While the PET bottles vitafusion uses for its MultiVites have long been recyclable, the shrink labels that make them visually distinct — and tamperproof — causing problems for recyclers. Vitafusion™ manufacturer Church & Dwight Co. set out to find a way to make sure its shrink labels worked with current practices at recyclers, ensuring vitafusion packaging was easily recyclable. The answer came through a collaboration with Eastman. Eastman Embrace™ LV copolyester and Sun Chemical SunLam™ deseaming adhesive helped vitafusion become the first vitamin brand in the United States to use recycle-friendly shrink labeled packaging, as initially reported in Packaging Insights and Nutrition Insight.

“While all our products are already in recyclable bottles, we set out to solve the issue that the shrink wrap on the bottles creates in being eco-friendly across the vitamin category. Our Global Packaging Group have been searching and are excited to have harnessed the innovative technology solve for recyclable-friendly packaging and take our environmental footprint to the next level,” vitafusion Director of Marketing Laurie Kirschner told Packaging Insights.

The new labels for the popular gummy multivitamins are now a first in sustainability and eco-friendly packaging in the U.S. supplement market — but it didn’t come without difficulties. “Just locating the innovative technology that provides recycle-friendly shrink packaging was a challenge,” reports Kirschner. She says Church and Dwight worked closely with Eastman, the maker of the resin for the labels, and also worked closely with Sun Chemical to ensure that the new adhesive would work with Eastman’s resin on their packaging.

Additionally, the new adhesive makes sure the labels easily comes off in the recycling wash process without any sacrifice in performance or appearance. “The technical expertise of our packaging partners has enabled us to use the latest technologies available,” Rich McNabb, global director of packaging for Church & Dwight, said, also speaking to Packaging Insights.

While consumers respond to unique packaging and heightened safety offered by a tamperproof shrink label, they also cite sustainability as a major shopping concern. A study by Innova Market Insights has shown a rise in demand for recyclable packaging — especially for health-conscious products like vitamins and supplements.

New shrink packaging developed in collaboration with Eastman will help vitafusion stand out on the shelf, not just with great allover graphics and visible security, but with an eco-friendly mission. “Increasing the recyclability of our packaging is a great decision for the long-term success of our business and our environment. This exciting new technology has huge potential to improve recycling for shrink-labeled packaging across many companies and industries,” McNabb says.