VPF develops 100% hemp-based paper labels

In cooperation with Gmund Papier, the adhesive material specialists at VPF in Sprockhövel, Germany, are developing the first self-adhesive label stock made from 100% hemp. The 120gsm hemp paper is made from pure European hemp fiber and is another sustainable paper alternative to conventional wood papers. The paper is distinguished by its soft feel, excellent printability and improved waste paper recovery cycle.

Hemp is one of the oldest cultivated plants on earth and was used very early in the production of paper. Gutenberg’s Bible of 1455 was made of hemp paper and until around 1880, 75-90% of the world’s demand for paper was met by hemp fibers. Unlike trees, hemp grows quickly, can be cultivated without any problems and can be fully utilized.

A field of hemp has four to five times the yield of a forest of the same size. Hemp grows to a height of four meters in one year and can be harvested three times a year, producing more biomass than any other domestic crop. Since hemp fiber is naturally very light in color, little bleach is needed for subsequent paper production. Hemp is characterized by fibers that are five times longer than those of paper fibers, which means high tensile, tear and moisture resistance with long durability that comes with it; at the same time, the long fibers mean that hemp fibers improve the waste paper cycle and can be recycled particularly often, reports paper manufacturer Gmund.

After extensive trials and aging tests, VPF now coats Gmund Hemp 100% paper (VPF 10555) with a strong adhesive UV acrylate, HM716UV with an application weight of 25g. Due to the strong final adhesion of the adhesive, the hemp adhesive material can also be reliably bonded to almost all more difficult substrates despite the relatively high grammage of 120 g/m.

To further optimize the carbon footprint, VPF exclusively uses a 70g recycled liner (NSA700-476) for the self-adhesive finish of the hemp paper, which is made from 70% recycled content. The new type of hemp adhesive material is now available at VPF from a minimum quantity of 500 m2.

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