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Natural glue

Inaccuracies in communication sometimes create confusion around the term ‘natural’.

Adhesives made from materials that occur naturally in the environment.

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Adhesives made from materials that occur naturally in the environment.

Natural glue definition

Natural glues are adhesives that are made from plant or animal products [1] as opposed to synthetic or petroleum-based glues that rely on a finite resource. Natural glues will decompose within a human timeframe into biomass that does no harm to the soil around it. 

Plant-based glues are usually based on soy or starch and contain naturally occurring oils, like linseed. 

Animal-based glues contain gelatins derived from waste and by-product [2]  of the meat-processing and tanning industries. The parts used to create this gelatin is usually hides, leather trimmings, blood sinew and bones of other livestock. 

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Why you should use natural glues

A brand may prefer to use packaging that has natural glues if they wish to distance themselves from products that rely on fossil fuels, such as synthetic glues such as Phenol Formaldehyde [3]

If a brand uses compostable or biodegradable packaging, natural glues and natural inks are important as it means that the entire box can be recycled or broken down, not just the cardboard or paper pulp element. 

Why you shouldn’t use natural glues

Natural glues do include glues that are based on animal products. If a brand wishes to only use vegan ingredients, then glues that contain bones, sinew and blood as components of the glue, may force them to look elsewhere. 

Packhelp and natural glues.

Packhelp sells the following products that are made using natural glues:

It’s worth noting that while animal-based glues fall under the ‘natural glue’ umbrella, animal-based glues are not used in the packaging industry, as they are not strong enough. 

In other words, Packhelp does not use any animal-based glue in their products.

Frequently asked questions:

Yes. If your packaging is certified as biodegradable, and stickers or labels that use natural glue can also be composted or biodegraded alongside it.
Packhelp’s glues have no animal products in them and no animal products are used in the production process. However, they are not certified, as sourcing certified vegan glue on an industrial scale is incredibly difficult.

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