Maintain a premium design standard and boost the recycling yield with Glass Recycling labels

Glass Recycling labels

Glass packaging has a reported 76% collection rate in the EU in 2018, amassing almost 13 million tons of glass bottles and jars. And with every ton of glass recycled, an estimated 580kg of CO2 is saved throughout the supply chain. However, while glass recycling has proven to be successful, there remain additional ways you can continue to improve the recycling yield, starting with glass decorations such as labels.

The type of label you choose plays a significant role in reducing glass contamination. Using Glass Recycling labels can help prevent one-way glass from being downcycled or sent to landfills.

The one-way glass recycling process:

Glass Recycling labels

Standard glass labels may limit recyclability

Self-adhesive filmic labels are popular for glass packaging in beer, beverage, and food segments. The moisture-resistant material offers a beautiful clear-on-clear look for unlimited design opportunities and enhanced shelf appeal. But despite these benefits, standard filmic labels can limit the recyclability of one-way glass packaging. Two main areas for improving the glass recycling process are: 

1. Quality of recycled glass. Clear labels often stay undetected during the sorting process, resulting in transparent label material remaining in the recycling stream. As a result, the quality of the glass may be compromised, which sometimes can prevent it from being recycled into new bottles or jars. Instead, it’s used in road construction or sent to a landfill.

2. Glass recycling rate. Opaque filmic labels that remain attached to glass packaging create another challenge. These contaminated glass cutlets are visually detected then rejected during the sorting process. Out of every one ton of collected glass packaging using standard filmic labels, 4% is rejected, amounting to roughly 40kg of glass sent to a landfill.

The solution for a clean glass stream

To combat the challenges that filmic labels present to the glass recycling stream, Avery Dennison has developed a Glass Recycling portfolio that features an adhesive technology that “switches off” during the recycling process. As a result, our Glass Recycling labels remain in place with the consumer, but their unique adhesive enables a clean separation of the label from glass packaging when entering the recycling stream. 

The Glass Recycling label detaches from the glass, and together with other light contaminates, it's removed from the glass recycling stream altogether. This solution results in less label contamination and higher quality recycled glass. In addition, the amount of recycled glass rejected during the visual sorting step reduces from 4% to 0.15%, equating to a 97% decrease in glass cullets sent to landfills.

Glass Recycling labels

Increase your glass recycling rates without sacrificing design with our expanded glass recycling portfolio. Our new WB6031 adhesive is now available in white or clear for glass applications such as beer, water, bottles or food jars. If you are interested in learning more, contact one of our Avery Dennison sales representatives for more information.