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Of the earth, by the earth, for the earth: New Crush range of sustainable label facestock

Avery Dennison: Rebecca Worth + Concept Lab
Avery Dennison

Barley and citrus aren’t just mixers anymore. Paper maker Favini uses the organic ingredients to create their sustainable line of Crush papers, which are now available as a label. To learn about the inspiration behind the Crush range, Avery Dennison Global Marketing Director for Wine and Spirits Ralph Olthoff talked with Favini’s Marketing and Export Sales Director Andrea Favini.

Ralph: What inspired you to create label facestocks made from natural ingredients? Can you tell us about the innovation process?

Andrea: The first paper created from the upcycling principle was Shiro Alga Carta, patented by Favini in the ’90s. It uses algae from the Venice Lagoon, the proliferation of which had put the lagoon’s fragile ecosystem at risk. Shiro Alga Carta was a great success with international significance, which inspired Favini’s research and development team to look for a new way to use an alternative ingredient, such as by-products from different industrial sectors, that could partially substitute virgin tree pulp.

R: Can you tell us a bit more about the production process?

A: Natural by-products of citrus fruits, grapes, cherries, lavender, corn, olives, coffee, kiwi fruits, hazelnuts and almonds are selected, mechanically cleaned, purified, micronized, and then combined with tree fibres and other ingredients to produce Crush paper. The process remains the same as for other kinds of paper, but we use less energy and no additional chemicals.

R: For designers and brands interested in sustainability, how does the Crush range compare to other wine label materials? 

A: Crush represents a sustainable wine label alternative. Crush is produced with 15 percent agri-industrial by-products and 40 percent post-consumer recycled paper, which results in 20 percent lower CO2 emissions than standard label papers.

R: How do these sustainable label facestocks compare in terms of durability and application to papers made with 100 percent virgin pulp? 

A: It’s comparable. On one hand, designers should pay attention to the colour of Crush papers and adapt their design to the material because Crush, by nature, is not white. On the other hand, their variant nature makes them recognizable and adds a distinctive feature. 

Crush is also compatible with the same printing techniques as standard label papers. In terms of sustainability, however, we suggest minimizing the use of finishing techniques, which can add to a label’s environmental impact.

R: Sustainability is very important for Favini; what other initiatives or products do you have that contribute to sustainability?

A: Favini, in its DNA, has the principles of circular economy and sustainability. It is these two important aspects which, from an environmental perspective, have led us over the years to seek out alternative solutions using by-products as a precious raw material in the production of low impact and sustainable papers. In addition to Crush, we also developed Shiro, a sustainable range of papers produced using seaweed, renewable non-tree biomass, and recycled fibres. We also created Remake, a paper made from the upcycling process of leather residues that replaces 25 percent wood tree pulp.

R: How do you think sustainability will impact the paper industry in the future?

A: The paper industry has already been influenced by sustainability. In fact, it is, in my opinion, one of the most ethical industries. Our cellulose comes from certified plantations and the research into other fibres – such as fibres from annual plants, recycled fibres, or by-products – with the same features of recyclability and biodegradability, are all increasing.

From a company perspective, we are reducing our use of natural resources by decreasing our electricity and water use, as well as our CO2 emissions. Favini’s commitment to sustainability and the environment are available on the Favini website

At Labelexpo, Avery Dennison is introducing the Crush range, consisting of rCrush Barley and rCrush Citrus, our 2 newest materials. Complementing the range is rCrush Grape, the new name for Grape Touch.

To be among the first to experience the look and feel of the Crush papers as Avery Dennison labels, sample packs are available for pre-order.

About Favini

Favini is a leading global producer of graphics specialties, natural fibres-based (cellulose, algae, fruits, nuts, leather, etc.), for the packaging of luxury and fashion industries. Favini is also a worldwide leader in the design and production of textures and finishing solutions for eco-leather for fashion, luxury, design, IT, and technical sportswear sectors. It also operates in the converting products industry sector that includes activities related to the creation and production of stationery for school, leisure and office, for high-end market.