We care for your IML.

In-Mould Labelling: green by definition.

During the in-mould labelling process, an indissoluble bond is created between label and injected part and generally the label is printed on a material made of the same polymer as the injection material.

These are the foundations of the sustainability of IML. The fact that a labelled plastic part is mono-component means that it can be recycled without problems. Other labelling technologies rely on the fact that the consumer removes the label before disposing the container, which is not always done. An IML container is normally mono-component and does not require action by the end user before disposing. The presence of ink is tolerated for mechanical downcycling and is not problematic for both chemical recycling and some new deep cleaning technologies.

Being mono-component is a must.

Image: Certificate Sustainability

Image: Technology

Full peelable IML label - The container lives a second life

A customer of ours had a mould for producing a 1 lt. ice cream container which was quite sturdy. Therefore he looked for a way of exploiting this feature. The idea was to give the container a second life after consumption of the content.

Thanks to a special full-peelable IML label, the consumer can remove the labels after use and turn the ice cream packaging into a durable fridge container like the ones you can buy in a hardware store.
Therefore we gave the container a second life without producing a new plastic part, without going through recycling, through composting other energy consuming processes.

PLA IML label - The virtuous circle of composting

Compostable materials are for sure part of the green approach to a sustainable future. Also for containers injected with compostable bioplastics, VIAPPIANI developed an industrially compostable IML label based on polylactic acid (PLA).

This development was presented already in 2018 at the NPE exhibition in Orlando as an IML labelled K-size coffee capsule. Coffee capsules are the ideal product for this technology because the elements, i.e. container, label and the ground coffee are all compostable. The IML label allows for branding the capsule respecting the environment and kicking off the virtuous cycle of composting.

Image: Technology

Image: Technology

Home compostable IML label - Cellulose for the next level of composting

Due to some limitations of industrial composting, it became necessary to develop IML labels also for home compostable materials. The reference application is still the coffee capsule. In this case it was not possible to produce a label based on home compostable bioplastic, but we created a cellulose label which can be composted together with the container although the packaging is not mono-component.

We believe that this is a step forward towards a sustainable future and this development is close to its conclusion. Several tests gave positive results, and we are looking forward to an industrial production.

IML labels with digital watermarks - The turn for new recycling targets

Digital watermarks, particularly Digimarc, are invisible codes which are embedded in printing files of labels in order to be scanned by a suitable camera in a sorting facility.

Thanks to this technology IML labels become smart and carry a big amount of information to be used for different scopes. The first is the optimization of recycling rates with higher detection rates compared to NIR technology. The HolyGrail 2.0 initiative, of which VIAPPIANI is a proud member, is leading this development. The status of the project sees industrial trials to be performed this year.

Image: Technology