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Environmentally friendly stickers; breaking down the options

Many sticker manufacturers only offer plastic stickers. But not us.

If you’re interested in environmentally friendly stickers that won’t harm the planet, you’re in the right place. We’re going to show you 3 options that, between them, are suitable for nearly every application out there, giving you the confidence you can buy eco-friendly stickers that don’t harm the environment.

What are environmentally friendly stickers?

Environmentally friendly. Eco-friendly. Sustainable. What do they all mean?

The overriding principle is that they’re stickers that don’t negatively impact the environment. If it cannot be continued indefinitely, then it’s not sustainable.

Stickers are often associated with plastic because, historically, they have been made with plastic materials. However, with amazing advancements in materials technology, alternatives are available.

What is the difference between; biodegradable, compostable & recyclable?

You'll see these terms used a lot when searching for stickers, so we want to make it clear what each of them means, and the differences you may find in the stickers.

  • Biodegradable stickers are capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms. These are made from plant-based materials that avoid plastic pollution.

  • Compostable stickers are capable of disintegrating into natural elements in a compost environment, leaving no toxicity in the soil. This happens in around 90 days. These stickers are made from plant-based materials.

  • Recyclable stickers can be processed to make them suitable for reuse, sometimes over & over again. These will be made of plastic that can be recycled. Local recycling rules determine how it’s recycled.

To summarise, biodegradable & compostable stickers are made from plant materials, whereas recyclable stickers are made from plastic that can be recycled.

All sticker options discussed on this page are biodegradable and compostable, making them the most sustainable options available.

What are the options?

We will discuss biodegradable & compostable stickers that use materials that are made from renewable sources. You can get plastic stickers that are recyclable, but we don’t discuss them here as we offer great plastic alternatives made from sustainably sourced wood pulp.

Here is an overview for your convenience:

Sticker Colour Made from Finish Durability Waterproof Best feature
Biodegradable paper White 95% sugarcane Matte paper 2 years indoors X (splashproof) Strong white, matte finish
Eco-friendly white White Sustainable wood-pulp Gloss plastic-like feel 6 months outdoors Y Durable, great plastic sticker replacement
Eco-friendly white Clear Sustainable wood-pulp Gloss plastic-like feel 6 months outdoors Y So clear, you’ll be amazed it’s made from wood pulp!

You can read about each of these materials in detail below.

Biodegradable paper stickers

Biodegradable paper stickers use a material made from 95% sugarcane fibres and 5% of hemp and linen. It looks & feels like a matte white paper. They’re 100% biodegradable and will decompose within months.

They’re also more durable than normal paper stickers. They are splashproof and can be used in the fridge & freezer and the moisture won’t affect them.

This biodegradable paper material is printed in full colour with compostable ink with no solvent, releasing harmful gasses.

To find out more about this material, see the Biodegradable Paper Datasheet or check out the stickers here.

Eco-friendly stickers

Eco-friendly stickers are made from a sustainably sourced wood pulp that creates a white material with a gloss finish. It’s 100% compostable in both industrial and home environments and will break down completely, in about 12 weeks. See a timelapse of it composting here.

This new ground-breaking material is a perfect sustainable option. It looks and feels like a plastic sticker but is amazingly environmentally friendly.

This also means they’re suitable for outdoor use for up to 6 months and are resistant to oils & grease.

Find out more by downloading the datasheet or check out our eco-friendly white stickers.

Eco-friendly clear stickers

These stickers are essentially the same as the stickers mentioned above, however, they are clear.

So transparent in fact, you’ll be amazed they’re made from wood pulp.

They are 100% compostable in home and industrial environments and are suitable for outdoor use for up to 6 months.

Find out more by downloading the datasheet or check out our eco-friendly clear stickers.

The typical uses of each sticker

To help you compare what each of the options we’ve just described is used for, here are some of the typical uses of each:

Biodegradable paper Eco-friendly (white) Eco-friendly (clear)
Recycled product packaging Biodegradable product packaging Window stickers
Beverage bottles Premium product labels, e.g. candles Glass beverage bottle labels
Jars & other food products Laptop stickers Laptop stickers
Address labelling Phone stickers Phone stickers
Food takeaway General logo stickers Logo stickers

And here are some images to get your creative juices flowing…

Round eco friendly sticker with zero waste design applied to a glass water bottle filled with lemons and limes
Die cut eco-friendly stickers with recycling design applied to a cardboard envelope
Clear eco friendly label round with baker bros logo applied to seal a sandwich wrapper
Eco friendly label used as packaging seal on a cardboard box
Close up of an eco friendly sticker with a cute lettuce design
Circle biodegradable paper sticker with thank you design applied to seal tissue paper
Square biodegradable paper sticker with save the ocean design hand held
Biodegradable paper sheet label with fruits and berries design applied to a cardboard tube next to additional sheet labels

If you have any questions about our sustainable range of stickers and labels, please get in contact with us.