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With the growing demand for consumers to recycle more and more packaging waste, one area that is far from straightforward is the recycling of all types of plastic bottles. The different polymers and uses, plus contamination from other packaging materials such as labels, make separation of the various polymers a difficult task.  Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) with its superior barrier properties is the material of choice for bottling of soft drinks and mineral waters. Recently leading industry trade associations have published guidelines encouraging their members to ensure that PET bottles are compatible with recycling facilities.

With this in mind CCL Decorative Sleeves have developed a shrink sleeve material that when used to decorate PET bottles can be easily separated in the recycling process. The new PET shrink sleeve material has a specific gravity of less than 1. It allows the bottle to successfully pass through the optical sorter stage of the recycling process, the PET bottles and sleeves are then ground into flakes. The sleeve is separated and removed in the water sink/floatation tank where the PET sleeve material with its SG<1 is lighter than the PET bottle flakes and floats to the surface, allowing easy removal. The PET bottle flakes sink to the bottom of the tank for collection.

Blue label - shrunk  Standard PET Shrink Sleeve

Yellow Label - shrunk

SG<1 PET Shrink Sleeve

Unlike similar materials currently available, our material has a higher shrink ratio and we are able to decorate bottles with a high degree of shape, including 1lt bottles which have not been sleeved with this type of material to date.