FINAT, a European self-adhesive labeling industry association, announced the launch of “CELAB-Europe,” a new initiative designed to create a circular economy for self-adhesive label materials in Europe. By establishing a representative value-chain organization, CELAB-Europe says it will work to identify and collectively scale recycling and re-use solutions for the self-adhesive label liner and matrix materials. The initiative aims to develop a sustainable and circular business model for over 75% of the used liner and matrix materials in Europe by 2025.

The CELAB-Europe consortium is part of CELAB, a wider global self-adhesive industry initiative to create a sustainable self-adhesive labeling industry by offering solutions and providing education to enable matrix and liner recycling. CELAB-Europe (see was created earlier this year by four label stock suppliers (Arconvert-Ritrama, Avery Dennison, Herma, UPM Raflatac) and FINAT. Nearly 20 leading players from across the label value chain in Europe have since committed to support the initiative, including raw materials producers (papers, films, silicones, adhesives), label stock producers, and label companies. As the association with the largest interest group, FINAT will host the project, with management undertaken by SLOOP Consulting of The Netherlands (which was also involved in the foundation and management of the flexible packaging consortium CEFLEX).

Initiated by label industry players, CELAB-Europe says it “welcomes all partners from across the broad recycling and logistics industry value chain, as well as brand owners and retailers.”


CELAB-Europe has created a set of deliverables to be completed by 2025 which have been assigned to four interconnected workstreams:

  • Data mining: Geographical heat mapping of material usage to identify where materials become waste, and in what quantities.
  • Recycling solutions: Identifying, proving and supporting the development of sustainable end markets for repurposed/recycled liner and matrix materials.
  • Logistics: Connecting with the European transportation and recycling sector to develop and optimize collection systems for liner and matrix.
  • Legal framework: To monitor and advocate the development of regulations and guidelines that support the development of a sustainable business model for recycling in Europe.

FINAT President Chris Ellison (OPM Labels & Packaging, UK) states: “FINAT has always been active in raising awareness about the recycling of liner and matrix materials, and in promoting successful recycling solutions. I am proud and excited that our industry is now leveraging its resources collaboratively to take this important opportunity to the next level. Only with a collective effort that is shared across the value chain can we make a difference and contribute our part to achieving a circular business model for the labels and packaging industry in Europe.”

“The moment has arrived to create a globally focused platform for self-adhesive label recycling solutions,” says Paul Nathanson, a senior principal at Bracewell LLP and spokesperson for CELAB. “CELAB’s structure includes a Global Steering Committee that serves as a ‘clearinghouse’ for best practices and solutions developed by CELAB-Europe and other regional Branches that will be promoted globally. With increased recycling capability gradually emerging from suppliers, producers, waste management, mechanical and chemical recyclers and others, we see a tremendous opportunity to facilitate collaboration globally with partners up and down the industry’s value chain.”

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