The tested technologies are printed shrink sleeves and the analysis consisted of evaluating the effects of inks and the shrinkage on the PET recycling process. The use of shrink sleeves eliminates the need for adhesives, which are among the main design for recycling concerns for PET bottles.
Independent testing was carried out by Plastic Technologies Inc. (PTI), in line with the EPBP’s quick test procedures for bleeding inks1 and for separation by density2. Results show that the two technologies are fully compatible with the PET recycling stream in Europe, given that the coverage of the sleeves should not exceed 70% for bottles of 500 ml and above; and not more than 50% for bottles smaller than 500 ml3. The limitation tied to the size is important to safeguard the efficiency of the sorting of clear PET bottles.