Are 100% Biodegradable Containers the Future of Packaging in India?

In recent years there has been a lot of talk about the future of packaging and how businesses need to move towards environmentally supportive packaging alternatives.

In this context, recent news coverage has created a lot of buzz around what it could mean to have a packaging alternative that is safe even for cattle to eat!

According to a feature on BetterIndia.com, a Coimbatore-based entrepreneur, Kalyana Kumar has innovated machinery that can create 100% biodegradable, single-use cutlery and containers using items like banana leaves, wheat &rice bran, millet and vegetable waste, palm tree, and tapioca cassava fiber, and more.

As you can guess, these eco-friendly containers, such as spoons, teacups, glasses, plates, regular and air-tight flasks, etc., are made from natural waste materials and completely safe, even if cattle eat them. Considering the widespread concerns about animals feeding on plastic and plastic waste, this initiative on the part of Kumar is a huge initiative towards promoting sustainability.

In an interview with Better India, Kumar said, “PaakuMattai (areca leaf plates) is a widely used alternative to paper plates. It was one of the few available options of organic raw material that requires less processing. but I found that manufacturers depended on Karnataka for its availability. But since the leaves are only available for six months a year, they faced huge losses in the remaining time. That’s what inspired me to use different raw materials that would be available throughout the year.”

A college dropout, Kalyana’s innovative idea and novel step is beneficial not just for the environment but in other ways too. The 100% biodegradable cutlery and containers can be reused as well as turned into cattle feed! As of now, more research is going into how the raw materials can be used even better at Kalyana’s research lab.

In his talk with Better India, Kumar also added, “During my childhood, we mostly used steel containers for all purposes. Plastic and paper alternatives came in later, but while they were more comfortable to use, they caused serious environmental issues. Shifting to sustainable products is the need of the hour and I hope more companies and groups take up this alternative. Our company is a humble attempt to aid this process.”

Reference:

https://www.thebetterindia.com/273423/biodegradable-cutlery-machines-from-natural-waste-coimbatore-entrepreneur

CLOSING THOUGHTS

There is no doubt that the Indian packaging industry can largely benefit from using biodegradable products actively and more entrepreneurs like Kalyana Kumar are the need of the hour.

Would you like an expert opinion on what kind of packaging materials are best for your products and brand? Feel free to book a discovery call with me at www.chetan-jain.com

Taurus Packaging – Experts To Ace Your PVC To PETG Shrink Sleeve Shift.

There have been a lot of discussions about the importance of shifting from PVC shrink sleeves to PETG shrink sleeves. While a total shift to PETG may not be easy since all types of shrink tunnels and containers are not replaceable with PETG shrink sleeves, companies are looking to make this transition to comply with global standards and for the sake of the environment.

After all, PVC is one of the most troubled plastics in use today, and this calls for serious efforts to negate its bad effects. But how to know whether or not shifting to PETG is feasible for your company? And what is the correct course of action to make this shift with minimum disruption and maximum benefits?

These questions become even more relevant when you take into account that almost 90% of PVC to PETG projects fail or get stalled due to insufficient knowledge, lack of proper planning, lack of expert guidance, and costly mistakes.

It’s here that you need the expertise of a Shrink Sleeve specialist like Taurus Packaging.

 

Taurus Packaging – Pioneers in PVC to PETG Transition

 Judging the suitability of a move from PVC to PETG shrink sleeves is the job of an expert. Someone adept at understanding the technicalities and short-term and long-term repercussions of this shift. That’s why companies across India trust Taurus Packaging.

 

With Mr. Chetan Jain at the helm, Taurus Packaging–

  • Provides clients sustainable non-PVC shrink sleeves with exceptional ease zero or minimal additional costs.
  • Helps clients to convert their PVC sleeves to PETG sleeves without changing their existing Shrink Tunnel infrastructure.
  • Educates their clients from start to finish, teaching them the essential steps they need to follow to complete the transition from PVC to PETG.
  • Offers detailed hand holding from start to finish while paying attention to minute details, so there are no mistakes or loopholes.
  • Provides up to 5 of the latest, most innovative sustainable non-PVC shrink sleeve options that you can start using for your business.
  • Informs their clients why 90% of the PVC to PETG projects fail and how to avoid those mistakes.

