Recyclers address concerns over shrink labels

Published: July 23, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Packaging, Sustainability, Materials, Blow Molding, Recycling, Suppliers

WASHINGTON (July 23, 1:20 p.m. ET) — The growing use of shrink and stretch sleeve labels on plastic bottles is a dual-edged sword for PET recyclers.

“The labels are a mixed blessing for PET reclaimers,” said Dave Cornell, technical director of the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers. “[They] are free of adhesive ... but new problems are created such as proper identification of the bottle resin, removal of the label from the bottle” and the clumping of the label material at recyclers.

Those challenges have prompted Washington-based APR to issue a critical guidance document to assist PET bottle manufacturers in testing their labels to make sure they do not impede recycling.

“The vast majority of PET reclaimers report that the labels are a serious problem for recycling [and] a serious economic detriment,” said APR President Steve Alexander.

“Clumping is a serious issue,” said Cornell. “The labels do not readily come off the PET bottles” with the pre-wash systems many recyclers now use, he said.

APR’s new protocol includes quantitative measurement related to the clumping of label material residue. It is the denser shrink sleeve labels that tend to cause the problems of clumping.

“Labels that sink in water after hot water washing are labels that cause serious trouble,” Alexander said. “If it sinks, it is bad. We are optimistic that this enhanced protocol provides packaging designers the clear guidance to mitigate this contamination problem.”

Cornell also pointed out that PET bottles with shrink labels create problems for material recovery facilities because “the automatic sorting machines often cannot see through the labels to correctly identify the PET resin.”

“This means a loss of revenue to the local collection system and loss of raw material to the reclaiming community,” he said.


Comments

Recyclers address concerns over shrink labels

Published: July 23, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

China's plastics industry making a shift

January 27, 2015 3:41 pm ET

China's plastic industry is in the midst of a “profound adjustment” from large-scale and high-speed growth to growth focused on quality,...    More

Image

Citadel opens second compounding facility in China, near Shanghai

January 27, 2015 3:22 pm ET

Citadel Plastics Inc., the American manufacturer of thermoplastic and engineered composite compounds, has opened its second facility in China,...    More

Image

Sales, profit fall at DuPont

January 27, 2015 3:13 pm ET

Materials giant DuPont Co. will use almost all of the proceeds from an upcoming spinoff — one that includes its fluoropolymer and titanium...    More

Image

A. Schulman, Citadel continue buying blitz

January 27, 2015 11:32 am ET

A. Schulman Inc. and Citadel Plastics Inc. — two deal-happy materials firms — were at it again in the second half of 2014.    More

Image

It's becoming a seller's market for plastics firms

January 27, 2015 11:37 am ET

The pace of plastics mergers and acquisitions activity slowed a bit in the second half of 2014 — but market watchers have high expectations for ...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events