European specialist in self-adhesive technology Herma will soon launch a new wash-off adhesive solution that aims to optimise PET recycling.
The special wash-off adhesive for labels, 62Rpw, is said to allow recycling operators to produce high-purity PET pellets that do not contain any detrimental residues – no remains of paper or film labels, and no residual adhesive.
“Unlike downcycling or cascading, the resulting continuous cycle ranks among the most important requirements of a sustainable economy,” the company said, in a statement.
“The HERMA adhesive, designated 62Rpw, offers the attributes of reliable adhesion and good resistance to the effects of moisture. Regular industrial cleaning processes are nonetheless capable of removing it without a trace.”
The solution uses multi-layer technology. The intermediate layer enables the adhesive to bond securely with the label and therefore allows it to be removed completely from the PET surface later.
This new adhesive is to be made available initially with a wet-strength and alkali-proof paper and a PP film.
For the label materials Hermacoat greaseproof (grade 228) and Herma PO transparent (grade 846), certificates from the Institute cyclos-HPT are now available certifying the recyclability in conjunction with the 62Rpw adhesive.
For two further label materials made of film – Herma PP white extra tc (grade 880) and Herma PP 50 transparent tc (grade 885) – Herma expects corresponding certificates shortly.
Herma head of development Dr. Ulli Nägele said the special multi-layer adhesive 62Rpw makes PET recycling simple, efficient and therefore affordable, because it aids the complete and rapid removal of the labels during washing as part of the recycling process.
“The label’s ability to remove all the contaminants at the same time, including printing inks in particular, is a key part of the solution – not only as regards the labelling of containers and bottles, but also in the recycling process,” Dr. Nägele added.