Make Your Operation More Sustainable

Use Recyclable Packaging Materials

Packaging across all industries uses a wide variety of materials. Whatever the industry, from ecommerce and retail to food, healthcare, or any other industry, products are created, purchased, and shipped all day, every day, and they all need to be in some sort of packaging. The problem is that most of that material is difficult to recycle, so it is thrown away and ultimately ends up in a landfill.

The challenge of recycling packaging

With current practices, effective recycling is a challenge largely because there are many different materials used in the same packaging. For example, different plastics and adhesives are used to create a single piece of packaging but often can’t be recycled together, because they have different melting points or may require different machinery for processing. Separating these plastics and other types of materials can be extremely costly, difficult, or sometimes impossible. If it can’t be recycled together, and the components can’t be effectively separated, then it probably won’t be recycled.

The question is, how can you implement more recyclable packaging materials, so that they can be repurposed, reused, and not end up sitting in overflowing landfills? Let’s take a look at some new packaging materials, technologies, and methods to make your operation more sustainable by making recycling easier.

New hot melt label adhesive

Avery Dennison and Dow recently developed an all new sustainable adhesive to attach labels to various types of packaging. What sets this new product apart is that it allows polyolefin filmic labels and polypropylene (PP) or polyethylene (PE) packaging to all be recycled together in one stream. Standard hot melt adhesives typically reduce the recyclability of both PP and PE material, because they cannot be recycled together. With this new adhesive, all of the packaging can be treated as a single type of material, making it much easier for the end user to recycle it properly.

New types of plastics

Another type of recyclable packaging material is a polymer called polydiketoenamine (PDK). It can be manufactured, used, recycled, and reused without losing any of its properties or value. PDK is a great option to make packaging more sustainable in a wide range of industries, including food, healthcare, and more.


Some of the most promising recyclable packaging materials are made from substances that occur naturally, such as carbohydrates, proteins, and amino acids. Biopolymers created from these types of materials can replace traditional polymers used in packaging and films to make them fully biodegradable and compostable.

Use sustainable raw materials

In addition to biopolymers, other biodegradable raw materials can help improve the recyclability and sustainability of your packaging. These types of recyclable packaging materials include hemp, cotton, tapioca, and palm leaves, which can all biodegrade in about 100 days compared to about 10,000 years for most plastics.

How can you implement more recyclable packaging materials, so that they can be repurposed, reused, and not end up sitting in overflowing landfills?

Avoid mixing different types of materials

Mixing together plastic, cardboard, and paper makes packaging difficult to recycle, and many retailers, warehouses, and end users will simply throw it out instead of taking the time to separate them. Using minimal packaging and similar types of materials will help cut down on waste and make recycling easier.

Making your operation more sustainable can seem like an extremely challenging task, but we have the technology and expertise at Pioneer to help. We’ll look at your current process and offer strategies to implement more recyclable packaging materials.

Contact Pioneer Today!