The L.D. Davis Green Advantage

Posted on August 4th, 2011 by Maria Verros

It’s Pretty Easy Being Green (Sorry Kermit.)

For thousands of years (think the Pharohs tombs) animal glue has been used for bookbinding.  Think of your parents National Geographic or TV Guide collection- they’re all made with animal/protein adhesive.  Two shifts happened in the 1970’s-book binders switched to a petroleum-based adhesive, known as hot melt, to save seconds of time in the manufacturing of books and directories.  Another change in that decade was the way animal glue was formulated.  Today, most animal glue is made not with gelatin extracted from cows and pigs but with scrap gelatin from the pharmaceutical industry.  Our long history of manufacturing this kind of adhesive, which is environmentally-friendly and biodegradable, is the cornerstone of the L.D. Davis Green Advantage.

L.D. Davis Green Adhesives

Before “Going Green” became a fad, L.D. Davis had a consistent history of manufacturing green adhesive due to the natural biodegradability of animal glues.  Since the company’s start in 1926, we have strived to continue to operate in an environmentally conscious manner.  Our gelatin-based adhesives, or animal glues, are increasingly being used for other applications outside of the bookbinding industry.  Currently, protein-based adhesive is the main glue used in many products such as:

  • rigid box,
  • speaker assembly,
  • laminating,
  • match heads,
  • abrasives.

What Makes our Adhesive Green?

Our company strives to continue to produce green products, with special emphasis on biodegradability and recyclability.  The quicker a product breaks down when introduced to the natural environment, the greener it is considered to be.  Recyclability is also very important, but comes second to biodegradability.  For example, there are many products that can be recycled but are not necessarily considered green, such as certain types of plastics. 

The components of protein-based gelatin adhesive include gelatin proteins, usually extracted from edible gelatin which is composed of pharmaceutical scraps of both hard cap and soft gel pill capsules or hides and bones of pigs and cattle.  Animal glue production is a green process not only because it recycles nutritional scrap, but it is also made up of Epsom salts, water, sugar, and glyerin, which are all water-soluble components.  The sugars used in protein adhesive generally come from corn, which is a renewable resource.  The combination of these different components produces a green, effective, and biodegradable adhesive that is useful for a wide variety of different applications including:

  • bookbinding,
  • rigid boxes,
  • food packaging,
  • board games,
  • bird feeders.

For more information on the L.D. Davis Green Advantage, please take a look at our Green Adhesives Information letter, or visit our website www.www.lddavis.com

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Animal Glue Gelatin

This is soft gel netting, waste from pharmaceutical companies that we use to produce gelatin used in our green animal glues.