April 2023
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Project progress highlights and upcoming milestones 
Sustainability stories and latest industry updates  
From the Project Coordinators' desk  
Upcoming events

AFSP Monthly WS Meetings 
WS1: Calculation methods
13 April, 10:00 to 12:00 (CET)
22 May, 10:00 to 12:00 (CET)
29 June, 10:00 to 12:00 (CET)
WS2: Waste management
4 April, 14:00 to 16:00 (CET)
16 May, 14:00 to 16:00 (CET)
22 June, 10:00 to 12:00 (CET)
WS3: Advocacy 
31 March, 10:00 to 12:00 (CET)
12 May, 10:00 to 12:00 (CET)
15 June, 10:00 to 12:00 (CET)
Afera Technical Seminar
17-19 April 2023 
Marriot Hotel, Brussels, Belgium
PSTC Tape Week
8-11 May 2023 
Hilton Orlando, Orlando, Florida
Afera 66th Annual Conference 
4-6 October 2023
AFSP Meet-up
3 October 2023, 9:00 to 12:30 (CET)
The Westin, Dragonara Resort, Malta
More industry events
ISSUE 2, 14 april 2023
Hello and welcome to the new year’s first sustainability edition with the latest updates from AFSP.
Project progress highlights

Here’s a wrap-up of the discussions that took place in each of the workstreams in Q1 2023: 


WS1 – Calculation Methods

In the first quarter, WS1 achieved one of the key project milestones by officially bringing Sphera on board to develop the sector-wide tool for harmonized PCF calculation of tapes. Together with the German Adhesives Association – IVK, Afera will collaborate with Sphera, a specialised provider of sustainability consulting services. This joint initiative will help avoid duplicate work, and achieve results faster and at a deeper level while saving cost. The newly formed PCF Taskforce, featuring representatives from tesa, Lohmann, 3M, Cintas Adhesivas UBIS, Nitto and NAR will work closely with Sphera and keep the WS1 participants informed of the developments.

To kick-start the collaborative initiative, Afera and IVK plan to co-organise a series of workshops, where Sphera will present more details regarding the tool and address initial queries. Currently, Afera and IVK are co-developing the outline and scope of the workshops and you are welcome to share your suggestions or questions by getting in touch with us

In addition to this, WS1 is also in discussions with CEPI to understand more about the Carbon Footprint Framework developed by them. In the upcoming workstream meetings, the participants will discuss more on this topic in the context of adhesive tapes to agree on the scope, system boundaries, and process landscape per sector.

WS1 is also keeping a close watch on the Green Claims Directive to get a better understanding of the requirements for substantiating environmental performance of products.  


WS2 – Waste Management

The waste management workstream is focusing on developing a database of collectors and recyclers of release liners and other tape waste. An online form is currently open and is gathering details of collectors and recyclers that Afera members are already working with or are aware of. It is designed to also capture information regarding current practices (type and volume of waste collected, pre-requisites for acceptance of waste material, geographical regions covered, etc.).  The work done by CELAB in this space is being closely followed.

WS2 participants are also in the process of finalising a position paper on release liner strategy for Afera members, which will provide information on the consequences of having a light- or a dark-coloured release liner and the possible steps forward. 
The ultimate goal is to create a manual on how to deal with release liner (RL) waste to enable its recycling. 

Widening the scope further i.e., focusing on the recycling of other types of tape waste, WS2 plans to also engage with internal and external stakeholders to collect information such as the type of recycling technique being used, logistical issues, etc. A key example of external stakeholder engagement is the ongoing discussion with Brightlands – an industrial park in the Netherlands – to explore the topic of chemical recycling in the context of adhesive tapes.


WS3 – Advocacy

For WS3 participants, 2023 started off with a deep dive into the recently published Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) proposal to assess its impact on the adhesive tapes industry. Certain grey areas have been identified such as the status of release liners and surface protection tapes i.e., if they are considered as ‘packaging’ or not, the applicability of reusable and recycled content targets, etc. Following the reactivation of the Regulatory Affairs Working Group earlier this year, further actions i.e., Afera’s feedback to the Commission and the follow-up action plan will be prepared by the regulatory affairs WG.  

