PET Recycling and Shrink Labels

PET recyclers are uncertain about the growing use of stretch sleeve labels on plastic bottles. These new stretch labels replace the use of adhesives, which made the bottle difficult to recycle, but now cause additional concerns such as correctly identifying the bottle resin, proper removal of the label, and preventing the clumping of the removed labels.

These concerns have lead the Washington-based group APR to release a guide to help PET manufacturers in ensuring their stretch sleeve labels do not cause recycling problems.

If labels do not remove easily, they pose a detriment to both recycling and economic benefits. Local municipalities cannot sell the materials and manufacturers who want the material have less sources to purchase it from. The APR guide provides comprehensive measurements and analysis of when a label will remove easily and when it will cause clumping. Their research shows that the denser the label, the more likely it is to cause recycling problems. The ideal label is one that is light enough to float and with enough transparency as to allow scanning machine to identify the PET resin.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: When an item can be properly recycled and resold, it goes from being a financial liability to a financial gain. Take a look at the products your business sells or uses. Are you letting money get away?