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[GreenYes] Pressure Sensitve Adhesives -- a barrier to paper recycling


Paper is the largest part of most municipal recycling programs on a weight basis. The financial value of the paper is determined, in part, by minimizing contamination in the loads. According to a survey of Wisconsin paper recycling mills by the Wisconsin Council on Recycling -- a state created advisory body -- the greatest concern of the mills for contamination is the presence of Pressure Sensitive Adhesives (PSAs) that are not compatible with the recycling of paper. Found on a broad range of labels, one paper mills executive estimates that they cost the paper recycling industry over $2 billion a year in lost materials and production.

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Building upon the successful work of the US Postal Service to develop a standard for a recycling compatible PSA s , the Council on Recycling worked with industry officials and the US Forest Products Laboratory to develop both a resolution to encourage the use of recycling compatible pressure sensitive adhesives as well as to modify USPS standards to fit a broader range of use of PSAs.

Standards for Recycling Compatible Adhesives (RCAs) are found on the Council's web page at <http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/aw/wm/recycle/council/index.htm> http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/aw/wm/recycle/council/index.htm -- see the bottom four links on the page.

We invite others to join us in reducing this serious contaminate for paper recycling.

John Reindl, Chair
Wisconsin Council on Recycling

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