Last year one of our blogs pondered the question: Is Sustainable Packaging a Fairy Tale? Until now, eco-friendly choices have been limited and have not performed as well as traditional materials. When clients come to us with a long list of requirements for their packaging including sustainable labels, often we need to manage expectations on what is actually achievable.
However, with the start of 2020, we’ve been testing out a few new eco-friendly substrate options, and we’re feeling a bit more optimistic!
In the pressure sensitive category, Hemp label stock is a newer alternative that we are excited about. It’s high quality, durable and brighter than previous recyclable choices.
Film At Eleven
Given the rise in popularity of shrink sleeves and flexible packaging, breakthroughs in film are especially needed. We are starting to see some significant advances in plastic resins and extrusions, resulting in both recyclable and compostable options for film packaging:
- In the shrink sleeve category, we are working with SmartCycle, which is actually produced from recycled PET bottles. This option is more resilient than previous shrink films and has the potential to be a sustainable packaging game changer.
- For flexible packaging, we are currently testing a plastic-free compostable film product that’s heat sealable and resistant to oils and greases.
We’ve Already Got The Green Light
Because Overnight Labels is a certified member of the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), we are at the forefront of what is available today. These new options round out Overnight Labels current portfolio of eco-friendly products, which include:
- CleanFlake™ Adhesive – Too much recyclable PET plastic ends up in the waste stream because of contamination from conventional labels, which don’t separate cleanly during the recycling process. This breakthrough adhesive allows the label and package to neatly detach during the recycling process, resulting in pure PET flakes, the conservation of virgin PET resources, and less landfill waste.
- Additional eco-friendly stocks like ,tree-free stock made from bamboo, bagasse, and cotton linters
- Water-based inks with limited VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
Although the packaging industry has just scratched the surface, it has made great strides regarding sustainability. We are starting to see the gap between what brands’ desire and what is possible narrowing. While it’s still about choosing what works best, these recent developments suggest that sustainable packaging is not just a fairy tale…it’s a true story that’s here to stay.
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