Look around your neighborhood on garbage and recycle day. Just about every home in America separates recyclable items from their trash in an effort to reduce the environmental impact of humans living on this fragile planet. Newspapers, cardboard and plastic containers fill the recycle bins. The most prominent plastic found in those bins is PET. It is easily recognizable by the triangular recycle symbol with a number 1 in the center.
In order to appreciate the benefits of Eco-Sleeve® shrink sleeve labels in the recycle stream, we should explain the issues existing today, and potential solutions being investigated.
In January 2013, Plastic News published an article titled “Consortium focuses on recycling shrink labels on PET bottles” by Jessica Holbrook. In the article she explains that according to the National Association of PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), full-wrap labels interfere with auto-sorting equipment and are hard to remove during the pre-wash process. She also explains that if the labels make it through pre-wash, they will likely stay with the PET during the balance of the recycle process, leading to a lower quality recycled PET.
The consortium is looking at a combination of solutions including the addition of perforations to the labels to help them come off during the normal bailing processes, providing recycle facilities with de-labeling equipment and making labels from materials that float. This last idea is promoted by the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR), because PET flakes sink in a float/sink separation process, as do other common shrink sleeve materials like polylactic acid or PVC. Using a floatable label makes the separation process much more successful.
Basically, since most shrink sleeves are a primary decoration alternative, they have ink on them and must be eliminated from the recycled PET, in order to maintain the highest grade of recycled PET.
Remember all the environmentally conscience people we talked about earlier? The ones who are separating recyclable material from their trash? Well, our company has developed the Eco-Sleeve® which allows environmentally conscience consumers to easily remove that pesky shrink sleeve and eliminate it from the recycle stream before it can get into the recycle stream.
Just pull on the strip, at the seam, and the sleeve tears right away from the bottle/container. Now the consumer can toss the sleeve in the trash and place the pristine bottle in their recycle bin for hassle free recycling!
In order to assist consumers in remembering to remove the Eco-Sleeve® from the bottle/container, we have designed a simple attractive logo with the phrase “Eco-Sleeve®: Please remove before recycling”, with an appreciative “Thank you!”
Recycle conscious companies committed to using the Eco Sleeve and promoting a high quality stream of recycled PET can be found on the Eco-Sleeve® website. Please visit www.eco-sleeve.com to see if your favorite consumer products company is committed to high quality recycled PET.
Keep watching this site for additional innovative ideas from Impact Sleeves!