GUILFORD, CONN. – Label solutions manufacturer Brook + Whittle shared that it received a US patent for its GreenLabel BlackOut innovation, which it created as a recyclable light-blocking shrink sleeve solution for PET packaging.

Brook + Whittle said the light-blocking shrink sleeve (US Patent No.: 11,961,422) can help CPG brands looking for solutions tied to recyclability goals and adhering to the US Plastics Pact (USPP).

The Connecticut-based manufacturer, which makes pressure-sensitive shrink sleeves, flexible packaging and heat transfer labels, noted dairy is one of the markets in which protecting contents from light to prevent spoilage, nutrient loss and flavor change has made it a challenge to transition to recyclable clear PET packaging.

The company also pointed out many brands package products in white or colored PET, which the USPP lists as problematic and unnecessary, while clear PET packaging has a lower carbon footprint, can be recycled multiple times and is accepted in more recycling systems.

Brook + Whittle said its patented solution also allows companies to move away from using problematic plastics, and shared that the shrink sleeve was designed to be fully compatible with existing recycling processes.

Tyler Matusevich, the company’s director of sustainability, said Brook + Whittle is committed to making packaging solutions that emphasize aesthetics, performance, cost and sustainability.

“After eight years of R&D, we have developed a patented solution that utilizes a crystallizable shrink sleeve, our GreenLabel de-inkable inks and a functional barrier coating,” Matusevich said. “We successfully conducted multiple commercial-scale trials to ensure the correct sortation and recyclability of this light-blocking shrink sleeve. Alongside the recyclability benefits of this solution, we expect our customers will benefit from switching to clear PET and lower their extended producer responsibility (EPR) eco-modulation fees in the future."

Daryl Northcott, executive vice President at Brook + Whittle, said receiving a patent marked a significant milestone.

“We are currently supplying commercial-scale orders and are working closely with multiple brands to ensure a smooth transition to this product,” Northcott said. “Being first to market with this patented solution is a testament to our ongoing commitment to leading the way in sustainable packaging and driving the industry forward.”