 

Over the years, Taurus Packaging has carried out hands-on research in PVC to PETG shift. They have worked on numerous client projects and delivered fool-proof solutions that support our environment while being economically feasible.

One of the perfect case studies of their achievements is when one major client was struggling to shift from PVC to PETG for two years after trying with multiple sleeve suppliers and failed to shift even after modifying their shrink tunnels. And they then helped achieve the perfect result in PETG sleeves in one attempt.

Their dedicated team of experts is available round the clock with advice and direction on how to move from PVC to PETG sleeves.

If you are considering making the big shift to PETG shrink sleeves, contact Taurus Packaging today! Their skilled team of experts will reach out to you to discuss your needs and guide you.

 

You can also reach out to Mr. Chetan Jain and book a free discovery call with him at www.chetan-jain.com.

The Resurgence of Paper Bottles: But Are They Even Practical?

From a sustainability point of view, paper reigns supreme. With the sensitization towards the perils of plastic usage increasing across the globe, companies are actively seeking recyclable alternatives to plastic. So much so that many leading brands are embracing paper bottles as their preferred choice of packaging!

Let’s look at this surprising pick in some more detail. 

 

GROWING POPULARITY OF PAPER BOTTLES

 Though paper bottles have been around for some time now, their popularity is seeing an upward swing, with big brands like PepsiCo and Absolut now looking to transition from plastic to paper bottles.

 

A feature on Packaging Digest provides an in-depth look at this shift – 

Interestingly, brand Johnnie Walker’s parent company Diageo is all set to package their spirits brands in 100% plastic-free bottles this year.

Here’s what Drishti Masand, Market Analyst, and Associate at Lux Research had to say about this growing shift in an exclusive interview with Packaging Digest –

“While the concept of a paper bottle is not new, it can be considered as an emerging trend as the popularity and awareness of it is on the rise at the moment with more brands and industries, for example, personal care brands like L’Oréal also adopting paper bottles.”

When asked about the shortcomings of plastic packaging, she pointed out how paper-based packaging requires greater mass than plastic to complete the same function. So in a way, paper’s impact on the environment other than its carbon footprint is higher.

What’s more, relying on paper is a temporary hack as it can result in a major shortage in supply and the higher price is another factor that shouldn’t get ignored.

 

Though it may seem as though the influx of paper bottles can cause a major upheaval in the realm of plastic bottles, it will still take a lot of time for any significant changes to happen. More so because there is considerable hope that recycling plastics will see widespread innovations and technological breakthroughs over the years.

 

PLASTIC LINING INSIDE PAPER BOTTLES

Even if companies start adopting paper bottles extensively to package their beverages, these bottles will still require an internal plastic lining to protect them from environmental factors. Now, considering, this plastic must be separated for proper recycling, the problem still remains, especially because companies are not using such advanced technology. And then there is the question about the plastic bottle caps which also must be removed.

 

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Though it may seem as though we have found a solution to the plastic recycling problem in paper bottles but in reality, it isn’t as straightforward as it may appear. Even if paper bottles do get more takers, it still doesn’t have the capacity to disrupt the plastic bottle industry in a major way. There is hope that with time, many more innovations will be made in the recycling technologies that will help our industries to conquer the plastic menace.

 

Would you like an expert opinion on whether opting for paper bottles is right for your brand? Feel free to book a discovery call with me at www.chetan-jain.com.

 

Credits:

https://www.packagingdigest.com/beverage-packaging/are-paper-bottles-sustainable-and-practical

Shrink Sleeves on Beer Cans & Their Advantages

We all know that shrink sleeves have revolutionized the packaging industry with their numerous features and functions. And now its benefits are also being felt by small-scale manufacturers, particularly those dealing in all kinds of aluminum cans.

 

Bottles  Vs. Cans

There has been a growing shift in the popularity of aluminum cans as a preferred choice of material. You will see more and more beer, cocktail, and juice brands now opting for packing their products in these cans rather than bottles.

