Improve your sustainability with the Cradle-to-Cradle-Approach

Circular economy, sustainability, and eco-friendliness have become central issues in the production industry as well as in politics and among consumers.

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Circular economy: a guide to sustainable production
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People are well aware that certain raw materials and production processes burden the environment. If more sustainable products have also become your goal, ALFAPURA® adhesives can help you reach it.

This innovative product line has been Cradle-to-Cradle certified trademark.

The term cradle to cradle is closely linked to the circular economy and the certification shows the circulatory capacity of a product. ALFAPURA® fulfils these high standards and we are pleased to provide you with some background information.

Why a Cradle-to-Cradle certification is valuable

Our interest in Cradle-to-Cradle certification was sparked years ago by a client: He wanted to know if we could offer specifically certified adhesives because he was aiming at a more sustainable product. We decided to dig in and finally find a way to reach it.

The certification is awarded by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and their associate branches, such as the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency Switzerland® (EPEA). These independent institutions work together with different industries to achieve more eco-friendliness in manufacturing.

One focus is to strongly advocate cooperation between relevant organizations, industries, and governments.

The Product Innovation Institute developed three main principles of Cradle-to-Cradle:

  1. The production process must be a cycle – all waste is reintegrated into the production process and completely reused.

  2. Renewable energies must be used to make production sustainable, too.

  3. The diversity of the materials used enables nature to regenerate.

These principles are the basis that set the requirements for products to get certified. Every product is extensively tested:

For example, any used chemicals must not be cancer-producing, mutagenic, or harmful to reproduction. Additionally, the extraction of individual ingredients must not harm the environment and the chemical itself cannot be polluting.

There are four groups of chemicals that the EPEA identifies and only the green and yellow groups are suitable for Cradle-to-Cradle.

  • Green chemical substances are completely harmless

  • yellow means acceptable

  • Red substances are highly problematic

  • Grey category “is considered unassessed due to unknown identity or lack of toxicity information”.

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We realized that many customers had already asked us if we offered biodegradable, pollutant-free or, allergy-free adhesives. By achieving a Cradle-to-Cradle certification, we could validate the ecological sustainability and safety of our products by a reliable institution. So, we continued to invest a lot of time and effort in developing even more planet-friendly adhesives and getting them Cradle-to-Cradle certified.

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Cradle-to-Cradle Certificate

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The road to true sustainability – ecologically and economically

Naturally, we wanted to reach our goal without compromising on any of the special qualities of our adhesives, such as their user-friendliness or adhesive power.

As a first step, we checked if the current ingredients of our adhesives would be assigned to the green or yellow categories for chemicals.

Because water is the main ingredient of most of our adhesives, we knew we were already on the right track.

But since the suppliers of the remaining ingredients could not tell us if their products fulfilled all the required criteria, we decided to tackle this challenge ourselves.

After extensive research and testing, we were proud to receive the Material Health Certificate Silver® for our new products.

Of course, this was a big success – but not enough for our ambitious team. Since the very beginnings of our enterprise, we have always strived to be the best at what we do.

This pioneering spirit is what made us invent the first water-based adhesive for foam bonding in the world in the 1990s – and what kept our team working hard until our new product line achieved the Gold certificate.

ALFAPURA® products are designed with green- or yellow-categorized chemicals only. Today we are the only provider of EPEA certificated adhesives for the packaging and post-print industry in the world.

Because we invested a lot of time in finding the perfect raw materials, the quality of our adhesives were not compromised in any way. They still offer a strong tack and are very easy to use. We are continuously extending our portfolio of ALFAPURA® products for different industries, so stay tuned!

Because we invested a lot of time in finding the perfect raw materials, the quality of our adhesives were not compromised in any way. They still offer a strong tack and are very easy to use. We are continuously extending our portfolio of ALFAPURA® products for different industries, so stay tuned!

Another of our customers' favourite is ALFAPURA® 1620. This water-based synthetic resin adhesive is perfectly suited to bonding paper and cardboard such as folding boxes or flyers. It shares many beneficial characteristics with 1822, but it can be applied with a nozzle.

Sustainable Products

The shipping industry not only employs millions of people worldwide, it also creates a huge and rising demand for packaging. Until recently the main criteria for packaging material were the price, the supply and how easy it can be handled.

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Sustainable Products

Wood-industry

ALFAPURA® 1771 is a water-based synthetic resin adhesive suitable for bonding paper, cardboard, and wood. It is fast setting, tacks strongly and even offers water-resistant bonding. It can be applied with a roller or a wheel. At the same time ALFAPURA® 1771 is a very cost-efficient choice.

Cardboard packaging

For gluing cardboard or paper, one option is ALFAPURA® 1635. It is, for example, the perfect choice for folding boxes. This synthetic resin adhesive has an elastic, blunt adhesive film and is almost transparent. Therefore, no stains can be seen on the folding boxes. This adhesive can also be applied with a nozzle or a wheel. Read more about sustainable packaging.

Hygiene products and textile

We are working on the launch of innovative adhesive solutions for hygiene products such as cotton swabs and textile products. Please contact us for more information. To get an overview about cradle-to-cradle certified products, see here.

Cradle-to-Cradle certification - How does it work?

The Cradle-to-Cradle Certification® is a way to validate products and companies for their sustainability irrespective of their industry.

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Cradle-to-Cradle certification - How does it work?

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Do you need support or advice? We love to share our know-how. Schedule your appointment now!

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Outlook

ALFAPURA® is a rather new product line of ALFA Klebstoffe AG – the Gold certification was awarded in the last quarter of 2020. We are continuously developing new solutions and launching new products for a growing spectrum of applications and industries. If you have any questions concerning the Cradle-to-Cradle-certification, the ingredients of ALFAPURA®, our variety of products or anything else, please contact us – we are happy to support you in finding the perfect solution for you.