Shrink Sleeves, Shrink Sleeves, Sustainable development

Shrink sleeves are a strong choice for your packaging and your brand. That’s because they offer a 360 degree coverage of the surface of your product, vibrant colours and help you really stand out from the competition. But if you choose shrink sleeve for your packaging, what recycling options can you offer your customer?

Shrink sleeves, although having continually grown in popularity since their introduction, didn’t start out as the most recyclable product on the planet. Indeed, back in March of 2012, the Association of Postconsumer Plastics Recyclers (APR) found “all sleeve labels to be unsatisfactory” in regards to recycling. This was because of how difficult it was to separate shrink sleeve material from the plastic bottles it was attached to.

Since then, manufacturers and recyclers have found ways to solve the problem. Here are a two effective shrink sleeve recycling options

 

Perforation

étiquettes manchons thermorétractables, shrink sleeve labels

This allows the consumer or the recycler to easily separate the shrink sleeve label from the bottle or container. It consists of vertical perforation marks on an inconspicuous area of the sleeve. With the sleeve separated from its bottle before the recycling process has even started, recovery is that much simpler. Here at IMS, we can provide shrink sleeves that have a double perforation which runs the entire height of the sleeve, for optimal convenience.

Reduced density 

étiquettes manchons thermorétractables

Reducing the density of the plastic that makes up the shrink sleeve gives it more floatability. This is key in widely used flotation separation recycling process. Some shrink sleeve material density resembles that of other plastics being recycled (mostly PET plastics) and thus can get mixed in with them, resulting in contamination. Consequently, contaminated material has to be reprocessed.

By reducing the density of the shrink sleeve to below 1.0 specific gravity, flotation separation is made viable. Consequently, the shrink sleeve material floats to the surface of the tank and ensures proper recovery.

Such low density plastic is more expensive and so requires larger volumes to be viable. Reduced density shrink sleeves are also ideal for PET bottles. IMS offers this option as well.

IMS is a shrink sleeve expert. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions on recyclability or any other aspect of shrink sleeve.

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