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It can be pretty confusing trying to understand the terms compostable, recyclable, and sustainable when shopping for an eco-friendly adhesive. Each has a different meaning and contributes to the health of the planet in a unique way. While each has its own benefits, here we review the different types of eco-friendly adhesives available, so you can make the right choice.

Compostable Adhesives

The term compostable means that the materials used naturally break down and won’t cause issues with the soil or the planet. A good example of eco-friendly compostables is food. Like food, compostable adhesives will naturally contribute to soil, avoiding the need to add one more item to the landfill site. While it might seem like such a small item to worry about, everything you use and then toss away can make a difference.

Because compostable adhesives break down on their own, they have zero impact on the environment. However, one thing required to make compostables an environmental choice, is that they need to be placed in the soil to break down properly. So while you are choosing an eco-friendly adhesive, you can’t toss them in your regular garbage because they won’t be sorted into the right place to eventually break down. Since composting needs oxygen, and landfill sites don’t provide that oxygen, your compostable adhesive should land in your own compost heap to allow it to break down naturally.

Recyclable Adhesives

That brings us to recyclable adhesives. Recyclable materials are materials that can be repurposed by breaking them back down into a new or similar raw material. When you choose a recyclable adhesive, it can be disposed of in your recycle bin where it will join like materials at the local recycling facility. Other recyclable items include paper, some plastics, and glass. Before you throw an adhesive product in the recycle bin though, you must ensure the label says it is recyclable.

Compostable vs. Recyclable Adhesives

When non-recyclable items end up at the recycling facility, that single item no matter how small or insignificant it seems can contaminate all the other items with it. As a result, a large pile of recyclables ends up in the landfill instead of getting recycled. So the main difference between something that is compostable and recyclable is that one breaks down in ideal conditions to become soil, while the other is repurposed to create a new or similar material. While both are eco-friendly, the compostable adhesive is the eco-friendlier of the two as it doesn’t contribute to greenhouse gases through new production or transportation.

If you’re on the hunt for eco-friendly adhesives, we have just what you need. Contact our team at Bond Tech Industries today.

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Sustainable Adhesives

Last but not least, are sustainable products. Sustainability refers to a material being renewable. So when you choose a sustainable adhesive, you are choosing something that won’t deplete precious natural resources. Sustainable adhesives use sustainable materials so that the supply of those materials can easily keep up with the demand to produce them. So while sustainability is much different when compared to recycling and composting, it has its own place in the eco-friendly process. When you choose sustainable adhesives, you know you aren’t contributing to the loss of the earth’s precious resources.

Choices for Eco-Friendly Adhesives

If you are considering eco-friendly adhesives, look for products displaying the following terms:

  • Renewable adhesives
  • Biodegradable adhesives
  • Sustainable wood glue
  • Natural adhesives
  • Plant-based adhesives
  • Natural based adhesives

Each of these labels indicates the product is either low in toxicity levels, has an eco-friendly disposable content, and/or uses sustainable methods or materials in production. You can also choose durable adhesives that are:

  • Solvent-free water-based adhesives with low VOC
  • Solvent-free hot melt adhesives with low VOC
  • Naturally, derived adhesives
  • Low viscosity adhesives that are curable by UV

The point is to find the adhesive that will provide the durability you need while making the lowest negative impact on the planet. Compostables completely disappear, recyclables are repurposed, and sustainables cause the least impact on precious resources.

To learn more about eco-friendly adhesives, please contact our team today!

Article Updated 2023-04-19