Demystifying Important Role of Labels In Package Sustainability

<p style="text-align: justify;">Majority of beverage bottles use the following three types of labels made with a variety of materials.</p><ol style="text-align: justify;"><li>Roll Fed</li><li>Shrink Sleeves</li><li>Pressure Sensitive</li></ol><p style="text-align: justify;">Roll fed labels are mature and generally speaking do not pose recyclability issues, particularly in North America where most of the label are laminated. As North America transitions from laminated to mono layer (web), it is important to demonstrate that printing inks do not negatively impact PET color.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Growth of both Shrink Sleeve and Pressure Sensitive Labels have exploded and they are projected to grow high 5-7% CAGR over the next 5-7 years. Brand owners have embraced both these label types as it offers premiumization opportunities which consumers like. The volume of both these label types have significantly increased over the last decade and its impact on the overall recyclability of the package is not well understood</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) has been instrumental in leading development of design guide for recyclability. APR design guide covers label sustainability in detail and below is a high-level overview of how brand owners and suppliers to packaging industry can help improve packaging performance for recyclability.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Label Design Guidelines For Entire Recycling Supply-Chain</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">A case study is presented for Taja Coconut Water, a start-up beverage company that has pioneered a breakthrough technology of cold-filtration offering world&rsquo;s first cold-filtered, raw, 100% Coconut Water. TAJA&rsquo;s Coconut Water is never heat treated, always remaining cold to retain 100% of the natural nutrient content. The company has plans to introduce other good for your and functional beverages that are not pasteurized with a long shelf-life.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">A premium product deserved a premium sustainable package. TAJA engaged Ravi Mody, to create a package that is unique and sustainable. The innovation and design for sustainability initiative was focused on ensuring our packaging is fully recyclable. Sensitive products like Coconut Water are often packaged in packaging containing contaminants like colorants, barrier layers, additives, etc. These contaminants reduce the recycling efficiency &amp; sometime renders packaging completely unrecyclable. TAJA&rsquo;s PET bottle is transparent and designed with a transparent label, ideal for NIR sortation. The bottle does not contain any other additives or scavengers ensuring no contamination to recycling stream. Beverage brands typically use shrink sleeve labels made of PETG or PVC which hinders recycling. Most recyclers sort out bottles with shrink sleeves and they end up in landfills. TAJA&rsquo;s bottle employ use of crystallizable PET for the shrink label. This label is fully compatible with PET recycling stream. In addition, since it has the same density as PET material for the bottle, it is collected as PET and this improves yield for recycler which is critical for their profitability.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Ravi Mody

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