Eastman launches APR-approved recyclable shrink-sleeve label resins


The colorfully appealing shelf presence of shrink-sleeve labeled bottles combined with practical benefits for brand owners keep this market on a roll—one study forecasts a healthy 6.5% CAGR for sleeve labels through 2017-2023.

However, there’s an unhealthy environmental downside that casts a dark eco-green shadow over an otherwise rosy outlook. The Association of Plastics Recyclers (Washington, D.C.) states that shrink-sleeve labeled PET bottles are not friendly to PET recyclers because they can interfere with the accuracy of automated sortation equipment. “Because many shrink sleeve labels today are PETG-based or PVC-based film with density higher than water, they cannot be separated from PET flakes during the sink-float separation step of the recycling process, and thus contaminate the recycled PET stream and deteriorate the quality of recycled PET (rPET) products.” Also, poor ink adhesion on shrink sleeve labels contaminates wash/rinse water and can stain the color of rPET.


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