BASF’s new label adhesives can be used to coat paper labels and are designed not to interfere with the recycling of paperboard or cardboard transport boxes.

According to BASF, the new adhesives, Acronal RCF 3705 and Acronal RCF 3706, are designed to be easily removed early in the recycling process for paperboard and cardboard streams. Both adhesives have been certified by the German research and service institute, Papiertechnische Stiftung (PTS), as not interfering with the recycling of transport boxes. 

Uwe Düsterwald, project manager of sustainability in adhesives at BASF, comments: “As we work to achieve worldwide climate neutrality, greater circularity and more effective recycling are a must.

“By developing the recycling friendly adhesives Acronal RCF 3705 and Acronal RCF 3706, BASF has made a decisive contribution towards more sustainable labelling, for example in the logistics sector.” 

BASF says that transport labels represent the fastest-growing share of the market. This trend has apparently been reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding rapid growth in e-commerce, with BASF adding that this application makes up almost 15% of the demand for labels in Europe. 

Thomas Schiele, vice president of adhesives, fibre bonding and paper coating chemicals at BASF, says: “The constantly growing demand for packaging has made its recyclability a key issue for the packaging industry. 

“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.” 

In 2020, BASF became a founder member of the cross-industry collation, CELAB (Towards a Circular Economy for Labels), which aims to develop solutions to reduce the environmental impact of the labelling industry and promote a circular economy for self-adhesive labels in all industries.