Several reasons contribute to this preference.

Customers prefer cans over bottles as they are highly portable. Moreover, aluminum cans keep the beverage fresh and reduce costs. And the best part, tech innovations have made it possible to package these cans with pre-printed shrink sleeves which is a major improvement over traditional printing done over the cans.

 

Packaging on cans using shrink sleeves

Let’s look at the top benefits of opting for shrink sleeves as a preferred choice of packaging for beverages and beer cans –

Seamless integration & Appeal: One of the major advantages of shrink films on cans is that they take the shape and form of the containers with ease and provide a seamless look and finish. You can go all out with the colour choices and graphics, etc., so your products stand out on shop shelves. The graphics get complete coverage over the entire body of the container and enhance the end-user experience.

Flexibility: Shrink films provide amazing flexibility to product manufacturers and marketers. Since the graphics and design are first finalised, then printed, and then attached to cans, they make it easy to customise or create new designs as and when required, reducing the need to maintain a high inventory. Simply tweak or finalise a new design, get them printed on sleeves; then go ahead and get them onto the required number of blank cans.

 

Beer cans – Regulations in India

The Indian Liquor Excise Law requires that beer cans carry specific markings, highlighting the name of the state or Union Territory.

For craft beers and alcoholic cocktails manufacturers, this becomes a challenging and cumbersome task, especially if they have multiple flavors or variants. It becomes too much of a task to keep the inventories of each state’s printed cans, especially if the requirement falls at the low to mid-level for niche products.

Clearly, sleeving on cans can be a huge success in such cases.

 

Did you know?

Taurus Packaging can help you with short quantities for state-wise excise approvals as well as easy, low volume orders for each state’s specific labels.

 

With us, you get to benefit from the following –

  • Save big on inventory costs as there is no need to maintain high inventories.
  • Get sleeves quantity lower than MOQ of printed cans
  • Get highly attractive shrink sleeves for your beverage cans that get your products noticed on shop shelves.

Now that you know about the benefits of sleeves on cans, it’s time to revisit your packaging initiatives and make the best of this popular and highly beneficial technology. There’s a lot we can do with finishes and patterns so sky is the limit for your packaging priorities.

Would you like to know more about how Taurus Packaging has helped beverage clients solve their packaging needs and save big on costs? Contact Us and we will be happy to share our case studies with you.

The Growing Shortage Of Shipping Containers And Its Impact On Polymers

There is no denying that COVID 19 has altered the lives of people globally. So much so that its impact on business and trade continues to date.

Ever since the pandemic, the shipping industry has been facing massive disorder and mayhem – the kind that has never been seen or heard before. And this disruption has spiraled into the polymer market as well. Let’s look at it in some more detail.

Demand And Supply – The Changing Game

During the formative days of COVID 19, life nearly came to a standstill including, global trade. With nothing moving as expected and restrictions imposed throughout the world, shipping companies were forced to cancel trips and halt all activities. Many containers got stuck at ports.

But slowly, as the economy started showing signs of revival, especially in the US, there was again a surge in demand, a rise in imports from Asia, and a growing trade deficit. To meet this heightened demand, companies needed more containers and vessels to ship the cargo – creating a severe shortage of both.

The sudden revival of activity meant more ships were waiting to dock and unload the cargo – sometimes waiting for weeks to unload. And the resultant delay in getting back to reload, forcing excessive congestion, delays and stressing the global supply chain even further. With so much tug of war happening between imports and exports, the shipping costs have fluctuated too.

How Its Affected Polymers

The low availability of shipping vessels and high shipping costs created an unprecedented imbalance in the polymer market. And since polymers have a direct relationship with the packaging industry, as food packaging materials, their prices were also impacted.

So even though polymer prices may be low in one country, the overall absence of shipping options has led to lopsidedness and lack of movement of materials to stabilize the cost. Additionally, the shortage of imports is fueling a rise in domestic prices due to reviving and increased demand – creating a spiraling effect felt even today.

