Hagmaier Etiketten & Druck wins FINAT Recycling award

Thomas Hagmaier from Hagmaier Etiketten & Druck

MONACO • FINAT announced Hagmaier Etiketten & Druck as the winners of the first Recycling Awards Competition during the association’s annual congress. The German based label printer won in the converter category by impressing the jury with their high recycling rates for both paper and film liner, the communication efforts made both inside and outside of the company, and with the solutions offered for other secondary materials. At the FINAT congress, Editor of NarrowWebTech, Joanna Costello speaks with Thomas Hagmaier about his family businesses’ sustainability initiatives.

This recycling awards competition was launched this year.  What motivated you to enter?


We read about the competition and immediately identified ourselves with it. The topic of environment and sustainability is one of our core principles. We are constantly following industry initiatives and promotions on recycling, so we thought we definitely had to apply. We just had to fill out a form, answering FINAT’s questions about what we do and achieve at the company. The questions were not just about recycling; they reflected a holistic approach including take-backs, work flows and communication.

What is it that you do at Hagmaier Etiketten & Druck, that made you win?

I think we won due to a combination of many aspects but maybe the main reason was that we offer our customers take-back of spent liner and recycle almost everything. Paper and cardboard are recycled to 100 %. All other recyclable material is separated at the machines. Packaging foil is made to granules. The silicon carrier is aspirated, cut to pieces, de-siliconized and the fibres are recovered for the material cycle. Waste grind rolls get a second life for garden products in UPM plant.

We are part of two initiatives. One is called “RafCycle”. It is a recycling programme founded and organized by UPM Raflatac. The programme focuses on recycling matrix waste. We bring our, and our customers, matrix waste to the collection point in Bruchsal and it is recycled into interesting products, such as garden floors! The other programme is called “Cycle4Green” in corporation with the company Lenzing. Our customers send their release linear waste to us, we shred it and then Lenzing comes to collect it.

That sounds very positive, but the logistic expenses must be very high?

We keep logistic expenses low because we try to work with local and regional partners as much as possible. 70 % of the self-adhesive laminate comes from locations nearby. All of the commonly used transfer cardboard has a transport route of only 25 km. The thermal cardboard comes from Germany and is bisphenol-free and delivery is made according to the Greenline directives. Our customers are mostly from Germany, Austria or Switzerland and so their logistics costs are kept low too.

An important point to this scheme is that it is a completely free service! Normally, the collection of waste for landfill or incineration costs on average of EUR 130 per tonne. With spent release liner now in the take-back programme, our customers have made significant savings.

At the FINAT congress, Editor of NarrowWebTech, Joanna Costello speaks with Thomas Hagmaier about his family businesses' sustainability initiatives
At the FINAT congress, Editor of NarrowWebTech, Joanna Costello speaks with Thomas Hagmaier about his family businesses’ sustainability initiatives

Other than recycling, what other efforts have you invested in to improve your CO2 footprint?

We have been pioneering for environmental sustainability since as far back as 1986 when a heat and power system was installed in the production building. A low-temperature heating boiler followed which resulted in drastically reduced gas consumption. I am very proud that our company building now has efficient technology in insulation, heating and cooling. We even incorporate heat recovery through reutilization of the exhaust air coming from the UV plants and compressors.

I am especially pleased with our 1100 sqm of photovoltaic panels which cover our medium power consumption. We also have a UV drying facility with LED UV and LED lighting in the production area and offices.

Can there then be a balance between making profit and being a sustainable company?

Yes, I believe there can. You have to see investment in sustainability in the same way as investment in a new technology: no investment – no result. If you only talk about sustainability nothing changes. The return on investment is visible very quickly. With less energy use in the production plant and engagement with new technologies such as LED UV and LED lighting, new possibilities opens. People also feel good by actively doing something for the environment. Resource recovery is an investment in the future.

Thank you for this inspiring conversation.

Company Profile

Hagmaier Etiketten & Druck is a 50-people strong company located in Münsingen, Germany. The company was founded in 1946 by Adolf Hagmaier and has since then stayed in the family. Thomas Hagmaier now runs the company with daughter Veronika (Order Management) and his two sons Rodolfo (Commissioner) and Max (Financial Advisor), who recently joined the team. The company specialize in all types of label printing including blank, laser, thermal transfer, industrial, adhesive, paper/cardboard, logistics, tickets, pricing, barcodes and plastic labels.

More than a decade ago, Hagmaier invested in Taiwanese technology, with the letterpress machines Link Label and Smooth. One of these rotary letter press machines is still running to full satisfaction 15 years later.  Four years ago, the digital inkjet machine c-sat was installed with 1200 dpi for label production. Continuously new machines were installed. The latest new 6-colour semi-rotary press was installed 2013. Laser die-cutting is carried out inline or offline using the “cut on the fly” technique, mastering any shapes and requirements, such as tiny holes, rounded corners or complex designs.

While most label printers work from roll to roll, Hagmaier Etiketten & Druck use turrets immediately after printing. This reduces one step in the label production process and with large volumes proves very economical. Through investment in technology and atomisation, and a real passion for label printing, the Hagmaier family have established a strong position amongst label printers in Germany.


For more information about the recycling initiatives mentioned in this article, visit:



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