In many plastic containers that we use in our daily life, fabric softener, bottle juice… we find that they are decorated with plastic heat shrink films called sleeve. If we look closely, we will find a dashed line with an arrow that induces pulling to pull apart the sleeve from the container.

But why exactly is this pulling apart used? Is there someone who is devoted to pulling apart both parts if everything is plastic? These are questions that consumers of this type of packaging can usually ask themselves. In this article, we will discover if it is useful to pull apart the two kinds of plastic and why it is made in this way.

Heat-shrinkable labels or sleeves are a type of integral printing of the container that provides a greater communication surface for the specifications and characteristics of the product. It is widely used in the packaging industry because it is a system that has many advantages at the image level, it can be applied to almost any geometry, glues are not used, it is more durable… among many other qualities. The material used to manufacture them is usually PVC, PETG and OPS depending on the container, quality and type of shrink wrap used.

The problem lies when the container material does not match the mentioned types because plastic containers are generally made of PET, PP, PS or PLA. And this difference in material hinders its recyclability.

Therefore, it is important to pull apart the sleeve from the packaging before disposal to ensure good recyclability. The control and detection systems of the material that exist in the recycling plants, could have problems carrying out a correct separation of the containers. From now on, when we are going to dispose of a container, we must think about separating all its components if we want them to end up being recycled correctly, otherwise, the previous selection process will have been of little use.