Independent research reveals Checkpoint Systems’ RFID labels are recyclable as part of the household kerbside collection process

To enable fashion, grocery and footwear retailers to reduce their impact on the environment, while ensuring they can increase their sales and minimise loss, Checkpoint Systems has become one of the first global label manufacturers to prove its sustainable RFID labels are recyclable as part of the household kerbside recycling process.


The labelling conundrum

RFID labels play a vital role – carrying product information and enabling stores to locate items across a range of sectors. They provide better control and visibility at each step of the supply chain, enabling retailers to better manage their inventory and avoid any costly out of stock scenarios.

However, until now, the recyclability of these labels has been relatively unknown. It means that retailers and consumers could inadvertently be contaminating the recycling stream with millions of RFID-enabled tags and labels. Checkpoint has today become one of the first RFID providers to prove that its range of labels are fully recyclable as part of the kerbside recycling process.


Sustainability is essential

As one of the largest suppliers of RFID labels globally, Checkpoint’s RFID-enabled labels are applied to millions of garments, handbags, footware, bottles, food and grocery products, as well as a range of other uses. RFID systems are becoming increasingly important to retailers, providing a wealth of actionable intelligence that can be used to improve inventory accuracy and increase sales. RFID has proven that it is the future.

However, when disposed of, RFID hangtags, labels and tags tended to end up in a combination of different waste and recycling streams. With many fashion, food and drinks brands making strong commitments to sustainability[1] and consumers increasingly demonstrating their preferences for businesses that are minimising their impact on the world around us[2], it has become important for brands and retailers to ensure all parts of their business are working towards protecting the environment.


Ensuring Checkpoint labels can be recycled

To ensure that its customers can confidently claim their labels are recyclable, Checkpoint partnered with PTS – an organisation with over 70 years’ experience researching the use of fibre-based solutions – to conduct a series of technical tests on its range of labels.

The Germany-based research consultancy tested a range of Checkpoint labels. All labels – including the Vortex m750 PET+PE, Njord m730 Paper, Vortex m750 Clean PET labels – achieved an excellent overall recyclability rate of over 94%.

PTS analysed the labels to ensure that following the standard kerbside recycling process, the recycled, fibre-based material would be of acceptable quality. The results show that all are classified as being recyclable in accordance with current regulations.

The technical report concluded that consumers can safely dispose of a Checkpoint RFID label in a household recycling bin, without having to separate the inlay from the labels, knowing that the entire tag will be recycled.


Inge Fleuren, Global Product Manager RFID Inlays, Checkpoint Systems, commented:

“Businesses and brands of all sizes and in a range of sectors are investing in a wide range of practices as part of their sustainability agenda. The likes of Levi, Allbirds and H&M are among fashion brands to implement more sustainable ways of working such as offering instore garment repairs or utilising more environmentally-friendly materials such as hemp in an effort to promote green business practises. We are increasingly familiar with the efforts made in recent years to minimise food waste and foster sustainability in the grocery sector, so with huge investment in sustainable production and retailing, it’s vital that anything applied to a product – at any point along the supply chain or in-store – must not unknowingly impact the environment in a negative way.

“RFID labels are an essential part of grocers and fashion retailers’ strategy for maximising their profits, but as with all aspects of business performance, it is vital they do not detract from a sustainable supply chain. We want our products to be disposable in a seamless and easy way, in alignment with our customers’ green values.

“We are thrilled that our RFID and RF labels passed all of PTS’ stringent tests, meaning they have little to no impact on the recyclability of a tag or label so customers can dispose of their label easily and have confidence that when they purchase goods with our labels on them, they are also supporting sustainable practices.”


Contact us if you would like to receive the full report and discuss your RFID labeling options.



[1] The Fashion Pact is a global coalition of companies in the fashion and textile industry (ready-to-wear, sport, lifestyle and luxury) all committed to a common core of key environmental goals in three areas stopping global warming, restoring biodiversity and protecting the oceans.

[2] According to the 2020 State of Fashion Report from McKinsey & Co., 66% of all respondents and 75% of millennial respondents say that they consider sustainability when they make a purchase. Available here..