Now that consumers are becoming more aware of the need to take care of our planet, you don’t want your company to invest in sustainable packaging, only for it to still end up in landfills. If your packaging labels aren’t recyclable, recycling centers will reject your containers, even if the rest of the packaging is recyclable. You’ll appear to be halfhearted to consumers, who may end up not supporting your brand.
Consumers feel that they’re doing their part to help Mother Earth by choosing genuinely eco-friendly brands, claimed Tim Bohlke, Resource Label Group’s director of sustainability. In fact, 37% of American consumers now see environment-friendliness as a top factor when making purchasing decisions. This indicates that your business should convert to sustainable packaging, which includes turning to recyclable labels.
Steps for incorporating recyclable labels into your packaging
Strategies for using recyclable labels depend on whether you can include the labels right at the start of a product line’s packaging design process, or if you have to tweak existing processes.
Incorporating label recyclability right when you’re designing your packaging process
Naturally, it’s best to factor in the usage of recyclable labels when you’re just setting your packaging processes. This way, you can optimize costs and ensure that your packaging does indeed get recycled. Here are the top factors you must keep in mind:
- The packaging material itself — Paper, glass, and PET are recyclable or may already be made of recycled materials. Product type and branding dictate your choice of packaging material, which in turn will dictate your choice of packaging label.
- Recycling processes — Recycling centers treat containers according to what they’re made of. For example, they burn labels off of glass bottles but wash labels off of plastic bottles. The glue on plastic bottle labels may gum up recycling machines, which is why many plastic bottles aren’t recycled even if they’re actually recyclable. Factoring recycling processes should help you choose the right type of label fo your green packaging.
- Label adhesives and inks — As mentioned earlier, some label adhesives aren’t good for recycling machines. Your best bets are water-based adhesives for general use and solventless adhesives for glass bottle paper labels. However, do note that there are now types of labels that can be removed to be recycled separately, and these are paired with adhesives that make label removal feasible. To make labels even more easily recyclable, you can use water-based inks that can be washed off without the need for harsh chemicals.
- Label carrier sheets — Also known as label release liners, these are the backings that hold pressure sensitive labels before the latter are stuck on packaging. Eco-friendly options include recyclable PET carrier sheets and compostible organic liners.
- Labeling machines — You’ll need to invest in machines that are perfectly suited for both the packaging material and the labeling material you’ll be using. Check out superb options from CTM Labeling Systems.
- Consumer education — Most consumers don’t know that they have to take certain steps before throwing recyclable packaging in the recycling bin. For example, recyclable paper labels must be separated from recyclable plastic containers for both to be recycled. This means that the labels themselves must contain information that teaches consumers the proper way to discard your packaging.
Incorporating label recyclability in already established packaging processes
Using new types of labels in existing packaging processes may prove to be challenging because old labeling machines might not be able to handle recyclable labels, so you may need to invest in new labeling machines. Many models from CTM Labeling Systems may be just what you need to upgrade your packaging facility.
When it comes to packaging and labels, going green isn’t so hard
Using recyclable packaging and labeling is an excellent way to build your company’s overall sustainability efforts. With the right partner, you can find and implement the ideal packaging system for your needs.