“The Sustainable Mail Group advocates for the creation of mail pieces without materials that can have a negative impact on recycling potential.” To learn why, read on….
Inks, Adhesives and Coatings
Every treatment applied to a piece of paper can reduce its ability to be recycled and processed back into paper pulp. For example, laminated paper cannot be recycled. If two or more materials are adhered together, it is much less likely that they can be recycled. Even the inks and toners that are used can affect whether a sheet of paper can be recycled.
Inks, Adhesives and Coatings Objective
The Sustainable Mail Group advocates for the creation of mail pieces without materials that can have a negative impact on recycling potential.
SMG recommends that mailers, marketers and mail service providers consider the full lifecycle of mail pieces when planning campaigns.
- Make environmentally-responsible ink choices.
- Gravitate towards products that are consistent with dies instead of pigments, which may release harmful chemicals when paper is washed in the recycling phase.
- When selecting inks, avoid those with petroleum elements or solvents; instead, source biodegradable inks whenever possible.
- Consider vegetable-based or soy-based inks, low VOC inks, or water-based inks.
- Choose “repulpable” adhesives or adhesive tapes:
- Compounds that are easily and safely dissolved in water without leaving any chemical resins behind are ideal for processing back to a pure pulp product.
- Residue from inferior, non-repulpable adhesives clump together and contaminate the fiber mix — the troublesome clumps must be filtered out.
- Choices include vegetable-based adhesives and petrochemical-free water-based adhesives.
- Where possible, select UV coatings with no VOC’s.