Some of the other regulatory developments currently in the radar include:
  • The Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR)
  • The Construction Products Regulation (CPR)
  • The REACH revision and restrictions, polymer registration
  • Microplastics restriction
  • PVC and PVC additions – potential restriction
  • PFAS restriction
  • and more... 

Going forward, the regulatory affairs WG will identify and react to all the regulatory changes of relevance to the tape industry. They will respond actively to E.U. public consultations and impact assessments, draft position papers, and formulate joint industry statements.   

WS3, with its main goal of translating the European Green Deal to Afera members, will play a complementary role. The workstream participants will continue to engage with key stakeholders and prepare guidance documents for the members and public like the newly released guidance document on ISCC PLUS certification for tapes .  Next on the agenda for WS3 participants is the development of ‘design for recycling’ (DfR) guidelines for packaging tapes. The initial scope of the document, aimed at tape manufacturers and converters, spans 3 main categories of packaging applications for tapes (fibre-based, plastic, and glass packaging and the respective recycling waste streams).

The other documents currently under development include: (1) the impact of UK Plastic Packaging Tax on tapes, (2) Sustainable use of tapes in packaging applications 

Upcoming milestones
WS Project Milestones - 2022  Timelime 
WS1 Get external consultant onboard with PCF Taskforce DONE
WS1 Create an inventory of the tape manufacturing process landscape    Q2 2023
WS1 Finalise inventory of energy consumption data for manufacturing processes  Q2 2023 
WS1               Formalise calculation method of carbon footprint data for all adhesives tapes  Q4 2023
WS1 Make a sector-wide tool for the adhesive tapes industry available     Q4 2023
WS2  Define Afera strategy for release liner recycling    Q2 2023
WS2 Prepare database of collectors and recyclers of release liners and tape waste Q2 2023
WS2 Gather data on release liner waste generation, collection and recycling from tape manufacturers, converters, and users   Q4 2023
WS3 Release guidelines for ISCC PLUS certification for tapes DONE
WS3              Release guidelines for sustainable use of tapes for packaging applications Q2 2023
WS3 Release design for recycling (D4R) guidelines for packaging tapes Q2 2023
WS3 Release position paper on impact of the UK PPT for tape industry Q2 2023
Sustainability stories and latest industry updates 
1. What role can adhesive tapes play in making packaging more sustainable? 
It is no surprise that sustainable packaging is a hot topic these days. Packaging designs are undergoing a makeover with the industry adopting innovative approaches to improve their green credentials. From eco-design concepts that enable reuse, refill, and recycling to the overall reduction of packaging used for a product, a lot is going on! Thanks to their flexibility and highly functional nature, adhesive tapes can adapt to support the rapidly evolving sustainability requirements of the packaging industry...read more    

2. Afera reboots Regulatory Affairs Working Group in the run up to Düsseldorf Committee Meetings 
13 March 2023: Afera has rebooted its engagement with regulatory affairs Member experts for the first time since the onset of Covid. In the Technical Committee Meetings held in Q1 2023, 20 Afera Member Company Delegates, many of whom are responsible for environmental, regulatory and sustainability issues within their businesses, met to update themselves and decide on collective industry action on a number of running E.U. topics...read more

3. Afera releases New Guidance Document: ISCC PLUS Certification for Adhesive Tapes 
31 March 2023: Afera has released a new guidance paper on ISCC PLUS Certification for adhesive tapes as part of the work undertaken by the Advocacy Workstream of Afera’s Flagship Sustainability Project (AFSP). The document aims to provide guidance to Afera members to enable them to demonstrate the sustainability and circularity of their adhesive tape products...read more
From the Project Coordinators' Desk

The AFSP was setup with cooperation at heart: bringing together competitors and suppliers to solve problems that are too big for one single company to tackle. In the latest Workstream activities, this cooperation is visible in the inception of a Product Carbon Footprint Taskforce representing diverse tape manufacturers (small and large, covering 4 countries and diverse tape products), and joining forces with the liquid adhesive industry to develop a common approach and solution to calculate the environmental impact of adhesives and adhesive tapes. We look forward to more cooperation and diversity in solving big sustainability challenges!

If you would also like to participate in the AFSP Workstreams, please register your interest with us.

For any further questions, contact us at: AFSP@afera.com  




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