Currently, RecyClass guidelines state that for packaging to be fully recyclable, the polyethylene (PE), machine direction oriented (MDO) or polypropylene (PP) label must be removable through the “cold wash” process, which uses water heated to 40°C. This is the most common method of recycling high density polyethylene (HDPE) packaging in Europe, but labels that can be removed at this temperature can also come off during normal use, like when a shampoo bottle is taken in the shower.
Avery Dennison's PE White, MDO White and PP Clear labels, which feature a permanent acrylic adhesive and remain in place during a cold wash, were approved by RecyClass after extensive independent testing. Our self-adhesive materials have limited compatibility with RecyClass’s relevant HDPE recycling guidelines and will also have a limited impact on the current European colored HDPE container recycling process, providing that the complete packaging is designed according to conditions specified by the organization. Approval is granted based on meeting RecyClass specifications for label size, ink coverage and adhesive, among other factors.
According to Rob Groen in 't Wout, marketing director for paper and films at Avery Dennison,