EcoReLabel: ecological, removable, and recyclable labels

The project was funded in the frame of the call POR FESR Toscana 2014-2020 – Linea 1.1.5. and was coordinated by IRPLAST with the operative unit PeptLab-MoD&LS of the chemistry department of the University of Florence together with LMPE, NOVIS, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Istituto CNR IPCF.
The aim of the EcoReLabel project was the development of products and processes enabling the removal of the labels from PET bottles in order to make both separately reusable or recyclable. This could be achieved using adhesives that are degradable in enzymatic baths that are developed in the project. The reduction of the environmental impact of the products and the processes was assessed via LCA (Life Cycle Assessment).
This project is well in agreement with the growing attention and support of the European Community to the transition toward circular economy in the field of packaging. One of the developed prototypes was also tested for labelling and industrial washing in Southern America. Considering the importance of environmental sustainability in every industrial field, the results are expected to be extended to many different sectors.
EcoReLabel took advantage of the cooperation of the six involved partners which designed and realized ecological labels that are removable from PET bottles and completely recyclable. Taking advantage of the competences of PeptLab-MoD&LS in the field of peptide and protein science, and consequently also of enzymes able to degrade plastics, in the frame of the EcoReLabel project a new process was developed for the separation of the labels from the bottles. The process is based on enzymatic degradation and has low environmental impact.

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