There is much in the industry connected press and on social media regarding biodegradable and compostable self adhesives (labels), with many stating that they can now supply such. This adhesive was first brought to our notice in Summer 2018, we did indeed quote some work using this, however, before we had chance to even obtain sample material, the product was withdrawn. It appeared, to our understanding, that one of the components was in very short supply and so commercial supply was not possible.
Recently we noted that the product was being "advertised", to be fair not by the manufacturer, but by label printers and brokers. We, like many, inquired regarding cost, supply etc..... being surprised to be advised the product was not available. It seems that the product is still only available in limited supply, and only to those who, in the short window in 2018, manged to place orders. We are hopeful that at the forthcoming Label Expo others may be announcing similar products and so we to will be able to offer such materials. We do note though that if you were expecting the label could be placed in your garden compost bin, you may be disappointed, as approval is gained through the product composting in industrial compost units, of which, we are told., there are none in the UK!
For many years it was felt that the small amount of adhesive on labels in your average household waste would fall under the allowed contamination levels, this view point has change though and the general advice, is that you should not recycle anything with a label - "Therefore, stickers and product with stickers on it should not be placed in the recycling bin. Also avoid putting envelopes with sticky address labels on them in the recycling. The only exception, is Post-It Sticky Notes which have been engineered to break downs easily during the recycling process" To be honest each time we ask the question we get a slightly different answer.
The "green" options - we can very easily and at not more more cost, get material that is made from fully recycled product, there are products made from grape, apple and even marble waste, these though are more expensive. You may wish to review your labels, can you use a smaller a size? Would a paper based label work instead of a PP, PE Vinyl (Plastic) option? We would be happy to discuss these options with you.
We will keep you posted, as the "Blue Planet" effect and in general more environmentally friendly products are demanded, then hopefully we, as an industry, will be able to offer such products.