used paper bag with bio-based packaging adhesive

Bio-based packaging adhesive

Step towards sustainability with bio-based packaging adhesive

In the packaging industry, sustainability is becoming more of a norm rather than something special offered by a small selection of companies. Environmental legislation and standards, the environmental responsibility of manufacturers as well as increased awareness of companies and consumers all have encouraged the development of bio-based packaging adhesive systems which make up a greener bonding solution with reduced carbon footprint.

Bio-based packaging adhesives are those that consist partially or entirely of biomass derived from renewable sources. These adhesives increase the recyclability of packaging while remarkably reducing its environmental impact.

Benefits of bio-based packaging adhesive solutions

Most of the bio-based packaging adhesive systems are hot melt adhesives, meaning that they come in a solid phase, usually in a form of pastilles, and are brought to liquid phase by applying heat, hence the name hot melt. These adhesives are significantly greener than their conventional alternatives, nevertheless, they come with a range of other benefits, too.

automatic hot melt adhesive applying bio-based packaging adhesive on carton
Most hot melt application machines can be used for applying both fuel-based and bio-based packaging adhesive.

The benefits of bio-based hot melt adhesives include:

  • Excellent performance: the performance of the packaging adhesives is not affected by their bio-based content other than in regards to thermal stability.
  • Temperature resistance: bio-based hot melt glues are resistant to temperature extremes making them suitable for packaging experiencing conditions from ovens to freezers. This remarkably broadens the range of possible applications of these adhesives.
  • High speed production: many bio-based hot melt adhesives have a very short open time which requires fast processing. However, this also allows for speedy production.
  • Fast curing: these adhesives cure fast, which supports fast paced production.
  • Easy to switch to: in most of the cases bio-based hot melts can be applied using the same equipment as for applying fuel-based hot melt adhesives. This makes shifting between hot melt systems less costly.

Applications realized with ecological hot melt adhesives

The number of possible uses of bio-based packaging adhesive systems is ever-increasing, as the demand for these greener bonding solutions grows. Currently bio-based hot melts are used for example for:

  • Tray forming
  • Top and bottom case sealing
  • Carton sealing
  • Wraparound carton sealing

The bio-based adhesives are continuously being researched and improved, and new applications are developed all the time. In case you are interested in switching to bio-based packaging adhesives, but are not sure whether it is realistic for your application, contact us: our experts are happy to take on the challenge of finding the most suitable eco-adhesive solutions!

EN 16785-1 evaluates bio based content

When looking at bio-based adhesives, the European Norm EN 16785-1 plays an important role. This standard verifies biobased content in products in two ways: by radiocarbon analysis and elemental analysis according to CEN/TS 16440 for Carbon- 14 component.

EN 16785-1 defines biobased as “derived from biomass”. The bio-based packaging adhesives are those partially or entirely made of materials derived from biomass. The standard covers a wide range of products due to the fact that it is applicable to solid, liquid and gaseous compositions which contain carbon.

Find a bio-based packaging adhesive supplier

Although bio-based adhesives are rather new to the market, there are companies with proven track record of successful bonding for decades, that have recently added bio-based adhesives to their portfolio. Contact us, and let our experts connect you with the most suitable bio based packaging adhesive for your application.


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