Biodegradable paper stickers - All you need to know

We’re going to talk about biodegradable paper stickers. What they’re made from, their lack of impact on the environment, and more.

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

What are biodegradable paper stickers made from?

Paper is mostly made from wood, taken from trees.

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

Different printers use various inks to print biodegradable paper stickers, but we 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.

When processed, sugarcane leaves a byproduct called bagasse. This fibrous residue remains after sugarcane stalks are crushed when extracting the sugar.

Sugarcane byproduct Bagasse

From this, bagasse is made into a paper 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:

Biodegradable paper sticker lifecycle

Is sugarcane eco-friendly?

This is a complex 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 crucial 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 them in the compost instead of the trash.

Pros and cons of sugarcane paper material

Pros

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

Cons

  • Splashproof (only use for indoor or short term applications such as packaging stickers)
  • They 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 get used:

What do biodegradable paper stickers cost?

Here are some costs comparing biodegradable to white plastic stickers:

Size Quantity Biodegradable paper stickers cost White plastic stickers cost
1.5″ x 1.5″ 100 40p 34p
1.5″ x 1.5″ 500 15.8p 13.8p
1.5″ x 1.5″ 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 the release liner, is the layer you peel your sticker off before use.

This paper layer is silicone coated to allow you to remove 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, and the problem is that this is not easy to recycle.

It is possible, but it’s much more complicated 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.

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

If you have any questions about biodegradable paper stickers, please get in touch with us.