Labels are a crucial part of any packaging. They have a strong impact on the purchasing process of consumers by drawing attention to a product. In addition, labels contain plenty of information that can influence consumers to buy a product or look for an alternative.
When buying a product, consumers also take into account how sustainable the product packaging and the used label are. Hence the question is, is plastic better than paper or vice versa? There is no general answer to this question. It is important though that the same materials are used for a packaging, for example a PET label on a PET bottle with a PET cap or a paper label on a cardboard box.
Unlike composite packaging, mono-packaging can be recycled as a whole and without the consumer having to manually separate the different materials that composite packaging are made of. If that doesn’t happen in advance, the only way to recycle is by thermal recycling, or waste incineration.
In addition, the sustainability of a packaging can be increased by using environmentally friendly labels. DTM Print, the German-based international OEM and solution provider for specialty printing systems, has bundled its selection of eco-friendly, recycled or natural labels under the new label line DTM EcoTec. As of now, there are four inkjet materials as part of the EcoTec line, with further substrates to follow.
DTM EcoTec Hemp Paper: This label consists of 100% hemp fibre. Hemp can be harvested up to three times a year, plantation trees only every seven years. Thanks to its fibres, which are five times longer than wood pulp, the material is particularly tear-resistant and can be recycled very often.
DTM EcoTec Grass Paper: The natural grass fibres of the label not only give the paper material its unique, natural look, but also reduces the amount of process water needed in the production process. The adhesive is an acrylic dispersion, permanent, and solvent free, and can be in direct food contact according to EU regulation No. 10/2011.
DTM EcoTec Paper Matte Nature: This paper label is made from 100% recycled backing from used label rolls.
DTM EcoTec Poly Clear Gloss R90: It is a glossy clear poly label, which consists of 90% post-consumer recycled (also known as PCR) PET material. It features the same clarity, mechanical properties, and printing characteristics as its non-PCR counterpart, DTM Poly Clear Gloss. Using PCR material also establishes more recycling volume for the plastic production process and industry.
In addition, the water-soluble adhesive of the aforementioned labels is below 0.01%. That means, it also passes the recycling process.
“To produce exceptional product labels for all kinds of applications, you not only need advanced and resource-friendly print technology as integrated in our colour label printers but also high-quality material,” explains Albion Bekolli, label specialist at DTM Print. “Every product leaves a footprint on our planet and using label material that is environmentally friendly and sustainable helps to keep it as small as possible.”
DTM Print will introduce its DTM EcoTec substrates at Natural & Organic Products Europe in London, 16-17 April 2023. For more information visit dtm-print.eu