VPF Develops 100% Hemp-based Paper Labelstock

In cooperation with Gmund Papier, the adhesive materials specialists at VPF in Sprockhövel, Germany, are developing the first self-adhesive label stock made from 100 % hemp. The 120 g/m2 hemp paper consists of pure European hemp fiber and is another sustainable paper alternative to conventional papers made of wood. The paper is remarkable for its soft feel, excellent printability and improved waste paper cycle.

Hemp is one of the oldest cultivated plants on earth and was used early on for paper production. The Gutenberg Bible from 1455 was made of hemp paper, and until about 1880, 75 – 90 % of the world’s paper demand was covered by hemp fibers. Unlike trees, hemp grows quickly, can be cultivated without any problems and can be fully utilised.

A hemp field has four to five times the yield of a forest of the same size. Hemp grows to a height of up to four meters within a 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 colour, little bleaching agent is needed for subsequent paper production. Hemp is characterized by fibers that are five times as long as those of paper fibers, which means high tensile, tear and wet strength with accompanying long durability; at the same it time the long fibres means hemp fibres improve the waste paper cycle and can be recycled particularly often, reports the paper manufacturer Gmund.

After lengthy trials and ageing tests, VPF now coats the Gmund Hemp 100 % paper (VPF 10555) with a strongly adhesive UV acrylate, HM716UV with 25 g application weight. Because of 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 70 g recycled liner (NSA700-476) for the self-adhesive finish of the hemp paper, which consists of 70 % recycled content. The new type of hemp adhesive material is now available from VPF starting at a minimum quantity of 500 m2.