Enabling recycling through collaboration, innovation, and our own operations

Enabling recycling through collaboration, innovation, and our own operations


Recycling plays an important role in fighting the global climate crisis by helping to give new life to materials that would otherwise go to waste, preserve natural resources, and reduce CO2 emissions. To highlight the impact of recycling and inspire action and collaboration worldwide, Global Recycling Day is celebrated annually, this year on March 18th. 

At Avery Dennison, we’re constantly working to increase recycling at our own sites and in the outside world. We do this by recycling materials at our sites, by enabling our suppliers and customers to recycle, and by developing products that enable recycling and/or incorporate recycled content. 

Partnering with customers to recycle used label liners

One of the many ways we’re enabling recycling is with AD Circular, our program for recycling used paper and filmic label liners in countries across Europe. We collect used liners from customers and work with trusted partners to convert them into valuable new materials, thereby helping businesses contribute to a circular economy where nothing goes to waste. 

Enabling recycling through collaboration, innovation, and our own operations

The AD Circular program is easy to join and easy to use

The program is making a significant impact. Compared to landfilling and incineration, every ton of used paper liners we collect saves 1.8 tons of CO2 and every ton of used PET liners saves 2.7 tons of CO2. In the past year we’ve doubled the volume of liners we’ve collected, and the program is only picking up speed. This is in part due to getting major brands on board, such as popular UK cider producer Brothers Drinks, who are expected to recycle 164 tons of used liners and save 448 tons of CO2 in 2023 alone

Meanwhile in Italy, we have been working to recycle used liners since 2016. We work closely with our valued partner C4G to do the collections and have already managed to onboard 75 companies and enabled the recycling of 7260 tons of liners and a CO2 savings of 13,800 tons. This is equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions of 3000 passenger vehicles.

Product innovations that enable packaging recycling (and reuse)

Another way we enable recycling is through product innovations. We offer materials that enable recycling by ensuring that both the label and adhesive cleanly remove from the package during the recycling process; monomaterial solutions that can be recycled with packaging without needing to be removed; and materials that enable reuse by being either easy-to-remove or permanent.

For example, our AD CleanFlake™ label material delivers recyclability and excellent performance for rigid PET and HDPE packaging. In the process, it helps brands meet sustainability targets, comply with regulations, and increase the availability of recycled plastic.

AD CleanFlake is based on our next-generation AD CleanFlake Adhesive Technology, specially engineered to support the recycling of PET and HDPE packaging. It works by either deactivating during the recycling process to allow the label and adhesive to separate cleanly (in the case of PET), or by staying attached without compromising the resulting plastic pellets (in the case of HDPE).


Enabling recycling through collaboration, innovation, and our own operations

How CleanFlake works in the PET recycling process

Recycling initiatives at our sites

We are also continuously improving our recycling efforts at our sites. For example, at our Hanita site in Israel, we started a project in 2022 to find a more sustainable way to separate aluminum waste (sludge) from the wastewater we generate while cleaning metallizer machine parts. At the time, we were collecting the contaminated water and sending it for recycling with the sludge inside. This amounted to 16 tons of contaminated water monthly and was a very complicated and costly process. 


Enabling recycling through collaboration, innovation, and our own operations

Sedimentation tanks for aluminum oxide particles, part of the Berthier device.

We determined that treating the water ourselves would allow us to reuse the treated water, drastically reduce water consumption at the site - very important in Israel - and also help us save money. It would help us further reduce our water consumption by letting us switch from using a water hose to wash the machine parts to a high-pressure washer that uses less water. Finally, it would help us realize our long-term goal of being able to safely return the water to nature. 

After some months of work, we found a solution. We developed a device, the Berthier device, we can use to remove waste from the water ourselves and produce clean water. We can send the separated sludge to refinery plants for reuse. What’s more, we can use the device to treat and recycle most of our other wastewater streams, for example from our compressed air systems and floor-cleaning machines. Implementing the device also helps reduce our recycling costs by $80,000 per year. 

Even our long-term goal is within reach. The purity of the water produced by the Berthier device is even better than our local drinking water, so we are now working with local environmental groups to send the water to a nearby reservoir.

Learn more

To find out more about AD Circular, contact us here

To find out more about CleanFlake, contact us here

To learn more about our Hanita site, visit this page

Want to learn more about recycling packaging and labels? Check out our Recycling & Packaging FAQ.