecuLiner’s technology collects paper release liner waste and converts and processes it into loose fibers which can then be used for different end applications. For the use of thermal insulation material, dry fibers can be blown into walls or alternatively sprayed together with a pressure-sensitive adhesive onto walls. This technique (CFI - Cellulose Fiber Insulation) displays very low heat transmission, close to other insulation materials. In comparison to other recycled papers such as newspapers, which are normally used for this process, paper release liners have the advantage of being made of pure virgin fibers, which have not been printed on, and have a more consistent and uniform quality. This leads to a better and cleaner product (e.g. yellow instead of grey) and enhanced processability.

Silicone Influences Properties of Recycled End Product Produced

Dow Corning therefore saw a great opportunity to collaborate with RecuLiner to actively contribute to the sustainability of the packaging and self-adhesive labeling industry - especially as the silicone on the release liners positively influences the properties of the recycled end product produced.

Eric Van Pottelbergh, General Manager of RecuLiner explains: "When using the release liner waste instead of newspaper material as CFI, for instance, the presence of the silicones actually aids the application of the fibers onto walls by improving the flow of the fibers through the tubes. Also, the CFI product displays better humidity resistance, which means that the silicone brings a strong added value to the recycled product. And this is not only the case for CFI materials. In fact, all other end-uses patented by RecuLiner are based on exploiting the synergies between the silicone’s original purpose of serving as an anti-adherent layer and the fluffy cellulose created after it has been recycled. Contrary to conventional paper recycling where silicones would be regarded as a substance to be removed, the applications developed by RecuLiner enable the silicones to perform an important function in its second life as well."

By entering into this collaborative agreement, Dow Corning and RecuLiner hope to promote the technology more broadly so it is more readily available as a solution for recycling paper release liner waste.

Kris continued, "I believe RecuLiner offers one of the most sustainable solutions for dealing with release liner waste and we see silicones bringing an added value to that - it is a great complement to our product solutions. This collaboration is clearly a win-win situation."

RecuLiner further emphasizes, "It is very encouraging to see our efforts being rewarded through the endorsement by major companies such as Dow Corning. The support provided will contribute to the further roll-out of the technology and generate further interest from parties willing to participate and invest in supporting the sustainability of the self-adhesive labeling industry on a global basis."

About Dow Corning

Dow Corning, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services via the company’s Dow Corning® and XIAMETER® brands. More than half of Dow Corning’s annual sales are outside the United States. Dow Corning’s global operations adhere to the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care® initiative, a stringent set of standards designed to advance the safe and secure management of chemical products and processes.

About Dow

Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company is driving innovations that extract value from material, polymer, chemical and biological science to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, clean energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's integrated, market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 180 countries and in high-growth sectors such as packaging, electronics, water, coatings and agriculture. In 2015, Dow had annual sales of nearly $49 billion and employed approximately 49,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 6,000 product families are manufactured at 179 sites in 35 countries across the globe. On June 1, 2016, Dow became the 100 percent owner of Cow Corning Corporation’s silicones business, a global company with sales of greater than $4.5 billion in 2015, 25 manufacturing sites in 9 countries and approximately 10,000 employees worldwide. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.

About RecuLiner

The RecuLiner company was founded in 2010. Its main mission is to develop processes for recycling release liners in a sustainable and ecologically justified way. RecuLiner has developed a worldwide patented technology to reuse waste paper release liners as raw material for several novel end applications, including the production of Cellulose Fiber Insulation material. The end result is a global and locally applicable recycling solution with an unbeatable environmental score. With the necessary support and limited investments, the RecuLiner concept can be rolled out and be made available on a global basis within a short time frame.

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Source: Dow Corning
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