Sun Chemical, in partnership with Eastman, has introduced new SunLam de-seaming adhesive for shrink-labeled containers to help recyclers enhance recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) yield without process modifications.
The new adhesive, which has undergone testing on labels made with Eastman Embrace LV copolyester, has received a Responsible Innovation Acknowledgment by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) upon completion of stringent testing.
Sun Chemical chief technology officer Russell Schwartz said: “At Sun Chemical, we consider it our responsibility to address issues in the industries in which we participate and to provide leadership in resolving problems our partners and customers face. On learning of these concerns, we initiated a major project to solve this industry-wide challenge.
“We are pleased to introduce the environmentally friendly SunLam De-seaming Adhesive as part of our contribution to the circular economy.”
The SunLam de-seaming adhesive’s efficacy was also tested on bottles with shrink sleeves made from Eastman Embrace LV copolyester.
Sun Chemical said that the tests utilized whole bottle wash equipment at commercial recycling facilities. It resulted in more than 95% label removal.
Eastman market development manager Ronnie Little said: “When the challenge of removing shrink labels during PET recycling was brought to the industry’s attention by the APR and the National Association for PET Container Resources in 2012, Eastman stepped up to the challenge and organized a consortium to collaborate on ways to solve this issue.
“We’re pleased to have partnered with Sun Chemical in this process to develop a technology that satisfies the consumers’ desire to recycle, a brand’s goal to be both responsible and recognizable, and the APR’s mission to eliminate barriers to successful commercial recycling.”
The firm said that the new adhesive allows brand owners to benefit from the superior performance of Eastman Embrace LV copolyester and allows them to use full-body shrink labels on their containers.