Are labels & stickers environmentally friendly or not?
Paper Labels – Recycling
There are many companies out there skewing the narrative when it comes to printed labels. Some labels, yes they are made of recyclable materials, however if you take them to the recycling plant you’ll find that they are deemed non-recyclable due to their adhesive reverse depending on the type of adhesive used.
Paper labels for instance, such as ours have no heavy metals in the making of them, no hazardous chemicals are used in the manufacturing either and all pulp is wood free and from sustainable sources within the EU. Adhesive is water-based and non toxic. Whilst they would be classed as biodegradable, we would not recommend that process for disposal, mainly due to the large amount of waste that will entail.
We recommend that you remove the label from the packaging and place in the recycling. A small paper label mixed in with card will not effect the recycling process. Anything that cannot be recycled will be lumped together for burning to create electricity.
Vinyl Labels – Recycling
The amazing attributes associated with vinyl labels such as water resistance, durability and stickiness unfortunately play a negative role in their ability to be recycled. If you want a label that will stick to many different surfaces, unfortunately a water-based adhesive won’t cut the mustard. You’ll need a solvent-based adhesive. If you don’t want label to shrink within a few weeks or month or when in contact with heat, you’ll also need a solvent adhesive. Unfortunately these cannot be recycled like paper labels can be as they will pollute the recycling process.
There are more recycling centres accepting PVC, you’d have to check with your local recycling centre to see if they accept this kind of plastic.