mark and label products sustainably

When it comes to sustainability, the lion’s share of the focus is usually devoted to eco-friendly packaging options. Therefore, we’re devoting today’s post to a less-commonly-considered part of the packaging process: the marking and labeling. Although marking and labeling are a small part of the production process, they contribute a significant amount of waste. Below are some ways that small businesses and craft breweries can help mark and label products sustainably.

Ink vs. Labels

Instead of printing information on a paper or plastic label, and then adhering it to the product package, consider applying the label directly onto the item. This method is much more sustainable, because there is no waste created from the discarded backing paper. It’s more cost-efficient, too, because instead of paying for two items—labels and the product packaging—you’re just paying for one.

In addition, most leading brands of commercial inkjet printers have recyclable ink cartridges. These only need to be replaced after several thousand codings. Of course, you will need to invest in an inkjet printer capable printing on various materials. But the one-time investment can save waste in the long run, and double as a great selling point for your eco-minded customers!

Use Eco-Friendly Label Materials

If you still like the labeled look, and the versatility which it provides you, there’s no need to give them up entirely. There are now several eco-friendly label options on the market which are made of renewable, raw materials, like sugar cane fibers, coconut fibers, bamboo, and recycled materials. Some eco-friendly label options are even compostable to boot! (If you decide to go this route, remember to investigate compost-friendly ink, too). Another great option is to use liner-less labels, which produce less waste. Again, all of these are great options for small boutique distributors.

Use Your Space Wisely

This tip can save you a lot in marking and coding supplies, while at the same time reducing packaging waste. Take a look at all the labels or symbols which will be applied to your product, and look for unused white space that could be filled. Many companies use labels that are too large for the information printed on them, in order to make the data more legible. But in the age of automation, many labels and codes will be read by scanners and sensors that do not require as large a size as we do. You might be able to reduce expenses, and material waste, by making your labels smaller.

Mark and Label In-House

A couple weeks ago, we wrote about the advantages of printing labels in-house. Marking your products in your own facility is a great way to be sustainable, as well as cost-effective and efficient. By cutting out the middle step of shipping products to and from another facility, you’re decreasing your carbon footprint and saving money to boot.

Being able to print on demand in your own facility also means you can eliminate bottlenecks. If you suddenly receive a rush order, you won’t need to halt production while you wait on an outside supplier.

Spring forward with SSI Packaging!

We hope you enjoyed learning how to mark and label products sustainably. If you’d like to purchase sustainable marking and coding equipment, visit SSI Packaging. We are proud to stock a huge range of packaging supplies, boxes, and of course, marking and coding machines. Be sure to stop by and see us for whatever your business needs to thrive this year and beyond!

(804) 808-1606