“Reduce – Reuse – Recycle – Dispose of”
These buzzwords are now part of our everyday life, just like the products we buy and which have to be “disposed of” after use.
The number of people on our planet is growing day by day and with it the amount of disposed products and mountains of rubbish. The above-mentioned approach seems perfectly understandable.
The first step is to reduce waste. For example, products can be purchased without unnecessary repackaging. If reduction is not possible, things should be reused, for example by repairing defective electrical appliances. If re-use is also not possible, recycling should be used to reuse the waste and thus the components as reusable materials.
If you would like to learn more about the waste pyramid in detail, click here on the following link:
Recycling and adhesive – can that work?
Well, how does it all actually work when adhesive is involved? Many products are assembled with adhesive. In the packaging industry the packages are sealed with adhesive. Often products are also labelled – either with foil or paper labels. Let’s take drink bottles. These are provided with a paper or plastic label. In order for the bottle to be reused (as in the case of glass) or processed with the recycling process (PET bottles), the labels must be removed. This is usually carried out by machine. The bottle is subjected to a special cleaning process during which the label is removed. This requires not only suitable label material, but also the right adhesive. Otherwise the label will not peel off or adhesive residues will remain on the bottle. In both cases, the bottle cannot be reused or subjected to the recycling process.
Removable adhesive for paper labels on plastic bags
A second example: plastic bags. Unpackaged fruit and vegetables bought in the supermarket are placed in a plastic bag, weighed and labelled. After use, the bag could be recycled – but the paper label is in the way. So it has to be removed. A removable adhesive helps here!
artimelts recycling-friendly hot melt
However, there are also products in which the adhesive fulfils a more important function than in the above examples. Namely as a secure closure for shipping bags or for money and valuables transport (you can read the exact function in our blog "What is important when transporting money and valuable items?". Here the adhesive is permanently integrated into the finished product and cannot be removed easily. Since the rubber in the hot melt interferes with the recycling process, the plastic shipping bags are difficult to recycle and are therefore often disposed of. artimelt wanted to remedy this situation and has developed a recycling-friendly hot melt that behaves much more neutrally in the recycling process than other rubber-based adhesives.
Let me sum up:
- Waste that cannot be reduced should be reused or recycled
- Recycling is only possible if there are no disturbing foreign substances
- The right adhesive facilitates the recycling process by allowing labels to be removed, or by ensuring that the adhesive does not interfere with the recycling process in general.
Talk to our adhesive experts to find the right adhesive for your application.