Eco-friendly materials for your products

In recent years, eco-friendliness has become an important subject in many industries, especially in the print and the post-print field.

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Many of our clients displayed an interest in eco-friendly adhesives and ALFAPURA® is proud to offer them a range of cradle-to-cradle Gold® certified products. Of course, the other components and materials have to be considered as well when determining the ecological sustainability of a product. In this article, we walk you through some aspects that can have a big impact.

What makes a product eco-friendly?

Ecological sustainability is a rising requirement in most manufacturing industries.

Consumers are becoming more and more informed and purchase goods more selectively, which raises a number of important questions.

First of all: How do we understand or define eco-friendliness in the context of industrial production?

The term eco-friendly can be read in the description of many products. For some people, a reduced amount of plastic packaging is already eco-friendly, for others, regionally sourced raw materials are key.

The guidelines on how this term can be used are vague and this lack of standardized labelling is rather confusing to both manufacturers and consumers.

At the same time, every company faces the risk of being accused of green-washing for unclear or incorrect sustainability claims.

A better way to market the eco-friendliness of a product is by earning a well-known certificate from a respected institution, such as the Cradle-to-Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

Their certificates are awarded for an extensive circular economy where no waste is generated, and instead, the raw materials are efficiently reused for new production. If the material and product cycles are completely closed, resource and energy consumption are reduced massively.

This regenerative system benefits the environment, the economy and the people as well: Certified products are guaranteed to be clear from carcinogens, mutagens or reproductive toxicants and they do not include any hidden substances.

Eco-friendly packaging with ALFAPURA®

All ALFAPURA® products earned a Material Health Gold® certificate by the EPEA.

They have been thoroughly tested for their sustainability, their eco-friendliness, their ability for circular economy, and their harmlessness to humans.

If you desire more eco-friendly packaging for your products, ALFAPURA® is the right choice. A favourite of our clients' – ALFAPURA® 1635 – is optimized for bonding paper and cardboard, such as folding boxes.

Cardboard is an eco-friendly choice because it is completely recyclable – however, with a toxic adhesive this would not mean much.

With our certified ALFAPURA® 1635 adhesive, the recycling process is not impacted in any way. ALFAPURA® 1635 has an elastic, blunt adhesive film and is almost transparent, which enables stain-free gluing of the folding boxes. The water-based synthetic resin adhesive can be applied which a nozzle or a wheel and works with any equipment.

Sustainable packaging

The shipping industry not only employs millions of people worldwide, it also creates a huge and rising demand for packaging.

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Sustainable packaging

Environmentally-friendly printed products

Of course, not just packaging can become more eco-friendly, also the products themselves can be optimized:

The material used the most in this industry is presumably paper, which is recyclable and therefore a good base. But in order to finish the end product, such as a book or notepad, glue and other materials are required, too.

We offer water-based and certified adhesives that are perfectly suited to these types of products: With ALFAPURA® 1855, the spine gluing of your thread-sewn book blocks is done with ease. And with ALFAPURA® 1822, spine gluing of writing, note and tear-off pads will be a smooth and eco-friendly process.

Datasheet ALFAPURA® 1855 & ALFAPURA® 1822

Learn more about ALFAPURA® 1855 & ALFAPURA® 1822 by downloading its datasheets

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No negative impact on the quality

Some people think that a material or a product can be either good quality or eco-friendly, not both.

But why should more sustainable ingredients generally be less powerful?

With ALFAPURA®, this is definitely not the case: All our adhesives offer a strong hold and are easy to apply by nozzle, wheel, or roller. They are scent-free and, in contrast to many other adhesives, safe to use for workers.

We are aware that changes in the production process are always a challenge, which is why we limited them to a minimum: If you want to switch to ALFAPURA®, you can keep your equipment, keep your production steps and simply swap out the adhesive.

Cradle-to-Cradle certification

Find out more about our portfolio

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Cradle-to-Cradle certification

Think outside the box

If you are looking to completely turn around your production in terms of sustainability, choosing ALFAPURA® is only one step in the right direction.

The eco-friendliness of a product is influenced by the kind of raw materials chosen, as well as many other factors.

If you want to meet all the requirements, you have to think outside the box. For example, think about the amount of plastic you use throughout the whole process. How are your materials packed for delivery? What happens with the packaging material after the delivery?

In terms of ink for printing, more eco-friendly options might be available. Think about what they are made of and where they come from. Are they recyclable?

Also, try to find out where all the ingredients of your products come from: Where were they extracted and how were they shipped? If they are already only scarcely available on the planet, you can maybe try to find an alternative.

And, last but not least, think about the energy required for your production.

Our team at ALFA Klebstoffe AG has installed solar panels on the roof of our headquarters in Rafz. This way we can produce more than 70% of the electricity we need from solar energy. It is therefore our best advice to not just focus on eco-friendly materials but on the whole value chain – from cradle to cradle.

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