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Adhesive Measures Help Food Packagers Optimize Recyclability

Andy Extance – Dec 12, 2011

This year, the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) mandated that by 2012 supermarket clamshell food packaging should be made from PET rather than other thermoformed plastics. Their aim is to increase the amount of waste that can be recycled, but contamination from adhesive labels is one of the main remaining obstacles that can hinder this effort. PET recyclers are used to bottle labels which have a small proportion of their area covered with hot-melt adhesives that they can remove in hot solutions of caustic soda. Clamshell packaging labels are usually completely covered in PSA that recyclers struggle to remove, but waterborne acrylic adhesives now look set to enable recycling in this area.

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