Biodegradable glue / Trend

This is not a real trend however I would want to see companies to read this and also start researching this. At the moment I see people avoiding glue because they think gluing a packaging together is less sustainable. However most glue are full or chemicals and don't degrade over the years, the option to using glue or not is something that is very hard to discus.

More or less
Many people think design a box with no glue at all are the best. However designing a packaging with no glue often means you have to use more things and more materials. Having an extra special fold or some special connecting shapes often means more materials is needed to get that packaging enclosed and also means you have to build a machine that can fold or put it together. So often means the packaging will cost more then normal and also is harder to produce with machinery. However you could hire people to fold the boxes together however human hand cost more then a robot. So if you think your package design is sustainable by just remove gluing is the best, you really have to think twice what your design does and if it is worth it.

Bio glue
I have done a small research on biodegradable glue and actually not allot of people know it as a glue for packaging but more as one for medical operations. But there are also companies that have already made biodegradable adhesives for packaging or other designs. But unfortunately there are not allot.

- Sustainable Adhesive Products is one company I found that says they have biodegradable glue / adhesives but on their website are not allot of information. But they work together with BioTak which show a bit of design their Biodegradable adhesive are used.

So I you are into the glue try to do a research to develop a good biodegradable or sustainable glue. Because this would improve the sustainability and help for a better cradle to cradle designs.

Inspired by nature
What most people don't look at is that the nature provide allot of solutions to many problems. And there are actually allot of different product made by nature that could be used as glue. And we can reproduce anything that is made by nature so it should not be a problem.

Like this example and possibly the future of one of the biodegradable glues.
Bacteria form strongest glue ever.

But there are more if you think of all kinds of insects. Especially spiders which make webbings that stick to anything.

Another insect are the bees which has various glue designs though. In the old days letters or documents were sealed with a molten wax, which could also be used on certain surfaces but no really that usable for most materials.

Bee glue known as propolis is a resin made different resins and tree sap, which the bee uses to repair the hyves with. However this is also mostly use for cosmetics and medicines, I am not sure what effect it would have with human contact.

Even plants can produce products that can be used as glue. Look at tree resins which a sticky resin produced by the tree mostly as a defense. However I am not sure how biodegradable it is, because some can last millions of year just look at ambers or gemstones.

If you want more info about adhesive that are made by nature look at Bioadhesives at wikipedia.

I think the future is that we should look at glue to have more sustainable use and not as a less sustainable part of a package because there are possibilities of sustainable glues. So don't let me hear anyone say that gluing a package together is not sustainable.


Anonymous said…
This article shares some insights on the topic on a scientific level:
Anonymous said…
here is a scientific article about the topic: