Flexible packaging is gaining grounds in the field of primary packaging. Advancements in material science have allowed manufacturers to create flexible packaging the food and beverage industry better than before. This packaging can maintain the primary function of protecting its contents while providing the advantages of lower weight, better performance, and a much lower scope of contamination. Flexible packaging is also easier to handle and store, making transportation of goods a lot smoother.
The number of developments in the field of packaging materials and packaging technologies in the last few years has significantly impacted the global flexible packaging market in a positive manner. These developments have helped boost the scope of use for flexible packaging for various end use application areas as well as product varieties in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and consumer goods sector. This in turn has led to the growth of this market. Some of the other factors behind the increasing demand for flexible packaging include light weight of packaging, increase shelf life of perishable products, easy identification of tampering on the packaging, and effective resistance against foreign adulteration.
While there are many benefits of flexible packaging, there are a few issues which is expected to restrict the growth of the market. The use of multiple layers of a variety of materials in this form of packaging makes recycling a difficult and complicated procedure. In many instances the combination of plastic and metal is used for flexible packaging which makes the recycling process difficult because plastic is easy to recycle as compared to metals. With environmental sustainability norms becoming stringent why the day, the aforementioned issues with regards to flexible packaging will act as a challenge for the market.
Flexible packaging has been the mainstay of the packaging industry for many years especially in food packaging. The label and packaging industry has risen to surprising heights since flexible film innovation. Packaging has grown and evolved to acclimate to the needs of products around the globe because of the development and utilization of these films, manufacturing practices, and continual improvements. Flexible film’s abundant characteristics such as the application of various manufacturing methods and supplementary polymer provide the means to increase the appeal to a broad spectrum of products.
Standing Out in the Crowd
Today, technical advancements have also dramatically changed how packaging is viewed. Shrink sleeve labeling is a new trend in flexible packaging changing the way consumer marketers introduce and push new products. Shrink sleeve labels wrap around products such as a bottle and or container allowing the marketer 360 degrees of space to entice a potential consumer to try their product. High impact graphics usually stand out on the grocery shelf when shrink Sleeve labeling material are used. The use of noticeable inks and patterns on the label grab attention. Many shoppers will make unintended purchases by reading these labels. Hence, to introduce a new product without spending heavily on media advertising buys, shrink sleeve labeling is an inexpensive and effective way to choose.
Traditionally, a new product rollout would be very expensive costing several hundred thousand dollars just to get minimal consumer awareness. Some campaigns would be in the millions. This is a very expensive gamble if the product did not take off as expected.
Adding New Appeal To a Product
Nowadays, marketers use shrink sleeve product marketing to affordably check their brand appeal and market potential. The shrink sleeve labeling is a new trend that is good for consumers and marketers alike. Consumers will get more choices and marketers can introduce new offerings without a major financial risk other than production and shipping cost. However, consumers may make more unplanned purchases but even this may be a good thing.
These shrink sleeve labels even allow for changes that may stimulate sell of existing store products. Some products even though they are of high quality may start to seem outdated as time goes on. A new label can add spice and appeal. The use of the shrink sleeve labeling can stimulate sales and grab an increasing share of the product demand.
Choosing a Expert to Work With
Labels work well in marketing your product especially if designed and produced by a professional shrink sleeve design and manufacturer. They must understand the consumer for which the product is targeted and have an expert knowledge of graphics and images that sell. Choosing the right shrink sleeve labeling partner is vital to any campaign. Look for a company that has experienced and has won many awards in the industry for their labels when looking to produce new product labels.
Learn more about Anchor Printing and their vast line of custom product label & packaging options including: Shrink Sleeve Labels, Flexible Packaging, Roll-Fed Labeling, Pressure Sensitive and Cut & Stack Labels at http://anchorprinting.com/flexible-packaging.php. To contact one of our label specialists call toll free at 800.748.0209 or via email at email@example.com.
Food labels include information about the product such as the protein and sugar content, minerals, vitamins, and other relevant information. It is an essential part of product manufacturing and reports have shown that buyers pay close attention to the “facts” on a product label before making a purchase. It is important to have a well prepared manufacturing plan – no matter the size of your operation, as this will ensure you avoid common labeling mistakes. Here are a few mistakes you must steer clear from.
