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May 12, 2021 - Rigid Packaging

How The Right Adhesive Enables Sustainable Hot Cups

Producing sustainable hot cups and sleeves has been a goal among packaging manufacturers for several years.However, recycling complexities, bonding difficulties and temperature requirements have made it hard to manufacture sustainable options.Fortunately, the right adhesive can address these issues, making it easy to meet  your sustainability goals for hot cups and sleeves.Learn about the challenges of manufacturing sustainable hot cups and sleeves and how the right adhesive can easily overcome them.

Challenge 1: Recycling Complexities

Using recyclable materials is one way you may want to address sustainability demands. Many forms of packaging have become fully recyclable over time, making it easy for their materials to be reused.  However, hot cups and sleeves may contain adhesives that cause recycling limitations, because they must be separated from the other materials to be recycled. Additionally, hot cups are often made from plastic-coated paper, which requires special separation equipment that few communities possess. These complex materials make it difficult to achieve sustainability goals for hot cups and sleeves, resulting in over 50 billion cups being added to landfills each year in the U.S. alone.

How the Right Adhesive Can Help

If recycling hot cups and sleeves has proven difficult, you can achieve your sustainability goals by using entirely compostable materials, including the adhesive.In particular, consider how the right adhesive is BPI-certified. When used with other compostable materials, this first-ever adhesive technology will allow the entire package to be compostable. This means it will fully break down with no separation needed to remove the adhesive and will address the previous limitation.

Additionally, many manufacturers are switching to wax-coated paper instead of plastic-coated. Wax is compostable, and so the hot cup does not have to be processed before disposal.

sustainable hot cups

Challenge 2: Bonding Difficulties

Hot cups and sleeves must have adhesives that can help keep the cup from leaking and the sleeve from falling apart. While the adhesive is critical for the products’ performance, it can create issues when trying to switch to compostable materials. Many adhesives are unable to adhere to highly-recycled or plant-based materials, including compostable ones. If the adhesive cannot properly adhere to the material, the end products may have poor performance, resulting in consumer dissatisfaction.

How the Right Adhesive Can Help

Consider a BPI-certified, hot melt adhesive that is compatible with sustainable materials while still able to ensure strong end-use performance. This adhesive provides high tack and grab to thoroughly adhere to the hot cup and sleeve materials. This means that the hot cup will not break or leak when liquid is poured into it. By verifying that the adhesive is compatible with these materials, you can address your sustainability goals without sacrificing product performance.

Challenge 3: Temperature Requirements

In addition to being compostable and offering sufficient bond strength, it’s essential that the hot cup and sleeve adhesives can withstand high temperature requirements for heated beverages. If not, the hot cup’s adhesive may melt in-use and cause a potential safety issue for the consumer. The sleeve’s adhesive should also withstand these temperatures, as it acts as an insulator between the hot cup and the consumer’s hand.

How the Right Adhesive Can Help

The right adhesive provides high temperature tolerance to accommodate liquids up to 170 °F (76 °C), the average temperature of a hot drink at worldwide coffee chains.This will ensure that the adhesive will remain intact during end-use, so the hot cup and sleeve can protect the liquids from touching the consumer’s skin.When your adhesive has the right temperature stability along with eco-friendly properties, it can enable you to easily meet your sustainability and performance goals.

See What The Right Adhesive Can Do For You

One adhesive can meet all these criteria to help you create sustainable, high-performance hot cups and sleeves. Bostik’s compostable adhesive, Thermogrip® 43298 is the market’s first-ever, BPI-certified adhesive. It not only helps you address the challenges listed above, but it also enables you to create 100% compostable hot cups and sleeves. To learn more about this innovative adhesive or to request a sample, contact a Bostik representative today.

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