Reusable is the new recyclable: how our alkali washable adhesives assist this process

Beardow Adams has been working diligently with global beverage companies to create a labelling adhesive that would help them cut down on waste, whilst adding to the movements we are already making as a company to be greener.

Although indeed 100% recyclable, a multi-national drinks company were looking to reduce the amount of single-use plastic bottles they manufactured. Beardow Adams presented our client with BAM 2448.

The adhesive washes off PET bottles when soaked in an alkaline solution, allowing bottles to be separated from their labels. This method is considered environmentally friendly because it allows the bottles to be re-used up to 15 times thanks to the adhesive being removed completely during the wash off process. The use of this adhesive saves our customer from releasing 10 to 15 times more plastic PET bottles into the world and its resulting waste.

The drinks company were initially struggling with a dark adhesive that was clinging to the bottles and their labels during the wash off process before they successfully trialled BAM 2448. This new product was developed as an alkaline dispersible hot-melt labelling adhesive for the growing returnable PET industry and its applications. BAM 2448 is suitable for end-of-the-line wrap-around labelling applications and can also aid in the re-using of glass and metal cans. As well as washing off cleanly on cue, the adhesive also copes very well with carbonated drink expansion, which was of course an essential factor for our drinks company customer.

BAM 2448 has been approved by Petcycle which is the pioneer for the circular economy and sustainable recycling of PET bottles for mineral water and soft drinks, and also Returpack, which is responsible for the Swedish deposit systems for metal cans and recyclable PET bottles for ready to drink beverages.

With a million plastic bottles being bought around the world a minute, the recycling and reusability of these goods rank highly amongst the most important requirements of a sustainable economy. It’s no surprise then that eco-friendly drinks manufacturers want to get the most out of their bottles and cut down on highly scrutinised single-use plastics. Some countries are now looking to ban single-use plastics all together. According to our client, it actually takes 60% more energy to manufacture virgin plastic in comparison to recycled PET bottles – damaging for both the environment and the bottom line.

Once a PET bottle has been re-used, it can then be crushed into bales, chipped into flakes and washed in another alkaline solution so it can be turned into a completely new bottle, forming a closed recycling loop system. Beardow Adams is proud that our alkali washable adhesives aid this whole process.

As well as working with clients on greener solutions like the aforementioned and introducing eco-friendlier adhesives to our range such as our popular virtually waste-free hot melts, Beardow Adams actively looks to better our existing products – sourcing higher percentages of bio-based materials for them for example. Our Green Team spearheads initiatives such as these, and you can learn more about them in our recent Green Team article.

For more information on how Beardow Adams can help you with your latest projects and green endeavours, get in touch with your local representative or email [email protected] today.

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