Can All Paper Be Recycled?
Although all paper can be recycled, some paper products may be rejected for recycling because of additives or processes on the paper.
One example is pressure sensitive adhesive.
When added to paper to create peel-and-stick labels, the resulting product can't be recycled. This is because most paper recycling systems add water to recovered paper to create pulp - the first step in papermaking. Pressure sensitive labels don't dissolve in water
. Instead, they break into smaller pieces that deform when subjected to heat and pressure. The deformed particles are hard to filter out of paper pulp and can stick to paper making equipment and even to the paper itself.
One of the major users of pressure-sensitive products is the United States Postal Service which accounts for about 14% of US consumption. (The products are pressure-sensitive labels and stamps.)
Because of concern about recycling problems caused by pressure-sensitive adhesives, the USPS leading a major effort to develop a recyclable version. Until the effort is complete, one alternative is to discontinue use of address labels and address directly on the mail piece