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175: Biodegradable glue sticks


Paper glues have a long history. UHU was developed by August Fischer of Bühl, Germany from 1905, and for a century this twist-and-glue stick was used in offices, classrooms and homes worldwide. But their single-use plastic condemned them to the landfill.


From 2014, UHU, now owned by the Bolton Group, marketed its ReNATURE stick with a sugar cane based PE-HD container and 70% nature-based adhesive.

In 2018, the product received the Österreichisches Umweltzeichen für Produkte (the official Austrian environmental label for products), a hallmark of high environmental standards, quality and product safety. (

Similarly Henkel of Düsseldorf’s Pritt Stick has formulated a glue power primarily from natural sources, 93% of it is made from raw materials such as potato starch.

To mark the environmentally friendly formulation, “Mr. Pritt” is supporting the global urban green-space charity ‘Trees for Cities’ through Pritt’s ‘Stick up for Trees’ campaign. Mr Pritt is encouraging kids to use their imaginations and get artistic by creating tree collages from renewable and recycled materials such as leaves, bottle caps and egg boxes.

In 1927, Aldo Balma and Andrea Capoduri of Voghera, Italy manufactured their Coccoina natural glue made of potato starch, glycerine, almond oil and water. It was contained in an unbreakable aluminum packaging complete with little biodegradable brush with natural bristles in the middle.

In 1984, Coccoina 84 was launched, a formulation of liquid glue based on polyvinyl alcohol, a biodegradable water soluble polymer but still characterized by an almond scent. The Coccoina stick, based on water-washable polyvinylpyrrolidone, was produced from 2007. (

What you can do: Use biodegradable glue sticks.

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