The company, which manufactures self-adhesive labels, claims that this is the first adhesive in the UK to meet this standard. The EN13432 standard requires packaging to be recoverable through composting and biodegradation in industrial compost conditions. Conformance to this standard requires various testing procedures, such as 90 per cent biodegradation within 45 days. BioTAK S100 achieved 91.2 per cent biodegradation within 31 days, according to the company. The BioTAK S100 adhesive can be used for coating labels or for laminating and enables food manufacturers to offer consumers 100 per cent biodegradable and compostable packaging, claims Berkshire Labels. Growing demand for environmentally-friendly packaging has been driven by consumers and recycling regulations. Innovation "We started research on a completely biodegradable label back in 2001 as we recognized the need to start providing environmentally friendly alternatives within the packaging industry. When we went to look for a biodegradable adhesive we found that one didn't exist so we had to develop it ourselves," development manger for Berkshire Labels, Debbie Lamond, told FoodProductionDaily.com The company said it has developed a range of labels using the adhesive. The BioTAK range comes in a white semi gloss paper as well as a natural unbleached paper, both sourced from suppliers adhering to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). The labels are also available in white and clear Poly Lactic Acid (PLA), a biodegradable polymer derived from corn and Natureflex, which is derived from cellulose. The company said that, in terms of bar code and use-by-date printing, the label range can be used with ribbon printers but is not suitable for direct thermal printer applicators. Organic interest There has been significant uptake of the label range in the organic food sector, where compostable packaging can be a key purchasing factor, according to the company. "The biodegradable adhesive is a permanent adhesive and, although not suitable for all product areas, has performed extremely well on packaging in many different environments including ambient, chilled and dairy," added Lamond. Berkshire Labels has also been accredited to the Environmental Standard ISO14001 since August 2007, and recognized for its proactive contribution to helping the environment: "We are the only label printer included on www.ppe.uk.net (sponsored by the Soil Association), a website that features print companies that have heavily invested in reducing their carbon footprint," said Lamond.