The Association of Plastic Recyclers
  • PET

    PET

PREFERRED

Standard hot-melt adhesives

The standard hot-melt adhesive used for labels has not been identified by recyclers as having specific incompatibilities with their process or quality.

Label adhesives that have received APR Critical Guidance Recognition

Several companies have received APR Critical Guidance Recognition for label adhesives for PET bottles. Significant data is available to determine whether a label adhesive may be compatible with PET recycling, and APR offers test methods to verify this.

DETRIMENTAL

None listed

RENDERS NON-RECYCLABLE

None listed

REQUIRES TEST RESULTS

Label adhesives that may not completely remove from PET

Adhesives that wash off cleanly from PET and remain adhered to the label are Preferred. Label adhesive that is not removed from PET, or which re-deposits on the PET during the wash step is a source of contamination and discoloration when PET is recycled. In extreme cases, an adhesive and label cannot be separated from the PET and may render a package not recyclable.

In order for label adhesives to be considered Preferred Design, the specific items must have been tested and found Preferred based on the test results. . If these items have not been tested, they are considered Detrimental to Recycling. Testing will determine the appropriate category.

Removable label adhesives that have received Critical Guidance Recognition are commercially available. Companies that have developed new, innovative adhesives are encouraged to pursue APR Critical Guidance Recognition for their materials as well.

Companies that are considering such materials and are unsure of their compatibility with recycling should ask their suppliers to provide APR test results.

BENCHMARK TEST

DEFINITIVE TEST

Acrylic copolymer pressure sensitive adhesives

In order for these label adhesives to be considered Preferred Design, the specific items must have been tested and found Preferred based on the test results. If these items have not been tested, they are considered Detrimental to Recycling. Testing will determine the appropriate category.

Label adhesives that have received Critical Guidance Recognition are commercially available. Companies that have developed new, innovative adhesives are encouraged to pursue APR Critical Guidance Recognition for their materials as well.

Companies that are considering such materials and are unsure of their compatibility with recycling should ask their suppliers to provide APR test results.

BENCHMARK TEST

DEFINITIVE TEST

Pressure sensitive labels and adhesives

Pressure sensitive labels generally require complete adhesive coverage which is greater than other typical label methods. This raises the importance of the compatibility of the type of adhesive with the recycling process. Adhesives resistant to washing in the recycling process allow labels to remain on the PET and become contaminants in the final product. Companies that are considering such materials and are unsure of their compatibility with recycling should ask their suppliers to provide APR test results.

SCREENING TEST

DEFINITIVE TEST

PET Preferred Guidance

Closure

Closure

Made of PE or PP so it separates from PET in a float/sink tank and can be sold as a side stream by reclaimer.
Dimensions

Dimensions

More 2D (round) than 3D (flat), and larger than 5 cm in two dimensions.
Layers & Coatings

Layers & Coatings

APR Critical Guidance recognized barriers or protective coatings.
Resin

Resin

PET with a crystalline melting point between 225C and 255C. Post consumer PET (RPET) content is encouraged.
Label

Label

Crystallizable PET or a polymer that floats in water; label covers less than 100% of bottle surface.
  • Closure

    Closure

    Made of PE or PP so it separates from PET in a float/sink tank and can be sold as a side stream by reclaimer.
  • Dimensions

    Dimensions

    More 2D (round) than 3D (flat), and larger than 5 cm in two dimensions.
  • Layers & Coatings

    Layers & Coatings

    APR Critical Guidance recognized barriers or protective coatings.
  • Resin

    Resin

    PET with a crystalline melting point between 225C and 255C. Post consumer PET (RPET) content is encouraged.
  • Label

    Label

    Crystallizable PET or a polymer that floats in water; label covers less than 100% of bottle surface.

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