Four environmental label material swap outs - Readability Ltd

Four environmental label material swap outs

Published by Chris Edney on 27th August 2019 | Labels

Eventually and inevitably your label will become redundant and will be disposed of. What happens to this label waste at the end of its useful life is becoming an increasing concern to consumers, companies and governments alike all promising to do more in the name of the environment.

We’ve talked about the importance of label material choice from functional and aesthetic points of view but what about the environmental perspective? Label materials are increasingly under scrutiny and now must perform for all three criteria. Here are some examples of materials that can help your company achieve environmental goals without sacrificing functionality or appearance.

Light Polypropylene

Replacing: Standard Polypropylene & Vinyl labels

PP lighter, polypropylene lite combines a lighter face material, lower coat-weight adhesive and a light backing. This combines to reduce the amount of material being used to create the label. Available in silver, clear and white this label material is suited for rigid containers with smooth surfaces. Drinks labels and cosmetics packaging would be highly suitable for this material.

This lighter material is available in white, silver and the clear materials creating the transparent no-look label that is so popular.

A thinner material allows more labels per reel, more labels per box, more label per pallet and all at a reduced weight helping to reduce shipping costs and fuel used per delivery mile.

Rock Marble Paper – Waterproof

A different approach to sustainable labels

Replacing: Synthetics needed in waterproof environments.

Rock Paper is the marble based material offering a radically different approach to sustainable labels. The material is made from calcium carbonate derived from marble mining waste (80%), with up to 20% recycled high-density polythene (mainly recycled plastic bottles).

  • Matt, soft touch, a tear-resistant face stock
  • Waterproof, with a paper look and feel
  • Tree free and no water or bleach used during production
  • Food approval for moist, non-acidic foodstuffs and fatty foodstuffs
  • Can be recycled in the category 2 plastics recycle stream

This material can be used in damp environments so now paper look labels can appear where previously polypropylene and polythene materials were needed for long term usability.

If your paper label isn’t standing up to the rigours of its label life and you don’t want to sacrifice the look and feel of the label then this is for you.

Dissolving Direct Thermal labels

Replacing: Traditional paper thermal labels.

Eco-thermal labels that dissolve. These labels are quickly removable and with only minimal washing, the dissolving refers to the adhesive and the label. Leaving no waste behind on the surface means a new label can be applied cleanly in minimum time, think re-labelling trays. This is an environmental swap as when the item being labelled comes to be recycled it can all be recycled as no adhesive is left behind to interfere with the recycling machinery and end product the recycling facility produces.

The material is also BPA and BPS free and it dissolves quickly in cold water and is hassle free for operators as both label and adhesive dissolve, there’s no risk to filters or drains.

Bisphenol A FREE Thermal Transfer Labels

New European Union legislation will require all thermal transfer labels sold in Europe to be free of BPA after 2 January 2020,  yes after Brexit the official day (29 March 2019) but, let’s not get into that.

A new label material that is Bisphenol A (BPA) free removes the need for any worry about this issue and because they BPA free it’s estimated at 20% more carbon efficient than a standard label, an excellent win for anyone looking to boost green credentials.

Suitable for application to packaging films and common cardboards in short label lives can also be used alongside different adhesives for suitability for extreme temperatures.

Are you looking for a label printer that really wants to help with sustainability goals? We will give you real options to become that little bit more environmentally friendly with your labels.

Get quotes on your printed and thermal labels from Readability, good label choices can help save the world!

About the Author: Chris Edney

Chris is our Founder and Managing Director, clocking up over 30 years at the forefront of quality packaging and printed labels. He enjoys working with business owners and designers to create eye catching packaging with fast turnaround times.

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