Frequently Asked Questions
Here you get answers to the most relevant questions about the UHU stic ReNATURE
What is UHU stic ReNATURE?
UHU stic ReNATURE is a new glue stick with a container mainly made from plant-based raw materials. 58% of the material is made from bioplastics. This is part of UHU’s effort to protect the environment and our planet’s resources.
What is special about UHU stic ReNATURE?
UHU stic ReNATURE is the world’s first glue stick with a container made from a significant proportion of bioplastics. Instead of the conventional fossil materials, the main material used is polyethylene from plant-based resources (“bio PE”). UHU stic ReNATURE is the result of many years of research and development. The replacement of fossil materials with renewable ones reduces greenhouse gas emissions and the consumption of fossil resources. However, UHU does not compromise on quality, functionality or durability
What plant-based raw materials are used for UHU stic ReNATURE?
The container of UHU stic ReNATURE contains approximately 58% plant-based raw materials in the form of polyethylene from sugar cane. Growing and processing takes place in Sao Paulo State in Brazil. Sugar cane is considered to be the most efficient raw material of all agricultural crops in terms of yield and energy usage. Genetically modified crops are not used for the manufacturing of UHU stic ReNATURE.
Why is the amount of renewable material limited to 58%?
The quality of products and packaging takes priority at UHU. It is also important that sufficient quantities of raw material are available at reasonable cost. The bioplastics available today do not yet consistently meet our high requirements. Research efforts in recent years have allowed us to achieve a proportion of approximately 58% plant-based raw material. To further increase the percentage, UHU regularly checks whether the use of plant-based raw materials meets the high product requirements and in what proportion.
What are the advantages of using plant-based raw materials?
More than 90% of the plastic produced today is made from crude oil, with an annual consumption of more than 250 million tonnes worldwide. Bioplastics are products partially or even completely made from plant-based raw material. Replacing fossil with plant-based raw material reduces the consumption of fossil resources and considerably reduces carbon emissions.
Why does the bioplastic stic save fossil resources and reduce CO2?
When plastic made from crude oil is incinerated at the end of its life, this releases vast quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere. This aggravates the greenhouse effect and represents a risk for our climate. In contrast, the combustion of 100% biobased plastic materials releases only as much CO2 as was stored in the plant while it was growing. UHU recently commissioned the institute denkstatt to calculate the carbon footprint and the consumption of fossil resources of the container of UHU stic ReNATURE compared with conventional plastic packaging based on a life cycle assessment in accordance with DIN EN-ISO 14044. The reduction in CO2 emissions was calculated as 46% and the consumption of fossil resources is reduced by 48%. Our new plant-based container is therefore contributing to the protection of climate and fossil resources.
Why has UHU opted for plant-based raw materials?
Bioplastics are of key importance in the European Commission’s BioEconomy Strategy 2020 because they reduce climate impact and the consumption of fossil fuels and have untapped potential. Institutes and organizations at national level agree that the use of plant-based raw materials is the only long-term alternative to the current crude oil-based economy. Using renewable resources is the only way to achieve a fully closed-loop economy. We strongly support recycling, but a recyclable product made from renewable resources is best! UHU is working intensively to find the most ecologically efficient processes and make products more environmentally friendly. We already use recycled cardboard and blister packs wherever possible.
Does the new packaging have any influence on the product\'s performance?
The new container does not have any influence on the performance of the glue stick.
Is the plant-based material recyclable?
Yes, it is. The new UHU stic ReNATURE can be recycled as usual, as bio PE has the same characteristics as conventional PE. Empty the container and take it to an appropriate collection site according to national or local regulations. Depending on available amenities the stick may be recycled or incinerated.
How should the product be disposed of after use?
Empty the container and put it into the appropriate disposal system. Packaging made from cardboard should be recycled as waste paper. Because the new container, like the conventional one, is mostly made of polyethylene, it is easy to recycle.
Is the plant-based raw material biodegradable?
The container is not biodegradable or compostable. This is because biodegradable materials have limited durability, and durability is a basic user requirement for UHU products. Our research has shown that we meet our high product requirements best with respect to durability and recyclability with a container based on bio PE.
Why is sugar cane used for the plant-based component in UHU stic ReNATURE?
Ethanol derived from Brazilian sugar cane is the starting material in the production of bio PE. It is unquestionably one of the most efficient crops to produce, with excellent environmental credentials. Brazil has been promoting its development for decades and has established high social and environmental standards in sugar cane production which also satisfy the corresponding EU standards.
Does the cultivation of sugar cane for UHU stic ReNATURE affect the rainforest?
There is no indication that the cultivation of sugar cane affects the rainforest. More than 99% of the Brazilian sugar cane plantations are more than 2000 km away from the Amazon rainforest. Due to comprehensive government measures the cultivation area is restricted to 7.5% of Brazilian territory and the cultivation of sugar crops is prohibited in most of the country.
Does the cultivation of sugar cane for UHU stic ReNATURE affect the cultivation of food crops?
For the cultivation of crops used for the production of 1.2 million tonnes of bioplastics in 2011, 300 000 hectares of land were required worldwide. This only represents 0.006% of the global potential of approximately 5 billion hectares, according to calculations done by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (IfBB). In the same year the demand for bioplastics was about 250 million tonnes. To cover the current global demand for plastics entirely with bioplastics would require only 1.5% of the available agricultural land.
What else is UHU doing to promote sustainable development?
Being a medium-sized company, acting in an environmentally aware and cross-generational manner is an inherent part of UHU’s corporate policy, in which sustainability plays a fundamental role. Environmental awareness is at the core of UHU’s business, and measures are applied in all areas – from product development and production processes to usage and disposal by consumers. UHU constantly finds ways to protect and improve conditions for the health of our employees, the environment and for our millions of consumers worldwide. As an example of this strategy, our efforts in the production process far surpass strict legal requirements in the majority of cases. Additionally, many UHU products are already solvent-free and the production generates hardly any waste. UHU will continue to make great efforts in sustainability in four fields - quality products, innovative packaging, clean factory and inspiring people.