Also worth noting is the fact that at the time when the pandemic was at its peak, numerous people lost their jobs. As a result, household income was severely affected. With fluctuations in spending power, the demand for plastic products got impacted too.

Closing Thoughts

Who would have thought two years ago that the world would undergo such mammoth changes which would alter the course of how we live, trade, and function? Only time will tell whether the aftermath of the COVID pandemic will ease completely, and things will go back to normal – not just in peoples’ lives but the world of shipping, trade, and polymers as well. Until then, it will be interesting to watch whether the polymer prices stabilize and the changing trends, not just in India but on the global scene.

Would you like an expert opinion on how to tweak your packaging strategies and account for the price fluctuations currently seen in the packaging industry? Then feel free to book a discovery call with me at www.chetan-jain.com.

The Why and How of Artwork Pre-Distortion for Shrink Sleeves

Branding without shrink sleeves has become unimaginable. A well-designed and properly executed shrink sleeve application promises enhanced brand recognition, recall and visibility for your products on cluttered shop shelves.

However, it is crucial to understand the possible and often staggering setbacks you could face if you do not consider the effects of shrink distortion on your artwork design.

 

The Dilemma of 2D VS 3D

The shrink sleeve making process is pretty straightforward. It starts with designing the artwork and transferring it to the film via printing. The film is joined together and placed over the destination container or bottle. Next, it is time for the heat tunnel where the sleeve gets shrunk to fit around and onto the bottle.

 

What could go wrong?

Since the printed artwork is 2D and its execution is in 3D, there are high chances of the artwork becoming distorted and looking different from the intention. Hence, the need for pre-distortion of graphics comes up.

 

Pre-distortion to The Rescue

During the graphic pre-distortion stage, keep in mind the shape of the container and how much shrinkage is typical for the chosen material.

Until recently, pre-distortion was primarily a manual and experimental task that required multiple rounds of revisions, causing massive delays.

Thankfully, massive R&D in this field has brought about state-of-the-art 3D rendering technology to visualise the expected shrinkage.A good case in point is the advanced Distortion Prediction Technology™ we use at Taurus Packaging.

It allows us to visualise the container in 3D and how the graphic will appear after the expected shrinkage. Once everything is checked, the pre-distortion gets done.Next, the rendered ARC™3D image of your sleeved container shows how the sleeves would appear in real-time.If everything is on point, the design is ready to be printed.

 

Closing Thoughts

Artwork pre-distortion is a crucial step that must get incorporated into your shrink sleeve development process. Distortion prediction allows graphics and text to appear flawlessly on products so you can make good branding decisions before going for commercial approvals.

 

Do you require R&D guidance and expert technical support to eliminate glitches in your shrink sleeve development and design processes? Book a discovery call with me at www.chetan-jain.com

What is PCR and The Shift Towards PCR Plastics

In a previous article on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), I have discussed the responsibility of brands to recover, recycle, reuse, and dispose of the products they produce. And how they need to innovate their waste management initiatives.

Now, what if you could shift to packaging made from recycled materials? Such a step could help you preserve the environment, stop depending on consumers to recycle after use, and cater to shoppers who favor sustainable brands.

This is the crux of PCR!

What is PCR?

The term PCR refers to Post-Consumer Recycled (reprocessed) plastic, primarily manufactured at recycling plants from items that consumers have, in a way, already recycled. Hence, PCR plastic is clean plastic that needs no further recycling. Since PCR plastic comes from reprocessed or post-consumer plastic waste, it reduces the load on landfills – which is a big PLUS.

 

Sustainable Packaging With PCR

PCR packaging film is a sustainable packaging alternative. It is made using the reprocessed PCR plastic which is derived from recycled materials like plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, and aluminum, etc.

Hence, it is a much better alternative to virgin plastic derived from non-renewable resources like natural gas, putting a strain on our environment.

 

Benefits of PCR Plastic And Its Usage

 

POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT: Unlike virgin plastic, post-consumer recycled plastic is gentle on our planet. Since plastic waste gets rooted in recycling facilities, PCR plastic helps reduce toxic plastic waste that piles up at landfills.

