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

Western Case grows with investments in infrastructure and equipment

February 27, 2015 5:56 pm ET

RIVERSIDE, CALIF. — Blow molder Western Case Inc. has invested significantly in infrastructure and equipment while relocating and raising the...    More

Image

West Coast ports dispute impacts machinery imports

February 27, 2015 5:00 pm ET

Asian machinery companies got caught in the West Coast ports labor dispute — causing some headaches to get equipment ready for NPE 2015.    More

Image

Recycling trade group growing in size, resources

February 27, 2015 4:50 pm ET

DALLAS — The executive director of the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers is partial to calling his group the little engine that...    More

Image

Experts explain why resin sales are down in a healthy US economy

February 27, 2015 1:58 pm ET

The economies of the U.S. and Canada posted solid growth in 2014 — even though resin demand in those countries lagged behind.    More

Image

Industry vet Dwight Morgan joins M. Holland

February 27, 2015 1:55 pm ET

Resin distribution leader M. Holland Co. has hired industry veteran Dwight Morgan as its vice president of corporate development.    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

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

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events