It’s probably not shocking to find out that most of the stickers used today are not environmentally friendly, not even a little. Most are made from plastic or vinyl on an unrecyclable backing. Luckily, there are people and companies manufacturing environmentally friendly stickers. So fear not, you are not destined to support non-eco friendly sticker producers.

First, let’s answer a few questions about traditional stickers before jumping right into more sustainable sticker options.

Are stickers environmentally friendly?

No. Most stickers you buy for your kids at the dollar store or to label clothing and other items are not environmentally friendly, nor are the paper backing they come stuck on. 

According to earth911:

Basically, label backing sheets are a low-quality form of paper — that wouldn’t typically be recycled on its own — combined with an unknown coating that is difficult to remove. High processing costs and low material value are the two biggest challenges to recycling, which makes it easy to understand why this product is rarely accepted for recycling.

Are vinyl stickers eco-friendly?

No. According to Dustcitydesigns.com:

Vinyl stickers are a massive contributor to the micro plastic tragedy that is plaguing our waterways. As a vinyl sticker starts to break down it creates these tiny plastic flakes that end up in every marine ecosystem. 

Not only are vinyl stickers not recyclable or compostable, but they also create plastic flakes as they break down in the landfill that contaminate our waterways.

Are fruit labels biodegradable?

The answer to this question was actually a surprise to me. No, fruit labels are not biodegradable and should be removed from fruit before it hits the compost bin.

Are stickers biodegradable?

Traditional stickers like the ones mentioned above, ones you can buy at the dollar store and Walmart, are not typically biodegradable or recyclable, for that matter. 

However, there are some forward-thinking companies manufacturing biodegradable and otherwise eco-friendly stickers.

Here is a list of eco-friendly stickers to keep an eye out for:

dust city designs eco friendly stickers

Dust City Designs

  • Made from sustainably sourced wood (FSC certified)
  • Biodegradable
  • Biodegradable packaging
  • Can withstand dishwasher
  • Last indefinitely indoors
  • Last about 2 years when exposed to elements

 Sticky Labels

  • Biodegradable and recyclable labels available
  • Recycled labels:
    • Created from 100% recycled paper materials
  • Biodegradable labels:
    • Made from white, wood-free, elemental chlorine free, non-coated paper with a permanent acrylic adhesive 
    • They will 90% biodegrade into CO2, water, and minerals within 6 to 9 months
    • Label and print quality will not be compromised

inkreadable eco friendly stickers

Inkreadable Labels

  • Biodegradable and compostable labels
  • 2-year shelf-life
  • Made from matt white uncoated, woodfree printing paper composed of 95% sugar cane fibre and 5% hemp and linen
  • Acrylic-based biodegradable adhesive with good initial tack and adhesion on a wide variety of surfaces

zap creatives environmentally friendly stickers

Zap! Creatives

  • 100% PVC free
  • 100% recyclable
  • Water based permanent acrylic adhesive

pure labels compostable labels

Pure Labels

  • Includes Compostable and Biodegradable, 100% Recycled, Recyclable and Recycle-compatible, natural, and tree-free
  • Made exclusively with non-GMO materials
  • Certified compostable proprietary adhesive which is used in all compostable labels
  • Silicone-based liner is NOT compostable

Etsy

  • Has a ton of eco-friendly stickers to choose from, so check them out for sure if you’re looking for cool, unique stickers, including customizable options.

I hope this list helps you pick the most eco-friendly sticker option for you or your business needs.

Let me know if I missed a great plastic-free, eco-friendly sticker option in the comments below.

Cheers, and have an awesome day!

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