The Glue Talk Blog

Sustainable packaging

Adhesives' Role in Sustainable Consumer Goods

Posted 24 May 2021 by Susan McNichols, Senior Sourcing Analyst
As climate change continues to be a top priority in consumers' minds, corporations feel the pressure to deliver more sustainable options than ever before. Many Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands are taking their role in reducing climate change seriously by setting aggressive sustainable packaging goals for 2025 and 2030. 
Adhesives, coatings and adhesive-coated tapes make thousands of everyday products possible. In many cases, they allow for more cost-effective and responsible production for manufacturers. In turn, the manufacturers are empowered to work with more sustainable substrates, improve efficiencies, and reduce material usage, energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As the demand for aggressive sustainable packaging initiatives continues to grow, brands are beginning to scrutinize (in some cases, for the first time) how all packaging components support their goals.

Carbon Footprint

In the past, CPG brands have focused carbon footprint reduction on internal efficiencies and energy usage. As a result of the more aggressive goals, they are now examining ways to reduce GHG emissions throughout a product's entire value chain, starting with raw material extraction to post-consumer disposal. H.B. Fuller is partnering with customers to calculate how sustainably redesigning packaging using our adhesives can positively affect a product’s Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). 

Circular Economy

Instead of manufacturing products in a linear fashion, brands are beginning to design their products with a waste-out approach. Our Advantra® hot melt adhesives, H.B. Fuller Evolution™ water-based labeling adhesives and Sesame® tapes are true enablers of the circular economy. By working with us, customers can extend the durability of products, improve their reparability and reuse, and create the opportunity to minimize waste at the end of the product’s lifecycle. 

Well-Being of People

With the rise in popularity of sustainable products, consumers are beginning to pay more attention to the ingredients of what they are purchasing. If not expected, it is now highly preferred that all products are free of harmful chemicals, preservatives, parabens, allergens, and more. With this change, H.B. Fuller chemists are developing adhesives that are vegan, boric acid-free, and plasticizer-free. Additionally, H.B. Fuller is developing adhesives that can bond to new materials, such as water-based coated paper, instead of fluorochemical coated paper. 
By leveraging our expertise and innovations, we strive to expand our contribution to sustainable packaging development, together with our customers and partners.

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