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Compostable Adhesives

SpecialChem / Edward Petrie – Jul 1, 2009

This article reviews the requirements for compostable (biodegradable) adhesives in several applications including food packaging. The importance of composting to the environment, standards for determining the compostability of adhesives, and the state-of-the art in biodegradable adhesives are noted. Compostable or biodegradable adhesives are useful in a variety of applications. These adhesives do not affect the compostability of structures to which they are bonded, such as disposable diapers, food packaging, garbage bags, and numerous other factors. Compostable adhesives are of paramount importance to the environment since the products are degradable to innocuous materials under conditions commonly used in solid waste composting systems.The inadequate treatment of municipal solid waste which is being put into landfills and the increasing addition of nondegradable materials, including plastics, to the municipal solid waste streams are combining to reduce drastically the number of landfills available and to increase the costs of solid waste disposal.

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