Following basic legal requirements for the labeling of your food product is crucial to the success of your business. Requirements such as country of origin, net contents, place of business, product name, manufacturer’s details, expiry dates, legibility, nutrition facts, and warnings/statement about allergens. In order to ensure you meet the food labeling requirements in your country, it would be ideal to review the labeling laws and approval process.
Illegible or Unreadable Labeling
Legible labeling is one of the basic requirements for a good food product label. Your products would hardly make any fruitful outing in the market if the labeling is illegible and difficult to read. Your business may even nosedive if your food products miss important information. This is because if the product makes it to the shelf and a consumer purchases it, you may be exposing such one to high level health risks.
Illegible labeling is a common occurrence with those who produce food products in large quantities at a go since maintaining a regulated labeling order could be difficult. Shrink labeling is a flexible packaging type that is ideal for high volume manufacturers. Aside its colorful and appealing designs, shrink labeling has a full body label space where you can input as much relevant information as possible.
Incorrect or Uncommon Ingredient List
Have you listed in the ingredients on your food labeling? Are they correct? Will your target consumer easily relate with the list on your product? Using uncommon names such as trade names or abbreviations would do your product no good. Always ensure you strictly adhere to FDA food labeling regulations – do not take any shortcuts while listing the items used in manufacturing the food you produce.
Nutrition Data Issues
Many consumers scrutinize the nutritional facts on your product before making purchase especially when they are managing certain health issues. These issues could include high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, and obesity. Hence, you have to be sure of the data on your labels – and you must be honest too. Details such as servings per container, your serving size, and the real item values must be double checked. Publicizing wrong information can have severe negative impact on your brand loyalty in the long term.
It is common for food products today to have common claims such as low fat, gluten free, no sugar, high protein, organic, and farm fresh. It is not just enough to convince a consumer with such health claims. Make sure your claims are verifiable so do not fall fowl of any food legislations. It would not bode well for your business if you do not have credible evidence to support your claims and your product eventually affects a consumer’s health negatively.
Learn more about Anchor Printing and their vast line of custom product label & packaging options including: Shrink Sleeve Labels, Flexible Packaging, Roll-Fed Labeling, Pressure Sensitive and Cut & Stack Labels at http://www.anchorprinting.com. To contact one of our label specialists call toll free at 800.748.0209 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Materials suppliers and film processors have been hard at work creating new label offerings compatible with PET bottle recycling.
Eastman partnered with Sun Chemical to advance the development of an adhesive that enables shrink labels such as those shown here to deseam and release during the bottle-wash step of the wet recycling process.
Shrink-sleeve labels: You see the eye-catching designs everywhere these days on food, beverages and consumer products. Brand owners love them because they offer plenty of real estate on the container to communicate what the product is and overall messaging on a 360° marketable area of the package. And the trend isn’t slowing down—the shrink-label market is expected to grow at a 5.2% annual rate through 2021, reaching $245 million in sales, according to The Freedonia Group’s study, Stretch & Shrink Sleeve Market in the U.S.
While the labels are a success story for brands, they also present a headache for recyclers. About 20 years ago, PVC had the largest market share of shrink-film labels. But 10 years ago, the industry started shifting away from PVC shrink labels because of environmental concerns.
“It’s highly undesirable to have PVC mixed with PET in recycling,” says John Standish, technical director of the Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR), Washington, D.C. “One of the most important steps in recycling PET is called ‘float and sink’ and PVC has a high density and sinks in the water. It gets mixed in with PET and gets trapped in the ‘float and sink’ step.”
The industry started to shift to PETG-based film, but that also created issues for recyclers. According to a 2014 APR report, shrink-sleeve labels that are PVC-based or PETG-based film have a density higher than water and can’t be separated from PET flakes during the sink-float separation step of the recycling process, so they contaminate the recycled PET stream and deteriorate the quality of recycled PET (rPET) products.
With the increased usage of these labels, recyclers were experiencing a rising volume of shrink-labeled PET containers that were not recyclable. It is estimated that PET bales contain approximately 5% shrink-labeled containers. The challenge of removing shrink labels during PET recycling was brought to the industry’s attention by APR and the National Association of PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), Florence, Ky., in 2012. APR established guidelines for label manufacturers and an official Critical Guidance Recognition program to encourage development of labels that are more compatible with PET bottle recycling systems.