 

STEP TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY: There is a consistent rise in the number of shoppers and consumers sensitized about preserving the environment for their future generations. These individuals are making conscious efforts to buy from brands with strong sustainability goals. Hence, using PCR materials for your packaging needs will help you become more sustainable and tap into this growing consumer base.

 

FLEXIBLE PACKAGING MATERIAL: Today, PCR packaging films are being used to fulfill packaging needs across all major industries, including pharma and food. It is a flexible material that meets and passes all kinds of stringent quality checks.

 

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Today, companies worldwide are taking their sustainability goals seriously and recognizing the importance of reducing their carbon footprint. In this context, the shift towards PCR plastic materials is a welcome move. Though still in its early stages, it will be interesting to see how well brands adapt to this change and include post-consumer recycled plastic and packaging for their products.

Would you like an expert opinion on how you can support your sustainability goals with PCR plastic? Then feel free to book a discovery call with me at www.chetan-jain.com.

 

The Importance of Colour-Matching in Printed Packaging And How To Do It?

Colours form the heart and soul of print designs. So it is no wonder that brands spend a lot of time and attention selecting the correct colour scheme for their product’s packaging. However, the work does not stop here as it’s equally important to bring the design to life, exactly, the way it looks on the computer. Any mismatch and the printed design may appear far different from the intention, leading to unavoidable delays and unnecessary panic. It is here that the concept of color-matching comes in.

What is Colour Matching?

Simply put, colour matching refers to making sure that the colours in your packaging design, visible on screen, look the same once the design gets printed and takes its place on the final product. Hence, color-matching is crucial in printed packaging. It not only helps to maintain colour accuracy in terms of its hue, brightness, and saturation but avoids last-minute surprises and deviations from the intended result.

Ways to Achieve Colour Correctness in Printed Packaging

 

1.  Start Designing in the Most Appropriate Colour Space

Colours get represented differently in different colour spaces. Hence, to get desired results, it is recommended to work in the correct colour space right from the beginning. It means that you may have to go beyond the default colour profiles on your system, such as sRGB, and install the one most appropriate for your projects like Adobe RGB or CMYK.

2. Use Proofing Tools to Generate a Soft-Proof of Your Designs

Before you spend time and money printing the hard-proof of your design and being disappointed with the results, go in for soft-proofing using a calibrated monitor. An electronic-screen soft-proof is a highly beneficial alternative to get a sense of what the design and colours will look like upon printing and whether or not you’re on the right track.

3. Don’t Forget the Physical Print Proofs

After checking the artwork on your monitor, it’s time to get a digitally-printed physical proof of the design. Though it may seem unimportant, it is, in fact, the hard printed proof that helps to spot problem areas and possibly foretell inconsistencies that may crop up in the final version the printing press sends you and avoid them beforehand.

 4. Communicate Your Expectations to The Printer

It is always good practice to brief your printer about your expectations correctly, especially when they’re about to tackle large runs, tricky print jobs and complex reprints. So do provide them with colour matching samples, reference prints, and colour mixing references to maintain colour accuracy & reduce time wastages in corrections.

5. Ask for Cylinder Proofs

Most printers and consumers depend on cylinder proofs for print approval since they give the right colours up to a certain extent. However, cylinder proof does have its limitations.

  • The cylinder manufacturer must be using the same film and inks to match the proof, or there will be a deviation.
  • Proofing is done with high viscosity inks, whereas in printing, viscosity is lower, which can produce variations between the proof and the actual print run.
  • Proofing happens at a much slower speed than the actual commercial speed of printing. Slow speed would mean there would be a difference in dot transfer, thereby affecting the colours.

Though cylinder proof is a sensible parameter to check the print job, it can differ from the actual result. Hence, do keep a certain tolerance for colour shades in mind when relying on cylinder proofs.

6. Opt for a Colour Library

If you need special or uncommon colour profiles for your print packaging, you might want to consider working with a colour library such as Pantone or CMYK equivalents. For one, you will have access to a full gamut of colour references. And two, maintaining colour accuracy and representing your brand correctly will no longer be challenging.

