AD Circular

Helping Waldemar Behn embrace the circular economy


Every year, approximately 1.6 million tons of label liners are sold worldwide (25% of that in Europe), but the global recycling rate is just 20 percent, so massive amounts of high-quality liner materials left over from pressure-sensitive labels end up being wasted. This situation presents a challenge, but also an opportunity, for the label industry to make major sustainability improvements.

As part of Avery Dennison’s commitment to enable the circular economy, our AD Circular program supports the recycling of used PET and paper liners in countries across Europe. By collecting label liners and working with trusted recycling partners to handle the rest, the program helps businesses contribute to creating a circular economy where nothing goes to waste.

We spoke with the team at Waldemar Behn to find out how joining AD Circular has enabled the beverage producer to embrace the circular economy and give new life to the valuable composite materials left over from their production processes.

AD Circular

Waldemar Behn’s most prominent brands


Describe the Waldemar Behn company.

WALDEMAR BEHN is a family-owned beverage producer founded in 1892 and based in Eckernförde, Germany. The company’s product range includes internationally known spirits such as Kleiner Feigling, Dooley's Original Toffee Cream Liqueur, and DANZKA Vodka and national highlights such as the aperitif liqueur Andalö and the anise liqueur Küstennebel. 

Which of your products primarily use self-adhesive labels?

We use self-adhesive labels in numerous ways at Waldemar Behn. For example, they are used on the big bottles of Kleiner Feigling, Küstennebel, Dooleys, and DANZKA Vodka, as well as all small PET bottles of Kleiner Feigling, Küstennebel, and Alpenschnaps. However, the use of self-adhesive labels does not end with production. In the entire storage and logistics area, only self-adhesive labels are used.

AD Circular

Labels for DANZKA Vodka ready to be dispensed 


Why did you choose to dispose of your liner waste from production via a recycling program?

The packaging of the raw materials used in our production process generates a large amount of waste. However, we of course want to produce as resource-efficiently as possible. For this reason, we have been trying for several years to minimize the use of raw materials and to optimize our production processes accordingly. When developing new products and designing them, we always take into account the use of resources and the associated recycling options. We decided to work together with AD Circular in order to recycle this high-quality composite material and thus save resources.

AD Circular

Large amounts of label liners ready to be recycled


Before using the AD Circular recycling program, how was your liner waste disposed of internally?

Due to the lack of a reliable disposal route for recycling, the liner materials were sent to thermal processing.

What challenges did you face when implementing the program internally and how did you solve them?

The biggest task was to put aside disposal methods that had been ingrained for years in practice and in our mindset and to inspire employees to embrace the new procedure. We trained employees about the benefits of the change and developed and implemented new internal disposal methods. After a short period of changeover, the carrier materials are now automatically collected separately.

AD Circular

A box filled with used glassine liners collected by employees


What are the sustainability goals of the Waldemar Behn company?

It is our aim to examine sustainability approaches in existing production processes and products as well as in new projects and new product developments and to implement improvements where appropriate. We are constantly evolving in terms of sustainability.

How does the AD Circular recycling program support Waldemar Behn's sustainability goals?

AD Circular offers us an opportunity to save resources and add another resource to the circular economy after plastics, cardboard, and paper. By disposing of our liner waste with AD Circular, we reduce the amount of our waste in thermal recycling and thus also reduce our CO2 emissions. Of course, it should not go unmentioned that the change in disposal also brings a certain economic advantage.

Learn more

If you wish to learn more about the AD Circular program and how it could potentially help you recycle used paper and filmic label liners, click here.


Waldemar Behn is a leading family-owned company in the German spirits business founded in 1892, managed by the 4th generation and based in Eckernförde, Germany. The company’s product range includes internationally known spirits brands such as Kleiner Feigling, DANZKA Vodka, and Dooley's Original Toffee Cream Liqueur. National highlights are the aperitif liqueur Andalö, the anise liqueur Küstennebel, and Alpenschnaps, in addition to regional treasures like Radeberger herbal liqueur, Alpenschnaps, Friesengeist, and the Wikinger mead range.