BASF recently announced that it has developed adhesives that do not interfere with the recycling of paper labels on transport boxes, such as paperboard and cardboard boxes. Acronal RCF 3705 and Acronal RCF 3706 adhesives have been certified by Papiertechnische Stiftung (PTS) for this property. PTS is a German research and service institute that supports companies in all sectors in the development and application of modern fiber-based solutions. The institute carries out materials testing for paper and cardboard packaging.

“As we work to achieve worldwide climate neutrality, greater circularity and more effective recycling are a must,” said Uwe Düsterwald, BASF project manager, Sustainability in Adhesives. “By developing the recycling friendly adhesives Acronal RCF 3705 and Acronal RCF 3706, BASF has made a decisive contribution towards more sustainable labeling, for example in the logistics sector.”

These adhesives reportedly solve a fundamental problem for paper and cardboard packaging recycling. While most of the adhesives used for paper labels interfere with the paper recycling process, the newly developed adhesives are easy to remove early in the process, making it possible to reuse and print recycled paper or paperboard packaging without any further issues.

BASF reports that this solution reaffirms its commitment to achieving a sustainable circular economy as set forth in the European Union’s Green Deal. By passing the Green Deal, the EU sets the objective of achieving climate neutrality in industry and society by 2050. To help reach this target, BASF became a founding member of the cross-industry coalition CELAB (Toward a Circular Economy for Labels) in 2020. The global network is working on solutions to reduce the environmental impact of the labeling industry and to promote a circular economy for self-adhesive labels in all industries.

“The constantly growing demand for packaging has made its recyclability a key issue for the packaging industry,” said Thomas Schiele, vice president of Adhesives, Fiber Bonding and Paper Coating Chemicals at BASF. “Steps need to be taken, not only with respect to the packaging materials, but also the adhesives that are being used. Our innovative adhesive technologies open up completely new possibilities for a working circular economy, both in the packaging industry as well as in many other sectors.”

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