IFCO recommends HERMA self-adhesive materials for reusable boxes

Strong adhesion and easy to wash off

  • IFCO, the world’s largest provider of transport packaging for fresh products, places two HERMA self-adhesive label materials on its customers’ recommendation list.
  • HERMA developed the adhesive 62P specifically for this purpose.
  • Even in cool and humid environments, labels produced with this adhesive adhere securely to reusable plastic containers (RPCs) and can be washed off after each use without leaving any residue.

This will make sustainability even better: in order to accelerate and optimise the circulation of its multi-cycle systems, IFCO, the world’s largest provider of transport packaging for fresh products, now recommends two HERMA self-adhesive label materials to its customers. Thanks to the specially developed adhesive 62P, the appropriate labels fulfil two essentially contradictory properties particularly well: they provide reliable adhesion in cool, moist environments and can be washed off again at a later stage without leaving any residue. “We recommend labels with HERMA self-adhesive materials because our test has shown that they can be completely removed in our washing process. This eliminates the need for additional cleaning and our customers receive crates that have no third-party labels on them,” explains Thomas Albrecht, Vice President Service Center Operations at IFCO. “This is particularly important as crates with labels firmly stuck to them either require costly treatment or need to be sorted out.” IFCO’s customers include farmers and food producers from over 50 countries. IFCO offers sustainable reusable packaging solutions in the form of plastic reusable containers, RPCs for short, for the safe and hygienic transport of its products, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, bananas, meat, fish, seafood, eggs and bakery products. The RPCs are loaned out to customers who still load their food into crates in the field and transport it to the customer. After processing the products, the RPCs are returned to IFCO, where they are thoroughly cleaned in the washing facility and then reused. IFCO recommends to its customers a selection of self-adhesive materials for labels, which are subject to strict criteria, for the appropriate labelling of reusable boxes. The strong adhesion is necessary because the crates are exposed to demanding climatic conditions – for example, while loading in the field in a cold and moist environment. At the same time, the labels must be easily removable during the washing process and must not leave any residue. HERMA has combined the solution for these two requirements in the adhesive 62P, which was specifically developed for this purpose in the company’s in-house laboratory.

Labels in the washing facility

The 62P has proven its practical benefit in combination with the self-adhesive materials HERMAextracoat (grade 242) and HERMAtherm G BPA-free (grade 907), which are now on the IFCO recommendation list. The labels are removed from crates in the cleaning process with hot water, high pressure and highly effective cleaning agents. The adhesive 62P remains completely intact on the label, which is removed with the dirty water. This means that no adhesive residue sticks to the crates. The development of the ideal adhesive required several on-site visits to IFCO to initially understand the overall process. The conditions were then simulated in HERMA’s laboratory in Filderstadt. A procedure that is now paying off: “Being on the IFCO recommendation list is proof that our innovations are also convincing in practice,” says Dr. Ulli Nägele, Head of Development at HERMA. “We are pleased to be able to further improve a very environmentally sound multi-cycle system with innovative self-adhesive materials.”

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Innovations in Food (& Beverage) Processing & Packaging is a quarterly magazine distributed globally both in Print and Digital formats. www.innovationsfood.com