Many businesses are trying to reduce their carbon footprint and “go green” by using eco-friendly materials and other sustainable practices. This is not only good for the planet but good for a company’s bottom line. As consumers become more educated, buying habits are shifting towards these products and services when they are available.
One simple way to make your products greener is to make the switch to eco-friendly labels. But how can you know if the materials are truly sustainable? Here are some tips to follow and terms to know:
Eco-Friendly Label Terms
Different types of label materials may be eco-friendly but described in different ways – here are a few differences in label types:
This is a term most of us are familiar with. It means that the label stock uses materials that have been used before. Recycled content can range from 10% – 50% and higher depending on the material.
This term means that the materials and resources used can be replenished rather quickly. Some examples of renewable sources are bamboo and sugar cane.
Something that is “recyclable” doesn’t mean that it’s been recycled, but that it can be if placed in the proper receptacle or taken to the right facility. You should be aware, however, to recycle a label, both the label material and the adhesive needs to be eco-friendly
. A label can’t be recycled unless they are manufactured with an adhesive that can also be recycled.
Materials To Consider
Custom labels can be made from plastic, paper or film: paper being a cost-effective choice for most companies. Film, however, tends to be more durable. But that also means that it may cost more.
What types of materials make the most eco-friendly label? Here are some available options:
FSC Certified Semi-Gloss And Matte Papers
“FSC Certified” means that the Forest Stewardship Council confirms that the paper has been ethically and responsibly sourced, usually from wood fiber. The FSC certification is the “gold standard” of the printing industry for this reason. The materials can have a glossy, dull, or matte surface.
FSC Certified Direct Thermal Paper
This bright, smooth paper has a sensitive thermal coating and is often used by grocers for meat or frozen food products. It is durable enough to be used for shipping, receipts, and barcodes, with the additional benefit of being water-resistant. This paper requires a special thermal printer to implement. It uses heat rather than inks to print the relevant information.
FSC Certified Vellum Paper
Available in white or cream colors, this type of paper is also known as “estate label paper.” It’s most commonly used for wine labels and gourmet foods due to its fancy appearance. It sticks well to surfaces and tends to be permanent unless submerged in water that is more than 100 degrees.
Using sustainable paper is one thing, but make sure the ink or toner you use is also eco-friendly. “Green” ink tends to be water-based, which is better than solvent inks in terms of environmental impact. Water-based inks work well on lots of different materials but are not as durable.
Another ink option is UV ink, which has been cured by an ultraviolet lamp to turn it from liquid form to solid – a faster process than air drying. The quick-drying time means the colors will be brighter-looking and more durable, but that also means it’s a bit more expensive.
Sustainable Labels And More In South Florida
Ritter’s Printing & Packaging not only helps your company by producing quality, professional-looking product labels but can boost your image with eco-conscious consumers. As customers are increasingly concerned about the impact they have on the planet, a company that uses eco-friendly packaging is more likely to earn their trust. Call us at 954-771-7204 to learn more about our eco-friendly labels, custom packaging, and other printing services we offer.