Avery Dennison Corporation won the Society of Plastic Engineers (SPE) 2013 Environmental Award in the Design for Sustainability category for its Bottle-to-Bottle Portfolio of labeling materials, which dramatically improves the recycling of polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
The Environmental Stewardship Awards, hosted by SPE, recognize corporations and other institutions that have demonstrated environmental leadership and excellence.
The Bottle-to-Bottle portfolio leverages unique technology to meet an industry need to increase the recyclability of PET containers. Direct printing, paper labels and standard pressure-sensitive labels applied to PET bottles tend to lower the recycling efficiency and the quality of recycled PET. In 2010, 1.5 billion pounds of PET were collected for recycling in the United States, yet reclaimers reported yield losses ranging from 24.4 percent to 32.2 percent due to contamination by labels, adhesives and other components - amounting to a loss of over 40 million pounds of bottles.
The Bottle-to-Bottle Portfolio for PET Recyclability was designed to help brands adhere to Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) Design for Recylability™ Guidelines for Plastic Bottle Recycling so that their PET bottles can be easily collected and do not contribute to contamination of the PET supply. The portfolio is anchored by SR3010, a proprietary "switchable" adhesive that adheres to PET containers until its cohesive bond is broken by the caustic solution used in the recycling process. Thus, the label material releases from PET bottles during recycling process with no adhesive residue.
The Environmental Stewardship Awards ceremony was held in New Orleans, Louisiana on 21 March 2013 at the Global Plastics Environmental Conference.