The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) has recognized Mactac®’s PUREfloat™ pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) innovation for the association’s highest recyclability standard.
Acrylic Emulsion PSA for PET Labeling
PUREfloat™ is a permanent acrylic emulsion adhesive intended for polyester (PET) bottle labeling applications. The adhesive was designed for applications where labels applied to PET containers can be washed off cleanly to allow the container to be recycled.
The adhesive is created for labeling PET water and juice bottles. Additional common end-uses for PUREfloat™ includes PET bottle labeling for health and beauty products, household items, and other food and beverage applications.
“Meeting APR standards is a significant step for Mactac® in demonstrating the company's commitment to the environmental impact and recyclability of our products,” said Kim Hensley, senior marketing manager, Mactac Performance Adhesives.
Criteria to Meet APR Requirements
To receive APR recognition, product innovations like PUREfloat™ must meet or exceed the most challenging test conditions and strictest guidance criteria developed as the result of a multi-industry consensus of key issues related to recycling post-consumer PET bottles.
The criteria met is known as the ‘APR Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Label for PET Bottles Critical Guidance’ requirements and applies to Mactac® labelstocks pairing the PUREfloat™ adhesive with a 2.6-mil white top-coated polypropylene facestock or a 2.0-mil clear top-coated polypropylene.
The clear and white polypropylene product combinations can undergo common PET recycling processes without contaminating any PET flake by-products. During the washing process, Mactac®’s labels easily separate from the PET container and float, allowing high-value, clean PET flakes to be recovered.
“PET plastic is used widely for consumer packaging and brand owners and packaging designers seek packaging that supports recycling. Our new product will wash off PET clamshells, bottles, and other containers during recycling – leaving no adhesive residue behind. This allows the recycled PET to be utilized for high-value new products such as food and beverage containers,” added Hensley.
Reducing Environmental Impact of PET Bottles
In the APR’s recognition letter to Mactac®, the association thanked Mactac® for its cooperation in using this important protocol. The APR stated that: “The protocol is intended to improve the quality of recycled bottles by helping innovators make informed decisions about the consequences of PET bottle innovations. The impact of this protocol is world-wide.”
“At Mactac®, we want to be part of the solution to reduce environmental impact. Developing a labeling product that removes cleanly during the recycling process is another example of our continued effort,” Hensley added.
A team of Mactac® experts, including, Hensley, sustainability lead Rachel Finkler, and R&D senior scientist Rahal Rasheed presented PUREfloat™ to the APR membership group in July 2020. Mactac® received the recognition letter from the APR’s president on August 4, 2020.