Sustainable Glue Guide

Unbeknownst to many, adhesives commonly contain fossil fuel based raw materials which are unsustainable and damaging to our environment. The good news is that many adhesives partially or completely substitute their inclusion with nature-based alternatives – this defines their sustainability! Here are five types of sustainable adhesives to consider for your next project.

Once this type of adhesive has done its job it can be remelted and collected for future use without any waste or residue! Recyclable adhesives are typically suited to bonding metals (primarily aluminium or steel) and glass, but can be used for a variety of applications. Look out for thermoplastic adhesives like EVA and PO glue to enable remelting and reuse.

Some adhesives also utilise renewable sources, like plants or beeswax to make
things work. Without any fossil fuel derivatives, their green supply chains reduce
carbon footprints and can improve a project’s overall sustainability. Although
they can be hard to find, why not try and search for natural glues the next time
you find yourself in a sticky situation?

These special adhesives are made to degrade naturally over time, long after serving their initial purpose. These glues are typically gelatine or plant-based, and are usually readily available. Today, most household adhesives are biodegradable, but it is important to always check the label before use!

Primarily used in packaging, these adhesives can completely dissolve during paper repulping processes. This makes them ideal for paper-based projects, and their total solubility renders them arguably the most sustainable adhesive option. Using these adhesives can also streamline recycling, allowing you to process paper and adhesive at the same time- no need for separation or sorting.

Unlike standard biodegradable glues, compostable adhesives only fall apart under certain conditions. After using these adhesives, you can throw them into your nearest compost bin to break down your product and support soil enrichment. Only some adhesives are compostable however, typically hot melts and PSA adhesives.