But the big push came from brand owners: Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Walmart, and Unilever are among those who have made pledges to use 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025.
“Labels create a variety of challenges, as they add to the complexity for the PET recycler,” Standish says. “But thanks to brand-owner requirements, the recycling aspect is a must-have. We know major brand owners are evaluating the options and we believe that 2018 will be the year we start to see the new options in the marketplace.”
DESEAM & RELEASE LABEL ADHESIVE
Eastman Chemical, Kingsport, Tenn., has been in the shrink-film label market since the early 1990s. Early polyester-based shrink labels consisted of blends of several different types of polyester, but in the late 1990s Eastman developed a reactor-grade resin that had very unique shrinkage properties, says Ronnie Little, Eastman’s market-development manager, SP-Plastics Packaging. This patented resin has become the industry standard for shrink-film labels.
Eastman Embrace LV copolyester (PETG-based) enables differentiated labeling wrapped around highly contoured, complex and thin-walled containers, and it displays 75% ultimate shrinkage. Little says that shrink labels made from Embrace resins are on some of the most recognizable brands in the world. A few examples include Method soaps and household cleaners, Malibu rum, Jack Daniels, 94Wines and Bayer garden products.
However, there is still the recyclability concern. Eastman has been very vocal about working to find a solution and in 2012, organized a consortium to collaborate on ways to solve this issue. Little says that as result of the work of the consortium, Eastman partnered with ink maker Sun Chemical, Parsippany, N.J., to advance the development of a deseamable adhesive. The result is Sun Chemical’s SunLam Deseaming Adhesive. By changing from a traditional solvent to use of SunLam Deseaming Adhesive, shrink labels deseam and release during the bottle-wash step of the wet recycling process.
Little says that for brand owners, this can be done with minimal process changes or additional investment in new equipment. The only change needed is the adhesive. The label removal occurs prior to color, infrared and manual sorting, thus preventing shrink-labeled PET bottles being removed from the rPET stream due to misidentification.
“Eastman’s partnership with Sun Chemical to develop deseaming had both companies walking into unchartered territory,” Little says. “Eastman and Sun extensively tested SunLam on labels made with Eastman Embrace LV copolyester.”
According to Little, they ran thousands of shrink-labeled containers at commercial recycling facilities to determine the effectiveness of label separation. Test variables included time in the actual recycling process, temperature of the recycle wash water, and the caustic level of the wash water. This led to optimizing the deseaming adhesive formulation to work efficiently, allowing the shrink label to come off the PET bottle prior to sortation. The result is a label-free PET container ready to be processed into rPET.
SunLam Deseaming Adhesive has received a “Responsible Innovation Acknowledgment” after passing testing outlined by APR. The tests utilized whole-bottle wash equipment at commercial recycling facilities and yielded results of greater than 95% label removal, with results typically exceeding 99%.
“Removing shrink-sleeve labels early in the recycling process virtually eliminates misidentification of PET bottles during sorting, as well as contamination that occurs in the sink-float separation process,” Little says. “Not only do labels seamed with SunLam Deseaming Adhesive release during the whole-bottle wash, the adhesive also forms a strong bond on the shrink-sleeve label that lasts through all phases of the PET bottle’s life cycle, from the sleeve shrinking, through transporting to store shelves, and consumer use.”
FLOATABLE SHRINK FILMS
Timothy Kneale, president of Topas Advanced Polymers, Florence, Ky., joined the company in 2004 and said that the company’s work in sleeve labels was already taking place with multiple commercial users of labels from various film producers. As the usage of sleeve labels continue to grow each year, Topas became focused on a drop-in option to the current recycling infrastructure.
“We have been working on a solution that enables shrink labels to float, and we’re seeing a lot more interest in that as time goes on and consumers and brand owners get more serious about demanding effective recycling solutions,” he says. “You see the commitments from big beverage companies and Walmart—the big players are coming together and drawing a line in sand that by 2025, this must be fixed.”
Enter Topas’ cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) material for shrink applications. These polyolefin film structures will float during the washing stage to facilitate separation of label and bottle materials. Kneale said floatable labels are made by multi-layering COC with PE or PP.
Kneale says that PP has a density around 0.90 g/cc, and LLDPE around 0.92. These are coextruded with COC (1.01 g/cc) so that the final structure is in the 0.95 or lower density range.
