SOME TIPS FOR THE ECO-DESIGN AND RECYCLING OF YOUR ADHESIVE LABELS
Choosing eco-design for the creation of your products means above all understanding the different recycling processes for household packaging. Depending on the nature of your packaging, the recycling lines will use different methodologies (washing bath, suction, etc.) to separate the different elements that compose it (cap, lid, label, etc.). To date, there is no "perfect" solution that meets all the criteria of eco-design and customer needs. The current objective is to tend towards a choice more respectful of the environment by taking into account all the constraints. To meet your needs, it is above all a matter of finding the best compromise between the functionality of your label and the compatibility of your final packaging with the recycling system.
# WILL THE LABELS BE RECYCLED?
It is important to understand that a label will never be fully recycled. The priority is to recycle the heaviest part of the packaging, for example if you decide to stick a PP (polypropylene) label on your PET shampoo bottle, only the container will be recycled. The separation phase will remove the label from the bottle. The label can therefore play an important role in the recycling flow. If the label is not eco-designed, it will make recycling the main packaging more difficult and the final recycled material will be of lower quality.
# OUR RECOMMENDATIONS DEPENDING ON THE MATERIAL OF YOUR PACKAGING:
For each material used (glass, plastic, cardboard, etc.), the recycling process is specific as well as the constraints for making your packaging and your adhesive label. We have summarized for you the adhesive solutions suitable for the large packaging families.
- PET and PP packagings
For your PET and PP packaging, we recommend that you choose a label printed on PP, PE or OPP. You can opt for a white polypropylene associated with either a varnish or a lamination. The protection applied to the label helps to contain the inks used during printing to avoid dispersion in water during recycling. The removable adhesive will be appreciated by recyclers which is why, if your use allows it, you can choose this type of glue. If you want to know more about our synthetic materials see our explanatory page.
- Flexible PE packaging
In the case of flexible PE packaging, we recommend printing directly on the packaging if this option is possible. Otherwise, you can turn to a PE combined with a washable adhesive. The primary objective is for the label to be easily detached from your PE container so that it can be recycled in the usual recycling channels. If you find yourself in this specific case, you can request a tailor-made quote and our sales department will be happy to advise you as best as possible.
- Glass packagings
Regarding glass packaging, recycling lines have been very active and advanced for many years in France. the choice of the label support does not matter, in fact you can opt for a PP or even a paper support. The differentiating element that allows your packaging to be compatible with recycling lines is the adhesive. It is recommended that you use a non-permanent reinforced adhesive on your label so that the sticker comes off effortlessly leaving as little glue residue as possible.
ALUMINUM AND STEEL
- Aluminum and steel packaging
If you choose aluminum or steel packaging, it is important to know that the recycling process used for this type of material is melting. So there is no disruption of the label in the process, it will be burnt along with the rest of the packaging. We can recommend that you avoid using PVC in this case and first of all limit the size of the label on the backing.
PAPER AND CARDBOARD
- Paper and cardboard packaging
Paper or cardboard packaging requires the application of a label made of paper that has not undergone any treatment (WRE) against humidity. For example, Tintoretto or natural-looking paper is treated before printing because it is a support specially designed for the wine industry requiring high resistance to the ice bucket. The adhesive used for your label must also be minimally fragmentable in water. We advise you to choose a standard coating.
# WHAT ABOUT VARNISH OR LAMINATION APPLIED AS A FINISH?
In printing, a glossy or matte varnish or lamination is often applied to protect the printing the adhesive label. What place can these finishes take in eco-design? The finishes prevent the inks from migrating into the water during recycling. It is a good means of protection, both when using your label on your product (Storage, transport, etc.) and during the separation process in washing baths.
# WHAT PLACE FOR INKS IN THE ECO-DESIGN OF THE LABEL?
There are different types of inks used in the printing world depending on the printing technologies. Inks must be composed of less than 1% mineral oil to preserve the recycled material at the end of its recycling life. These mineral oils are little used to date for health reasons. The inks used by Adesa contain less than 1% mineral oil. You too can have a positive impact on the recycling of your labels from the choice of your visual, during the design phase of your label, make sure you have a low ink coverage rate. Opt for minimalist stickers by selecting only the essential information to indicate on your label.
# WHAT ADVICE FOR GILDING?
You can add cold or hot foil to your label depending on the choice of your printing medium. This brings a qualitative and upscale side to your visual. Warning: if you want to be in an eco-design approach, consider limiting the coverage rate of the gilding on your adhesive label.