7. Use Extended Colour Gamut Printing (ECG)

Extended Colour Gamut Printing is the methodology of introducing three additional inks, Orange, Green & Violet (OGV), to the CMYK Process Colours, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black during printing. Adding the extra colours extends or expands the range of colour printing and helps to reduce the overall dependence on spot colours. The resultant printed images are a lot more vivid with negligible colour difference.

8. Pay Attention to the Lighting

Whether you’re approving proofs or colour matching, it is crucial to have the correct lighting since even the slightest variation in your light source can change how visual is perceived. So try to maintain standard lighting conditions as that goes a long way in avoiding faulty approvals and perception-related glitches.

According to the International Standards Organisation ISO 3664, you should view and approve prints under a D50 equivalent light source.

 

CLOSING THOUGHTS

A little planning and forward-thinking goes a long way to complete the printing project without delays, rework, and glitches. And ensuring that you get your printed colours right and in perfect sync with the intended results.

 

Do you need an expert’s opinion on how you can improve your printing procedures and get consistent results, every time? Then feel free to book a discovery call with me at www.chetan-jain.com.

 

How Shrink Sleeves Affect PP Container Recycling

In our previous article, we talked about the effect of shrink sleeves on PET bottle recycling. In this article, let’s look at how PP containers react to recycling when shrink sleeves stay attached to them.

PP or Polypropylene is a type of plastic commonly used to manufacture food containers utilized in packaging takeaway food items and beverages, etc.

Though PP containers are recyclable, certain film substrates interfere with the recycling process if they are left attached to the containers. That’s why businesses must know which shrink films are best for proper recycling and the correct procedures to follow during PP container recycling.

 

Selection of a Film Substrate

Compatibility: Some sleeve label materials have a density of <1.0 and thus float in the float/sink tank, remaining with the PP. This material cannot be removed during the recycling process. Hence, it can contaminate the recycled PP if not compatible with the PP.

 

What’s the Solution?

  • Films compatible with PP recycling sink in water and can separate from the PP floating in the water. That’s why a preferred choice is to use full bottle sleeve labels specifically crafted for automatic sorting.
  • Considering that a full bottle sleeve gets attached to the full surface of the bottle, leaving only a small portion uncovered, we must select a material compatible with automatic sorting, or the sorter machine may segregate the PP bottle with the wrong materials destroying it.
  • Also, PVC material needs strict avoidance as even a trace amount can contaminate the reprocessed PP.

 

Label Inks

The type of ink used on sleeve labels of PP containers also has a bearing on their recyclability.

For example, certain types of label inks bleed during the wash step of the recycling process. If the PP container catches on to the ink color, it becomes discolored, making it even more difficult to salvage the PP and turning it reusable for various intended purposes.

 

What’s the Solution?

  • It is recommended to select inks with the correct density, so they stay on the label during the wash process.
  • And do not bleed and mix with the water.

 

Why Using Pressure-Sensitive PP/PE Labels is Detrimental for PPRecycling?

When recycling a PP container, it is important to know how a certain film substrate will behave in contact with water.

Will the adhesive used to secure the label give away and release the label or will it keep the label held on to the container? In other words, will the label sink or float?

Hence, it is here that testing the adhesives to see how they react becomes crucial. Either the adhesive must be well suited to the PP or it should come off hassle-free during the wash process.

If not, and even the slightest traces of the adhesive stay, it will discolor the recycled PP, spoiling the end result.

 

Model Specifications – Shrink Sleeve Labels for PP Bottles

 According to the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), here are the identified characteristics considered compatible with PP recycling –

 Full Compatibility: Sleeves PETG with density >1 g/cm³, and with a size that does not hinder the recognition of the underlying PP-polymer.

Limited Compatibility: Sleeves in PVC, PLA, PS (all with density > 1 g/cm³)

Low Compatibility: Sleeves that hinder the recognition of the PP; Sleeves in non-PP-materials with density < 1 g/cm³; Aluminium/Metalised Sleeves; Heavily inked sleeves

 

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Considering that plastic continues to be frequently used in packaging and requires proper recycling, it is the responsibility of businesses to be conscious about their choices.

