Why Wash Off Adhesives Are on The Rise

News 08 Dec 2021

Wash Off Adhesives Labels

As Plastic Tax is being introduced from April 2022, businesses are looking for ways to reduce their plastic usage and minimise their carbon footprint. As a label material manufacturer, we have been investing in new product development to maximise the recyclability of plastic which will be hugely beneficial to manufacturers and brand owners alike.

Through our extensive NPD, we have developed an innovative range of wash off adhesives – PurityWash. These play a crucial role in the recyclability of plastic and to highlight this, we have outlined the steps involved in the plastic recycling process below.

What’s The Plastic Recycling Process?

The plastic recycling process firstly starts with plastics being binned, this waste is then collected by material type in waste sorting centres and the bales of plastic are then sent to a recycling centre, such as Veolia.

On arrival, the bales are compressed and the plastic material is then fed into large-volume shredders which shreds the plastic into small flakes. The flakes are then immersed in industrial washing tanks to clean the flakes. The flakes are then mixed by paddle wheel systems inside a sink/float separation tank which allows various low-density plastics, such as bottle tops, to float and gather on the surface and other plastics sink by themselves to the bottom where they can be collected.

Following this, the plastic is then rinsed and dried which uses suction to filter out any slight residues, such as fragments of labels and associated materials. With the use of PurityWash adhesives, this process can be shortened or skipped to save energy as the label materials would separate from the bottles during the industrial washing process. Subsequently, the chemical, physical and mechanical properties of each type of plastic are characterised. The flakes which meet the industrial specifications are then heated until they are softened and are stored as cooled and dried plastic granules.

Why Wash Off Adhesives?

Wash off adhesives simplify the process of plastic recycling as these adhesives dissolve during industrial cleaning processes, leaving PP, PE, HDPE and PET bottles and containers label free which maximises the recyclability of both the PET bottles and label materials. In fact, our Caustic Hot Water Adhesive is verified by Veolia, Returpack and Infinitum. Utilising these wash off adhesives maximise the efficiency of plastic recycling and speeds up the recycling processes, reducing the energy requirements of the recycling centre.

Our PurityWash wash off adhesives come in a variety of formats, more details of these are listed below.

Cold Water Wash-Off

This PurityWash product works for both paper (PWP1018) and film (PWF1018). They are water-based permanent adhesives which enable the clean removal of labels in cold water industrial cleaning processes. These adhesives require substantially less energy than the hot-water wash process.

Caustic Hot Water Wash-Off

The Veolia plastic recycling process includes washing bottles at 65° with 1% caustic solution leaving PET flakes residue-free and recyclable into food grade PET bottles and containers. This adhesive is therefore washed off in the caustic hot water wash off industrial washing processes and therefore is supported by the latest recycling technologies & is verified by Veolia, Returpack and Infinitum.

Want to Learn More?

Our team have over 170 years’ experience manufacturing pressure sensitive label, tickets and tag materials. Speak to our team about your adhesive and/or label material requirements and we can help you choose materials which will maximise your sustainability credentials and minimise your carbon footprint.

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