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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.


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

How are biodegradable paper stickers made?

We've produced this infographic to help you understand the complete life-cycle of biodegradable paper stickers. 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 is 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


  • Environmentally friendly

  • Biodegradable

  • Put it in the compost

  • Vegan

  • Beautiful, matte white finish

  • Low cost


  • Splashproof

  • Indoor use

  • Less tear resistant than plastic

  • Matte finish only

Are biodegradable paper stickers waterproof?

As mentioned above, biodegradable paper stickers are not waterproof, but only splash-proof.

This means it can handle drops and splashes of water on the surface but should not be submerged in water for any amount of time, making these stickers not dishwasher safe or fit for prolonged outdoor use.

You will usually find that paper-based stickers are not waterproof, whereas vinyl-based stickers are. You can find a more comprehensive overview in our article "are all stickers and labels waterproof?"

Are these paper stickers vegan?

Yes. The biodegradable paper material is made of sugarcane, hemp & a little linen. The material data sheet contains everything you need to know about this material.

We then print onto this material using low-energy, UV-cured inks, saving energy in production and removing the need for harsh solvents.

The ink also has a GREENGUARD Gold certification and is not made using animal products.

Typical uses of these stickers

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

Biodegradable paper sheet label with this is gonna be good design applied to seal a cardboard box
Biodegradable paper sheet label with fruits and berries design applied to a cardboard tube next to additional sheet labels
Biodegradable paper sticker with with spring valley design applied to a clear candle jar by the bogel company
Circle biodegradable paper sheet label with space to write on applied to tissue paper used to protect products in a cardboard box
Square biodegradable paper sticker with save the ocean design hand held
Rectangle biodegradable paper stickers with cardboard soap boxes
Rectangle biodegradable paper stickers with detox design applied to a clear glass jar filled with soaking salts

What do biodegradable paper stickers cost?

Here are some costs comparing biodegradable to white plastic stickers:

Size Quantity Biodegradable paper cost Plastic sticker cost
4x4cm 100 55 cents 53 cents
4x4cm 500 23 cents 22 cents
4x4cm 2000 13 cents 12 cents

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 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.

Do you want to know more about our sustainable stickers? Then you can read our blog on how to get sustainable stickers that are environmentally friendly.

If you have any questions about sticker printing or want to tell us about how you use biodegradable paper stickers, please contact us.