The future may see us joining hands with label suppliers who offer recycling-compatible sleeves for their products. But until then, it is on us to do our bit towards a cleaner, safer environment for us and our future generations.

 

Would you like to get an expert opinion on the best recyclable packaging solutions for your products? Then feel free to book a discovery call with me at www.chetan-jain.com.

How Shrink Sleeves Affect Pet Bottle Recycling

Every business that is a part of the packaging industry must know the importance of proper recycling, be it manufacturers, label suppliers, or consumer brands. And considering that a lot of different materials get used to creating products, it is crucial to understand how shrink sleeves affect their overall recyclability.

In this article, we will look at the effects of shrink sleeves when PET bottles and containers are attached to get recycled – along with how to better the recycling process using globally recognized options and alternatives.

Let’s dive in.

Compatibility of PVC, PETG, OPS, and PLA Film Substrate

Research shows shrink-label films made of PVC, PETG, PLA &OPS are incompatible with PET recycling.

For example, if we use PVC shrink label films and recycle the PET containers they are attached to, it causes black speck contamination, making the container non-recyclable.

Similarly, using PETG shrink label film, PLA or OPS shrink sleeves also render the containers incapable of recycling and cause complicated issues.

 

What’s The Solution?

 

  • Before recycling PET bottles and containers, the sleeves attached to them need to be removed so that the films do not interfere with the recycling process.
  • Another option is to use PET-based films. Once crystallized, they recycle along with the bottles to which they are attached.
  • You can also opt for labels and films that leave the PET bottle and stay suspended in the water.

 

Printing Inks

During the wash step of the recycling process, the PET flake gets combined with the hot alkaline water. Usually, the ink used on the label discolors and contaminates it.

 

What’s The Solution?

 

  • As soon as the ink leaves the shrink sleeve label, it must be carefully cleaned and filtered, not only from the PET flakes but also the wash water to avoid damages.
  • With labels that float in the water, using inks with the right density is important to ensure the labels continue to stay afloat without any chances of descending.
  • And that the inks stay on the label.

 

Growing Awareness About the Importance of Proper Recycling

Over the last couple of years, more businesses have become sensitized about finding ways to recycle PET bottles and containers correctly. As well as ensuring that the labels do not interfere or delay their proper recycling.

For example, de-seaming adhesives are making it simpler, easier, and faster to get the label off the container before it gets washed during recycling.

Innovative label films are coming up in the market to create more sophisticated shrink labels. And certain printing ink formulations no longer jeopardize PET’s recyclability.

Machines such as De-Labelers are speeding up the act of detaching labels from PET bottles at the initial stages of recycling. And much more.

So, it is safe to say that in the coming years, more advancement in PET recycling can be expected throughout the world.

 

Model Specifications – Shrink Sleeve Labels on PET Containers

Full Compatibility: Sleeves with density <1 g/cm³, and with a size that does not hinder the recognition of the underlying PET-polymer.; PET (not PETG) sleeves with washable inks.

LIMITED COMPATIBILITY: Twin-perforated sleeves for easy removal.

LOW COMPATIBILITY: Sleeves that hinder the recognition of the underlying PET-polymer (e.g., too large, metalized, heavily inked);

Sleeves with density >1 g/cm³ (e.g.,PVC; PS; PET; PETG); Foamed PETG sleeves (even with density <1 g/cm³);

PETG sleeves with non-washable inks.

 

CLOSING THOUGHTS

As the world moves towards responsible recycling and sustainability, it is the duty of every business in the packaging supply chain to contribute to this endeavor by making the right shift.

There should be a greater focus on sensitizing businesses and consumers about recyclability guidelines and label removal before disposing of PET bottles. And with time, brands should look towards collaborating with label suppliers that offer recycling-compatible sleeves for their products.

A little effort in the right direction can make a big difference.

 

Would you like to get an expert opinion on the best recyclable packaging solutions for your products? Then feel free to book a discovery call with me at www.chetan-jain.com.