From field to Crush Barley

19 Nov

Posted in Circular Economy, Graphic Specialities

The Crush Story column continues with a new circular economy case. After describing how the residues from citrus, coffee, lavender, cherry, corn, grapes, almonds and hazelnuts processing gives life to Favini’s ecological paper Crush, today we tell the life cycle of barley.

The backdrop for this circular economy case history, recognises that the world of fashion is focusing more and more on the selection of eco-sustainable materials made using by-products of industrial processing, according to the principles of circular economy. One such example is Stella McCartney, consistent to her brand philosophy, they are committed to sustainability, sourcing alternative materials to animal leather: an eco-friendly leather made of 100% sustainable materials coming from the waste of the brewing process [1], developed by designer Mi Zhou.

The by-products derived from barley processing, such as from the production of beer and whiskey, were also used by Favini in a circular economy perspective to produce the Crush Barley ecological paper, a spin-off project from the standard Crush offer.

Crush Barley is available on request; also as a label version by contacting Avery Dennison.

Barley: From the production of beer and whiskey to the Favini’s ecological paper

Barley is a cereal whose origin dates back to a wild species native to the Middle East, cultivation starting from about 7000 BC, from here it has spread all over the world. In ancient times in Egypt and China, barley was the population’s staple food. Currently in Italy, the barley occupies a cultivated surface exceeding 350.000 hectares, with a production yield of around 1.5 million tonnes. [2]

Today barley is also used to produce a malted barley and this is one of the main ingredients for brewing beer as well as to make other beverages, such as malt whiskey.

How do we produce Favini’s ecological Crush paper from barley? Read on to find out.

Favini Crush Barley

Crush Story Barley: Case history of circular economy, from barley to eco-sustainable paper

There are many common aspects between beer and whiskey production, starting with the raw material used: Barley. Historically, communities would distil the fermentable product that was available to them in plentiful quantities; for example, in Scotland the widely available raw material was cereal, in particular barley, from which these two drinks are produced.

Traditionally barley was germinated on the distillery floor and then dried with the smoke of a peat-fed fire, which gives the barley malt its distinctive final aroma with notes of smoke, soot and ash.

The initial part of the production process is also common to both whiskey and beer: Grinding of cereals, maceration, cooking, addition of yeast and fermentation. However, beer is ready to be sold after a few weeks of maturing, whilst an excellent Scotch takes many years of aging and is kept in used barrels. [3]

At which stage of the beer and whiskey production process, do Favini obtain the by-product that is useful for the production of Crush Barley ecological paper?

Crush Barley is the ecological paper by Favini created from the creative reuse of by-products deriving from beer processing.

To produce either beer or whiskey, barley is subjected to the maceration process and after this it becomes barley malt. This is then ground to transform the starch into sugars that are necessary to start the fermentation to create a beer or whiskey. The residue that is left from fermentation is the exhausted barley malt and is the main by-product from the beer and whiskey production process. This residue is usually used as animal feed or disposed direct to landfill.

Favini intervenes at this point by recovering the exhausted barley and transforming this waste into a precious renewable and natural resource to be introduced into the paper production cycle, following the logic of the circular economy.

The by-product of barley processing is dried and micronized in the mill of Favini’s production plant in Rossano Veneto (Italy) and becomes a raw material for paper production. The flour obtained is added to the mix of ingredients for the production of the ecological Crush Barley paper.

Favini Crush Story - Avery Crush Barley laberl

Example of Crush Barley: the new ecological product by Avery Dennison with Favini facestock.

Crush for Avery Dennison: Ecological papers for wine, beer, liquor and whiskey labels

At Label Expo 2019, the international trade show for labelling, a  new range of Avery Dennison ecological labels developed from Crush paper, was launched and includes Crush Grape, Barley and Citrus.

A new material with a special treatment for wet resistance was developed to offer an ecological alternative to the entire Wine & Spirits sector. Crush Grape, Citrus and Barley are ideal respectively for creating sustainable and creative labels for bottles of wine, citrus-based liqueurs such as the famous limoncello and barley-based drinks such as beer and whiskey.

Favini Crush Story - Avery Crush Grape laberl

Example of Crush Grape: the new ecological product by Avery Dennison with Favini facestock. Find out how we produce Crush paper starting from grapes in the article “From vineyards to Crush Grape”.

For more inspiration on Crush to produce your own creative projects see Crush’s Pinterest board.

Have you used our ecological Crush paper and would you like to share the result on our social media feed? Contact us at with your piece of circular economy history.

Continue to follow the Crush Story:

Click to find out more about Crush and request the swatch of the 10 standard colours and the special Crush Barley paper available on request.






[2] “Ingredienti della Birra: l’Orzo”

[3] “Birra e whisky: sapete cosa li accomuna più di quanto potreste pensare?” 


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