Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Adhesives used in manufacturing

Adhesives used in manufacturing electrical, electronic and mechanical goods

This guidance covers any adhesives you use to glue components together when you assemble machinery or equipment.

If you use adhesives you must control your odour and solvent emissions.

Solvent emissions

Noise, odour and other nuisances

What you must do

Comply with your permit, licence or exemption

If you have a permit, licence or exemption you must comply with its conditions. If you do not comply with conditions you can be fined or even sent to prison.

Comply with your waste responsibilities

You must comply with your duty of care responsibilities when you use or handle waste adhesives and adhesive containers.

If you use adhesives that contain organic solvents or 'two-pack' fixatives you must comply with any relevant hazardous/special waste controls.

Good practice

Keep adhesives that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in sealed containers to reduce your site's odour emissions.

Store your adhesives in a locked, bunded area away from direct sunlight. A bund is a structure designed to prevent substances from escaping into the environment if the storage tank or barrels containing adhesives or other substances leak or burst.

If you spill adhesives, use absorbent or adsorbent granules to clean up the spill. Do not wash down your site where adhesives containing VOCs have been spilt.

Ask your suppliers if they can supply you with adhesives that do not contain VOCs.


Only pour out the amount of adhesive you require for each assembly shift to avoid waste.

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