The Intersection of Security and Sustainability: PROFOUND™ Eco

As environmental consciousness grows, businesses are increasingly adopting practices that support a circular economy to reduce their impact on the environment. Sustainable packaging aims to minimize waste, reduce energy consumption, and promote responsible material use – and this is why Crane’s Research and Development and Product Management Teams worked tirelessly to add to the PROFOUND™ family of secure labels a solution that thwarts product fakes and uses a high percentage of recycled consumer material. 

PROFOUND™ Eco proudly uses an inner layer made from 70% post-consumer recycled PET and going well beyond doubling the industry standard for sustainable products. The major component of PROFOUND™ Eco labels use an environmentally friendly component contributing to a circular economy that aims to minimize waste and maximize resource efficiency. Instead of the traditional linear model (make, use, dispose), the circular economy promotes:

•    Reuse: Extending the lifespan of products.
•    Recycle: Repurposing materials to create new products.
•    Reduce: Minimizing waste generation.

PROFOUND™ Eco: Benefits of Sustainable Security Solutions
Like all Crane security labels, PROFOUND™ Eco is a micro-optic security label which enhances product appeal with captivating, custom-branded designs, fluid movement, and 3D effects. These sustainable security labels enable product authentication and tamper evidence for detection, deterrence, and prevention of counterfeiting and visual engagement.

Why is PROFOUND™ Eco special? Thanks to its inner layer being made of 70% post-consumer recycled plastic, PROFOUND™ Eco provides secure and uncompromised 3D visuals effects that reduce carbon emissions and promote upcycling of PET plastic. The inner layer constitutes over 67% of the PROFOUND™ Eco label.  It provides the label with both durability and unique optical qualities.  

When asked about the challenge in creating PROFOUND™ Eco, Crane Authentication Product Manager, Heather Clarke-Hite, outlined the balance of properties Crane had to overcome, “The inner layer engineered expressly for PROFOUND™ Eco has impressive dimensional uniformity, the correct surface-energy properties and refractive index needed to meet the critical parameters of all PROFOUND™ micro-optics.”   

The substitution of raw materials in a process that forms millions of high-efficiency lenses every minute, each the size of a red blood cell, is not to be taken lightly. Every material must conform to exacting, and often proprietary, standards. Substituting the label’s largest component with a material diverted from the consumer waste stream seemed at first impossible.  
Happily, consumer demand for more environmentally friendly opened a door of opportunity to Crane, even if its PROFOUND™ labels only weigh about 650 milligrams each.  

Continues Clarke-Hite, “Replacing any of our qualified suppliers cannot be taken lightly, and it was not long ago that the material properties we require were simply unachievable in post-consumer recycled PET films. Today, that has changed. We’ve been able to qualify a dependable supply of material that enables us to achieve our goal of supplying customers with a high security, visually engaging label with a reduced environmental impact.”  

PROFOUND™ Eco provides:
• Environmental Impact Reduction:
Using renewable materials minimizes reliance on fossil fuels and reduces plastic waste.
Recycling compatibility ensures a positive impact on the circular economy.
• Consumer Confidence:
Sustainable packaging resonates with eco-conscious consumers.
Tamper-evident features build trust by assuring consumers that the product remains intact until purchase.
• Regulatory Compliance:
Brands can meet future directives and safety requirements by adopting sustainable and secure packaging solutions.

Post-Consumer-Waste is Gold!
Post-consumer recycled content, which contains labels and inks, and adhesives, is naturally more contaminated than post-industrial, making it more challenging to regrind, rework, and remanufacture. This is why it’s more difficult, yet more valuable, to recycle this content. 

Prioritizing post-consumer waste over virgin and post-industrial waste helps build market value for materials that otherwise would be the less desirable for manufacturers. It’s a step forward in reducing large amounts of plastic usage.

“In the quest for both security and sustainability, PROFOUND™ Eco is a powerful force to authenticate a product, while also being environmentally conscious. By choosing eco-friendly materials and promoting circularity, brands can protect their products and customers while contributing to a healthier planet. Every package tells a story. PROFOUND™ Eco can make yours a story of integrity and responsibility,” says Clarke-Hite.