“This means the labels will float even with ink applied,” he says. “We believe the floatable solution is the best; it’s universally applicable, and every MRF (Material Recovery Facility) can do this. There’s no additional equipment to buy; it’s a perfect drop-in for recyclers.”
Topas says that COC shrinkage can be as high as that of PVC or PETG, and the Topas COC enables label manufacturers to make low-density, flotation-separable labels that meet the APR guidelines. “The COC brings high shrink, high gloss, great ink adhesion, easy cutting of labels, and high stiffness,” Kneale says. “These are all things that ordinary polyolefins (PP, PE) do not do well by themselves.”
“Labels create a variety of challenges, as they add to the complexity for the PET recycler.”
One processor running Topas COC is Taghleef Industries of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a supplier of films to the global marketplace. Kneale says that the Taghleef film passed all of APR’s flotation tests, which confirms that the label stock will float in water and that the label does not interfere with the color or haze of recycled PET. In 2017, Taghleef introduced its polyolefin TDS label film that is clear and floatable, with up to 65% shrinkage.
Other processors that have developed floatable solutions meeting APR’s guidelines include Klöckner Pentaplast, Gordonsville, Va., with its Pentalabel ClearFloat; and UPM Raflatac, Mills River, N.C. UPM Raflatac says that during the recycling process, its RafShrink PO MDO 40 HS film ensures clean separation from clear PET bottles by floating to the top of the caustic washing solution, unlike PVC and PETG labels, which sink with PET bottle material.
“What’s exciting now is there’s all these different options,” APR’s Standish says. “The view of PET recycling is that I don’t care which one you use —just do something different, get new materials in the market and gain experience, and let’s all move forward with recycling.”
Shrink sleeves are perfect for beverage packaging, food packaging, home, and personal care packaging as well as certain industrial products. In fact shrink sleeves are a great packaging option for most products that are packaged in containers such as bottles.
Bringing together all of the elements in shrink sleeve designand manufacturing require careful thought. In some cases a customer can simply move from a traditional self adhesive label to a shrink sleeve without the need to change the container type. This is made possible by the properties of shrink sleeves and the ability to fit containers of all shapes and sizes with ease.
This design often means a shift in the design process to ensure that all of the space on a sleeve is utilized effectively and shrink sleeves can certainly help you achieve this goal via the ability to decorate the full 360 degrees of your product.
When starting a new packaging project a shrink sleeve opens up many other possibilities in terms of the type of containers that can be used meaning that you really have a blank canvas. This means that your packaging designer is able to be as creative as they like when considering the overall package.
With products needing to compete more and more for prime retail space on the supermarket shelves, the need to develop more eye-catching, innovative packaging approaches is greater than ever. Consumers can’t ignore a dramatically differentiated product with enhanced shelf presence, regardless of brand.
Shrink Sleeve Design
Shrink sleeve designs are handy and versatile. They can be made of PC or polyolefin materials. These materials are incredibly strong and abrasion resistance. Both PVC and polyolefin are recyclable. The sleeves can wrap an entire bottle or just the neck. Shrink wrap can also come in tube form or bags. They can be stretched or wrapped to the packaging container.
Shrink Sleeves Labels
Shrink sleeve labels have captured the labels market. It offers quite a range of benefits from security enhancement to cost advantages. The top benefits of shrink sleeve labels are the 360 degree coverage of the product or container.
Shrink Labeling Benefits
Branding – Full display graphics marketing on all sides of the package.
Unique packaging change – They catch consumer’s attention with bright colors and 360 degrees of marketing.
Shelf impact – Shrink sleeves offer a large body of advertising and are engaging for shoppers.
Adaptable – Label that fits all different sizes and shapes of product packaging.
Printing – Printing of shrink sleeve labels does not need to be printed directly on the container.
Transparent – Labels can be printed on transparent material allowing the contents to be visible.
Eco-Friendly – Recyclable and able to leave less of a carbon foot print that other products and packaging materials and use less energy and resources to create them.
Learn more about Anchor Printing and their vast line of custom product label & packaging options including: Shrink Sleeve Labels, Flexible Packaging, Roll-Fed Labeling, Pressure Sensitive and Cut & Stack Labels at http://www.anchorprinting.com/shrink-sleeve.php. To contact one of our label specialists call toll free at 800.748.0209 or via email at email@example.com.