Recyclers address concerns over shrink labels

Published: July 23, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials Suppliers Sustainability Packaging Blow Molding Recycling
Companies & Associations

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

Commerce Department agrees to investigate PET dumping complaint

April 1, 2015 1:42 pm ET

UPDATED — A flood of alleged low-priced PET resin imports has led three U.S. PET makers to seek anti-dumping duties.    More

Image

Fire at Texas plant could impact polypropylene market

April 1, 2015 11:21 am ET

UPDATED — No injuries were reported in a March 30 fire at an ExxonMobil Chemical propylene unit in Beaumont, Texas — but the incident...    More

Image

Solegear raising funds as it debuts on TSX Venture stock exchange

April 1, 2015 11:08 am ET

A fledgling bioplastics company has raised capital for growth and obtained a listing on the TSX Venture stock exchange.    More

Image

Lanxess merges PU additives into Rhein Chemie division

April 1, 2015 9:17 am ET

German resin company Lanxess AG has combined the activities of the former Rhein Chemie and its Lanxess functional additives business into a new Rhein ...    More

Image

North American Pipe unit lab to focus on 'modern, innovative' formulations

March 31, 2015 3:25 pm ET

North American Specialty Products LLC — a unit of North American Pipe Corp. — has opened a new material science lab in Leola, Pa.    More

Market Reports

Trends in Resin Distribution

The growth of the North American resin distribution market is undeniable - and industry analysts are confident that growth will continue in 2015 and beyond.

This new report analyzes market trends and provides data on historical sales trends for PE (distribution and resellers), PolyOne Distribution figures, U.S. ethylene expansions based on shale gas and natural gas production by category to 2035.

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