As the recycling industry’s concern for the impact of labels on PET bottle recycling rises, Spear, a leading manufacturer of labels for the global beverage industry, has developed clear and white film pressure-sensitive label materials that are compatible with this process. Working in conjunction with the APR (Association of Post-Consumer Recyclers) testing protocol since 2003, Spear was presented with the group’s “Partners for Change Award” for its cooperative testing activities.
All testing of Spear’s pressure-sensitive materials and their impact on PET bottle recycling was done through independently-certified lab PFE (Plastics Forming Enterprise) of Amherst, NH, USA. Testing was consistent with APR’s protocol and included commercially-printed graphics, in addition to the base materials. Spear’s materials show acceptable PET haze and “b” clarity values up to a 50% recycled content load and include the blowing of new PET bottles from the recycled flake with acceptable container haze and clarity levels.
Information specialist Euromonitor reports that PET bottle usage continues to accelerate as global usage approaches 400 billion units. European recycling association Petcore recently announced Europe achieved a 51% PET bottle collection rate in 2011, while the Environmental Protection Agency estimates the US’ PET bottle recycling rate grew to 29% in 2010. On average, production of new bottles from recycled plastic requires 70% less energy versus raw materials, along with the impact of land-fill avoidance. Spear’s new pressure-sensitive materials ensure there is an environmental solution for labeling PET bottles with pressure-sensitive materials.