Henkel's adhesive solution Aquence PS 3017 RE has received certification by the cyclos-HTP Institute (CHI), confirming the recyclability of the packaging component.

Designed from the outset as a sustainable solution, it is a water-based acrylic pressure sensitive adhesive designed for the olefinic filmic labels used for wash-off PET bottles. Its wash-off performance allows labels to be effectively removed prior to recycling, even at lower temperatures, reducing energy consumption.

The certificate notes that when used with in combination with a polyolefinic substrate (PO) label, “the acrylate-based dispersion pressure-sensitive adhesive has no negative effects on the recycling path for transparent PET bottles”. The adhesive is therefore recyclable according to the CHI standard for PET recycling.

Aquence PS 3017 RE is designed to support PET flake recycling. While conventional methods require an energy-intensive, high-temperature process to completely remove labels, the new adhesive offers wash-off efficiency – even at 65°C for PE facestock. This ensures that labels can be easily removed from bottles using less energy, while increasing the purity and value of recycled PET. In addition to being a sustainable solution for olefinic labels (e.g. BOPP and PE) on wash-off PET bottles, it has excellent food contact approval and water whitening resistance, thus allowing clear labels to stay completely transparent after long time exposure under water.

“We are delighted to receive independent confirmation of how this innovative adhesive can help optimize recyclability and help to support the circular economy,” says Elodie Picard, director, market strategy tapes and labels at Henkel. “We are proud to work with our partners across the packaging and recycling value chains to help reduce packaging waste while delivering higher quality recyclates. Indeed, this will be essential to help meet regulations that require a greater proportion of recycled material in plastic packaging. By ensuring that labels and adhesives are part of the solution, Henkel is helping to create a more sustainable future for plastic packaging.”  

Henkel’s latest generation of water-based acrylics for wash-off labels has recently been qualified for brands from Henkel’s Consumer Brands business unit.

“This innovative PSA solution for labels contributes to achieving high quality recycling for PET bottles,” says Carsten Bertram, head of packaging sustainability, Henkel Consumer Brands. “This is a key enabler for a true circular economy.”