Recycling Siliconised Label Backing Sheets

Being sustainable is at the heart of Little Conkers – as I often say, if I can’t do it sustainably, I just don’t do it.

I stopped using the majority of my adhesive labels, when I realised it just wasn’t feasible to recycle the backing sheets as I had hoped.

The shiny, siliconised backing sheets are technically recyclable, but only really within a specialist context, and it has proved to be something out of my reach. I had hoped it would be possible within a Teracycle box. I now get through a lot of (sustainable, cornstarch-based) glue sticks, as I stick paper as labels to my boxes instead of using adhesive labels, and I can recycle the empty glue sticks in a Terracycle box, along with a whole host of other things that aren’t accepted in our kerbside recycling (pet food pouches, deodorant tubes, etc). But even they don’t accept the laminated label backing sheets.

However, the move to contact-free posting of my items during the pandemic – I put them straight into a parcel post box, rather than going to the Post Office – means I have to use adhesive labels for the postage. This leaves me with hundred (and hundreds) of the label backing sheets to deal with.

Having used the label, first I cut off the half of the sheet that is just paper, and we use that as rough paper within our house, before it is recycled.

Reusing paper as rough note paper

Then I separate the left-over adhesive label material from the backing paper, and that goes in the recycling too. (I say “I” but I literally set up little production lines with my kids to peel this off and make it into huge sticky balls.)

This then leaves me with hundreds (and hundreds) of sheets of the shiny, siliconised backing paper, for which I’m trying to find the best solution. I have a huge pile of this now!

I don’t like to use it as packing paper for my parcels, because that is just passing the problem on to my customers.

I have a vague notion that it might be of use to people who make candles or soap? Because it is sort of non-stick in nature, it could I think be used for separating items. If anyone has a use for it, please do get in touch!

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