UPM Schwedt and Polish Drescher Euro-Label pioneer in transforming waste to energy through UPM Raflatac’s RafCycle® waste management concep
UPM Raflatac’s RafCycle® labelstock waste management concept has expanded to include waste-to-energy. UPM Raflatac customers in Europe can send their labelstock by-products for re-use as a source of energy in a combined heat and power (CHP) plant which supplies heat and energy into the operations of UPM’s paper mill in Schwedt, Germany.
“The purpose of conventional waste incineration is to reduce the volume and get rid of the waste, but UPM’s power plant in Schwedt burns solid fuels to produce heat and clean energy,” says Erkki Nyberg, Director of Business Development for the UPM’s Engineered Materials Business Group. “These fuels include recycled paper de-inking residue, waste wood, as well as paper and plastic rejects from the paper recycling process. Now, as part of RafCycle, self-adhesive labelstock waste has been added to this list.”
Drescher Euro-Label – a label printer from Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland, is a pioneer in supplying labelstock waste fuel to UPM Schwedt. Marta Stańczak, Marketing and Environmental Specialist at Drescher Euro-Label, points out the benefits of the RafCycle process and collaboration with the UPM paper mill: “Until recently the costs of waste re-utilization were increasing by 20–30% every year. After calculating the costs of waste disposal and transport to Schwedt, it turned out that we were able to reduce our expenses on waste disposal by 70%. And the difference will grow bigger every year, because waste management gets more and more expensive.”
There are benefits for many parties in the RafCycle waste-to-energy process. First is the environment: less landfilled waste. Second come label printers in Europe, who now have a sustainable and reliable way to dispose of their waste. Thirdly, UPM Schwedt is able to minimize the use or – in the perfect case – substitute the use of waste wood and fossil fuels. UPM Raflatac benefits as well, being able to offer customers not only a labelstock product, but the service to complete its lifecycle in the labelling value chain.
About UPM Raflatac
UPM Raflatac, part of UPM’s Engineered Materials business group, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of self-adhesive label materials. UPM Raflatac has a global service network consisting of 12 factories on six continents and a broad network of sales offices and slitting and distribution terminals worldwide. UPM Raflatac employs 2,400 people and made sales of approximately EUR 1.1 billion (USD 1.5 billion) in 2010.
RafCycle® is a leading labelstock waste management concept developed by UPM Raflatac. Rafcycle aims to provide the self-adhesive label industry with an environmentally sound alternative for the disposal of labelstock waste from laminate production, label printing and die-cutting as well as from label dispensing. PP liner waste can be used as raw material for UPM ProFi® wood-plastic composite products. Paper-based release liners can be recycled into pulp and further back into paper. And combined with other biomass fuels, labelstock waste can be used as an energy source at UPM’s combined heat and power plants. For more information on RafCycle, go to www.rafcycle.com.
UPM leads the integration of bio and forest industries into a new, sustainable and innovation-driven future. Our products are made of renewable raw materials and are recyclable. UPM consists of three Business Groups: Energy and Pulp, Paper, and Engineered Materials. The Group employs around 22,000 people and it has production plants in 15 countries. In 2010, UPM's sales amounted to EUR 8.9 billion. UPM's shares are listed on the Helsinki stock exchange. UPM – The Biofore Company – www.upm.com.
UPM’s Biofore vision embraces a long-term commitment to environmental responsibility, in our operations and throughout the lifecycle of our products. Key areas in this aspiration include sustainable products, climate, water, forest and waste. UPM’s focus on the continuous development of its environmental performance drives advancement towards targets set for 2020. www.upm.com/responsibility.