Sustainability has long been on the radar of everyday Canadians and an increasing sector of consumers—especially Generation Z, or those born in the mid-to late-90s—are willing to change their spending habits to support environmentally friendly products. A lot goes into the production and marketing of eco-friendly goods but everyone will hit the shelves in some sort of packaging. We’ve read the room. We know that consumers, especially younger ones, want sustainable choices. So do we. That’s why we’ve committed to offering more sustainable label options. We know the label is a small part of your overall packaging, which is only more reason to make sure it’s not the thing that prevents your packaging from being as sustainable as possible. If you’re looking for a way to get your incredible product to market without compromise, read on and see what Lorpon Labels has to offer.
You’ve planned, you’ve tested, you’ve tweaked, and your product is finally ready for your consumers. Now’s the time to pick your packaging, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. You’ll need to think about protecting the product in transit or on the shelf, telling your brand story, and attracting consumer attention. You might also want to consider its impact on the environment. Most people know that plastics wreak havoc in landfills and the ocean but there are other concerns. The production of some materials creates toxic waste and others can’t be recycled. The issue is pressing. We’re as concerned as you are about the environment and climate, and we’ll never recommend products that greenwash your brand. Here are some strategies you can employ right now in your package design.
1. Use a PET liner instead of a paper liner
The liner, which is the material to which printed labels are affixed, is usually made of either paper or polyethylene terephthalate (PET). While it might be counter-intuitive to choose a material made of petroleum products, there are PET liners made of 90-100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content. Chalk one up in the “recycle” column.
All this PCR material come from things like a PET liner recycling program in which you can also choose to take part. You’ll have to get a proper separation system in place, so the PET doesn’t become contaminated by other types of plastic and other materials. Then, once picked up, you get a landfill avoidance letter. Recycling eliminates the cost of having to dispose of the product. Recycle!
Far less petroleum and energy are needed to make PET liners, with a lower carbon footprint, and there is no requirement for forest products. And, as an added bonus, switching to a PET liner will allow you to put 30 -50% more labels on a roll, which means less down time, fewer web breaks, fewer roll changes, i.e.. a more efficient and less wasteful production environment. There are also savings in shipping costs and carbon footprint as your rolls will hold a higher density of labels for the same size, Reduce… are you sensing a trend here?
2. For brands using a PET container, consider wash-off labels
Although PET is a plastic, it remains a popular container choice partly because it has the highest recycle rate. PET containers are a popular choice for clamshell packaging in the produce, bakery, and HMR (Home Meal Replacement) markets, as well as most clear plastic beverage bottles. If you go with PET for the container and affix your labels with a traditional permanent adhesive, the label won’t come off in the recycling process. Instead, consider wash-off label material. Approved by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) to match or exceed its Critical Guidance testing requirements, these materials separate more effectively from PET containers and this eliminates the contamination of the high-value clear PET recycled flake. This will enable better upcycling of clear PET containers – so they stay in the higher value chain, rather than being downcycled into the coloured and mixed recycled plastic market to make things like carpet, and piping. These film face materials are available as clear, white, or silver, and even come with the PET liner that is 90-100% PCR and is also eligible for our liner recycling program.
3. Use Forest Film sustainable labels
If you are already using a white or clear BOPP (polypropylene) label material then we have a great new product that is a drop-in replacement and offers the same performance you are accustomed to with your BOPP films. Forest Film is a new, ISCC certified, 100% renewable wood-based label from UPM Raflatac, with whom we have a long-term partnership. Using these labels will allow you to gradually replace fossil-based film materials so you don’t have to compromise on sustainability or performance. These films also come on a PET liner that is 90-100% PCR and is also eligible for our liner recycling program.
4. Choose 100% PCW uncoated paper
If you prefer paper labels, consider uncoated paper. At Lorpon we have a bright white uncoated paper that is produced with 100% post-consumer waste (PCW) and it also comes with a 90-100% PCR PET liner that is eligible for our liner recycling program. These labels have wet-strength properties and hold up very well in moisture which is why they are used extensively in the beverage market.5. RAFNXT+ and hemp paper
RAFNXT+ paper label materials are sourced from sustainably managed FSC™ certified forests (FSC™-C012530). The range uses less raw materials, energy, and water, and generates less waste during its lifecycle as compared to standard labels. Hemp paper, which is 30% hemp and 70% post-consumer waste, is available for wine, spirits, and craft beverage end-uses and can also be custom tailored with a broad range of adhesives and liners for food and retail uses. Both of these products are sustainable, high-performance, and have fantastic shelf appeal.
These five options are only the beginning. Check-in with us and we’d be happy to plan out an eye-catching, durable, and sustainable package for your product.