Sustainability is in the process, not just in the materials

04/12/2023 - label printing

Producing labels as efficiently as possible combined with care for the environment and its employees, that is sustainability for Reynders label printing.

Sustainability is not just in choosing the right material, says Sales Director Marco Van Hooff, it is the whole thing: selecting the right materials, choosing the right production process, how you as a company stand in society and what choices you make to achieve this.

Producing sustainable labels is not higher mathematics, according to Marco Van Hooff. He sums it up as follows: You must always try to make the right logical material choices and combine this with the choice of packaging on which the label will be applied. He gives an example: "Always ask yourself the question: What type of label do you choose for which type of packaging? At first sight, a paper label seems the most ecological option, but if you apply a paper label to a PET bottle, the whole ecological background disappears. After all, you are working with two different materials, making it complex to recycle the whole thing. So here, a PET label would be a more ecological option. So that's why you have to look at the choice of label material application by application."

Within Reynders label printing, we work according to the Triple R principle: responsible sourcing (in other words, responsible purchasing), reducing and, as a third option, recycling. Besides return of investment, we also focus on all possible environmental effects.

To continue sustainable production, Reynders label printing has had 800 solar panels installed on the roof of its branches in Poland and Spain and plans to provide solar panels on the roof of its recently rebuilt Reynders pharmaceutical labels branch as well. Moreover, green roofs in Boechout and Libramont are installed to collect rainwater. Third generation Sebastiaan Reynders added: "We use this for flushing our toilets, because otherwise our water consumption is not great."

Bart Reynders of the third generation and key account manager at Reynders pharmaceutical labels corroborates this ecological thinking with an example about packaging choices: "For a customer, we replaced the cardboard boxes that can only serve as packaging once with returnable plastic bins that can be reused several times. Moreover, we also take a critical look at the use of plastic packaging and have already reduced our plastic consumption by 121 tonnes annually. In addition, we have been collecting the backing material of our labels ourselves for recycling for 15 years."

Reynders reinforces its sustainability philosophy by participating in several international projects. For instance, Reynders follows the CDP (carbon disclosure project) to reduce its CO2 consumption as much as possible. At Ecovadis, a company that assesses other companies on various sustainability criteria, Reynders achieves an exceptionally high score. Moreover, Reynders is closely associated with the HolyGrail2.0 project. In this project, every plastic packaging is provided with a digital watermark, enabling much better recycling.

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