Understanding Sustainable Labels: Materials and Tips to Consider

Understanding Sustainable Labels: Materials and Tips to Consider

People are growing more conscious of climate change and how it’s depleting natural resources. Hence, many industries are leaning towards sustainable practices that help reduce packaging waste. For many brands and printing companies, it can mean switching to more eco-friendly packaging solutions.

Embracing a sustainable labeling strategy for your brand may encourage eco-conscious customers to invest more in your products. It also boosts your brand image in the market as an eco-friendly company and eventually helps build customer loyalty. You can accomplish this by implementing sustainable packaging and labeling changes.

What Are Sustainable Labels?

Sustainable packaging labels are product labels that indicate how the product meets eco-conscious practices and standards as compared to other brands. It is typically used to inform customers that your products are better for the environment. 

Many of these sustainable labels use special symbols to help buyers understand the kind of products you have. Labels may also be customized to promote the company’s values and how eco-friendly their product’s materials are. They may also contain information about how these products can be recycled and reused to help reduce waste. 

Sustainable Labels: What Materials to Consider

Before creating a product, consider what sustainable materials best suit your brand. The label must reflect the image and quality of your products. Here are a few examples of sustainable food packaging materials

1. FSC-certified papers

product labels with fsc certification

Papers certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) are made from responsibly sourced wood fiber. By having this clearance, it assures consumers that these materials are produced to meet a high standard. It’s also one of the most highly recommended food and beverage labeling materials. 

2. Plant-based renewable label materials

Renewable label materials include products such as cotton paper, grape waste, agave, and many more. These are typically made from renewable plants or animal feedstocks, and some are entirely biodegradable. 

3. Compostable label materials

Compostable labels are best paired with other compostable packaging materials to provide consumers with a simple way to dispose of your products. Common materials under this category include films, gloss paper, and thermal paper. 

4. Recyclable adhesives

Common eco-friendly adhesive materials are typically made from starches such as corn, sugarcane, and potatoes. Other alternatives also include natural resins, casein, and a few animal sources such as beeswax and bones. These materials can be melted down when recycled without creating additional waste or residue. 

4 Tips to Make Your Labels More Sustainable

There are many known methods on how you can efficiently shift to the use of more sustainable labels. Here are a few eco-friendly packaging examples to help guide you through the process:      

1. Use recycled materials     

product labels from recycled materials

Using recycled materials in your packaging labels can help reduce your brand’s environmental impact. It not only takes less effort to produce, but it also has no adverse effects on your printing quality. Instead of single-use plastics, you can select paper labels or use alternatives such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) liners. 

2. Consider the size of your labels

different product label sizes

Shrinking the size and reducing the overall thickness of your label can be a simple way of reducing your plastic consumption. By doing so, you can also produce more labels per printing batch while boosting your overall operational efficiency. 

3. Select eco-friendly printers

Eco-friendly printers use sustainable ink instead of standard petroleum-based options. The most common substitute is vegetable ink which can be both gentle on the environment and efficient enough to produce high-quality colors and images. But once the material is ready to be recycled, you can easily remove it.

4. Review your production process

All factors of your production should be accounted for to ensure that your brand adheres to its sustainable goals. Besides using eco-friendly materials, your machinery and production line should also cater to green methods. It can imply finding ways to reduce harmful emissions and other greenhouse gasses.

Going Green with Sustainable Solutions

Modern consumers are growing more conscious of their buying habits each day. As a result, there’s a continuous growth in demand for more environmentally friendly products. It applies not only to the product itself but also to its packaging materials. 

By switching to sustainable labels, your brand can proactively be involved in helping the planet recover from the effects of pollution and climate change. Simultaneously, you have the opportunity to promote your business to potential and existing customers and show that your products are worth investing in. 

For more insights on recycling and how you can get started on your sustainable journey, reach out to our team of experts at Meyers today.