Biodegradable paper stickers - All you need to know

We’re going to talk about biodegradable paper stickers. What they’re made from, the environmental impact and much more.

If you’re interested in biodegradable paper stickers read on to learn all you need to know about them.

What are biodegradable paper stickers made from?

Paper is mostly made from wood, taken from trees.

The paper we use for biodegradable paper stickers is made primarily from sugarcane (95%) with a little hemp & linen (5%).

Different manufacturers will use different inks to print biodegradable paper stickers but Sticker it use a UV cured ink that saves energy & contains fewer solvents compared to alternative inks. The inks we use have a GREENGUARD Gold Certification

GREENGUARD Gold Certification

What is sugarcane?

Sugarcane is a species of grass, used for making about 70% of the world’s sugar.

Sugar leaves a byproduct called bagasse when being processed, which is a fibrous residue that remains after sugarcane stalks are crushed when extracting the sugar.

Sugarcane bi-product Bagasse

From this, bagasse can be made into a paper that is suitable for printing by mixing it with a bit of hemp & linen.

The lifecycle of biodegradable paper stickers

To help you understand the complete life-cycle of biodegradable paper stickers we’ve produced this infographic. Enjoy!

Biodegradable paper sticker lifecycle

Is sugarcane eco-friendly?

This is a complicated question to answer.

The short answer is yes. It’s much more environmentally friendly than paper from wood.

Here is the longer answer...

Sugarcane is a water-intensive crop that is fast-growing. Therefore, managing social and environmental risks are important to sustainability.

Bagasse, the byproduct paper is made from, can be wasted or burnt for electricity production. This makes the biodegradable paper much more environmentally friendly than a wood alternative. We refer to this as a reclaimed resource.

This means fewer trees are needed and we have reclaimed waste that would otherwise be burned or put in a landfill.

Forests around the world are being lost so it is important to find alternative materials. Using bagasse, you can continue to use quality disposable products knowing you’re choosing a product made from a sustainable resource.

The best news? When your customers are finished with your stickers, you can put it all in the compost instead of the landfill.

Pros and cons of sugarcane paper material

Pros

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Biodegradable
  • You can put it in compost
  • Vegan
  • Beautiful matte white finish
  • Low cost

Cons

  • Splashproof (only use for indoor or short term applications such as packaging stickers)
  • Will tear easier than plastic stickers
  • Only available in a matte finish

Typical uses of these stickers

Here’s a gallery showing how biodegradable paper stickers are used:

What do biodegradable paper stickers cost?

Here are some costs comparing biodegradable to white plastic stickers:

Size

Quantity

Biodegradable paper sticker cost

White plastic sticker cost

4 cm x 4 cm 100 40p 34p
4 cm x 4 cm 500 15.8p 13.8p
4 cm x 4 cm 2000 10.6p 7.2p

On average the biodegradable paper sticker is less than 20% more. A great option to help save our planet.

Backing paper - the problems

The backing paper, also known as a release liner, is a paper that is silicone coated.

This paper is the layer you peel your sticker off. The silicone allows you to peel your sticker easily so it’s quick to apply.

Here’s an image to help show you what we mean:

Biodegradable sticker backing paper

Nearly every sticker in the world uses this silicone-coated paper. The problem is that this is not easy to recycle.

It is possible, but it’s much harder because the silicone needs to be removed from the paper. The industry is working hard on solutions as we speak.

This is of course not ideal when it comes to finding the most environmentally friendly option.

The paper sticker & adhesive are, however, eco-friendly and we’re working hard on finding solutions to silicone backing-paper.

If you have any questions or want to tell us about how you use biodegradable paper stickers, please leave a comment below.