Recycling your Product Labels

Recycling is a daily household necessity in this day and age and becoming increasingly popular with an increase of 45% of all household waste being recycled in 2018.

So, whilst we are all trying to do our bit to help the environment, are we recycling our labels properly?

Advice on Recycling Labels

The best advice is to remove all labels from bottles, jars and packaging before recycling; but in reality, this is time consuming and not something many people will do.

So, what is the best solution?

Match the label material to the packaging material to stop contamination when recycling.

What about the adhesive?

Another small consideration to factor in is what adhesive is being used on your labels.

We have a wash-off adhesive solution which dissolves when in contact with alkaline.

If ever you are unsure if an item is recyclable, put it out anyway.  Anything that can’t be recycled will still be used to produce energy.   However, this piece of advice needs to be taken with care as each local authority have different waste to energy capabilities.

What about glass bottles?

If we are trying to match the label and packaging materials how does this work with glass bottles and jars?  The best material to use on glass is a paper material which will either be washed off, or burnt off in a furnace, depending on the recycling process it goes through.

What label material is recyclable?


Paper label material can only be recycled with paper or cardboard packaging (or glass bottles as mentioned above).

If your packaging is plastic, you will need to request a wash off adhesive to make the recycling process a lot easier.

Blending your paper labels with other materials still means you can pop them in the recycling bin as it will be burnt and used for energy instead.


The most common label material is either Polypropylene (PP) or Polyethylene (PE); which is also what most packaging material is made from.  This is the best solution all round for ease of recycling.

Is backing paper recyclable?

Unfortunately, the answer is no, and not something due to change anytime soon.  The backing paper is made from strong paper so that it can be pulled through printing presses, but is also coated in a non-stick silicon which makes it undesirable for recycling.

What if my labels have been laminated?

Some labels are coasted in plastic to make them look glossy or matt, and give them durability.  This, however, makes your labels unrecyclable but can still be used for energy.

If you are unsure about what labels you could be using to help with the recycling process and want to find out more, speak with our reps who will have alternative solutions for you to try.