Over the last decade, we’ve all become more aware of our effect on the environment and, as business owners, we’ve been taking steps to make our practices more sustainable and to reduce our negative impact on the planet. With that being said, packaging – as we’ve become all too aware – is the greatest cause of waste for most businesses. As such, in order to meet our sustainability goals and make our businesses more environmentally sound, we need to make our packaging protocols more eco-friendly: using less materials and ensuring that these resources cause the least damage to the environment from their production to the end of their life cycle. However, many businesses overlook their labeling choices when it comes to meeting their sustainability goals, despite the fact that a few easy swaps could make a world of difference to how your business’ packaging protocols affect the environment. With that being said, here are 3 things you should take into account when choosing labels for a more sustainable packaging process.
Say ‘no’ to backing paper and opt for linerless labels.
The best labelling choice you can make to reduce your business’ impact on the planet is to use linerless labels, which present the most environmentally friendly labelling option in several ways. Most obviously, the lack of backing paper means that label waste is reduced by half, since there are no liners to dispose of – this also means that about half the material is used to create linerless labels, compared to lined labels, using up less energy and resources. Additionally, going linerless means you’re able to put more labels onto each roll, and most linerless labels are capable of printing the perfect size label for each product so there’s no excess, reducing the production of waste even further.
Some of the less obvious ways that linerless labels contribute to the eco-friendliness of your business is the improved manufacturing efficiency that linerless labels allow, as the more densely packed labels require changing less often. Moreover, fewer fossil fuels are used to transport the labels, as about twice as many labels fit onto each roll. This means that half the rolls are required to be transported for the same number of labels. Not only does this help the environment, but it can reduce shipping costs for your business.
Try to choose labels made from sustainably sourced materials.
While most know to opt for paper labels rather than plastic alternatives such as polypropylene, few know that not all paper labels are made equal. The way that the wood – which is eventually transformed into paper for our labels – is harvested massively influences how sustainable a label can be considered.
For example, if trees are removed indiscriminately from an area without replanting, this is an incredibly unsustainable practice. In contrast, harvesting methods that don’t remove all the trees in an area and that make sure to replant trees in the place of those that were removed is more sustainable.
Consider whether label products have used recyclable/recycled materials.
Another way to meet your sustainability goals is to purchase labels that have been recycled – so that no new resources have been used to create them – or are recyclable. This is significantly more important if you choose to use labels with liners, as twice as much waste will be produced than when using linerless labels, so you’ll want to make sure that the liner is recyclable, since oftentimes they’re not. Using labels with recyclable liners will at least mean that the raw materials will be used several times during their lifetime, before they are disposed of as waste – though using linerless labels with no excess waste is always better.
To upgrade your packaging process with labels that help your business to meet its sustainability goals, shop with Fortoak to obtain the most environmentally friendly linerless labels for your business.