Pressure-sensitive labels (PLA) are the most used labels on the market. It is the label used for most of your everyday products, bottles and drinks for instance.
When throwing a product with a PLA label in the recycling bin, we sometimes forget that the paper or plastic the label is made of is not always recyclable. Or it is recyclable but has a totally different recycling process than the bottle it was applied on. Therefore, it is crucial to allow the label to be separated from the container easily. This is why the adhesive is very important in the recycling process.
The adhesive has to be strong enough for the label to stay on the product and play its role : be informative and good-looking. But it also needs to be delabelled when the time of the recycling comes.
The American Company HB Fuller developed a new adhesive with this in mind. Thanks to a new polymer, their adhesive makes it possible to remove PLA labels easily and efficiently during the wash-off step of recycling.
This adhesive makes a difference because it stays on the label. Once the product is delabelled, there is no leftover adhesive on the bottle, allowing a smooth recycling. The water used to wash off the bottles is not contaminated, packaging isn’t either. The recycling process can therefore continue. It’s a huge gain of time and efficiency for recycling!
This adhesive also allows bottles to stay up to two hours in cold water. It won’t affect the label. In other words, the adhesive allows a good and efficient label which also helps recycling and sustainability.