Labels / Labeling
Materials Technology: Labels

Labels work smarter, not harder

Today’s labels adhere to reliability and eco-conscious guidelines.

July 14, 2014

Labels tell a story to the consumer, display product information, packaging details and showcase what makes the product unique, all in an attempt to get the consumer to “pick me, pick me.” Labels also work to maintain packaging integrity when the product is handled by both retailers and consumers. 

For convenient handling for consumers, Hammer Packaging ( introduces HammerSHIELD to protect consumer’s hands from hot and cold packages. The co-extruded foam (polystyrene) substrate, used mostly with food and beverages, is ideal for hot and cold applications. HammerSHIELD is excellent for microwaveable products, such as microwave macaroni and cheese, as the label protects users from excessive heat when handling. In addition to protecting consumers, the labels also work to keep cold products colder, longer. And for beverages, the foam label offers a light barrier tint. The labels feature 360-degree branding and can conform to various package shapes and sizes. HammerSHIELD is a domestic sourced substrate, with high print quality on a smooth surface. Because it is a low density foam, less material is used for lower cost and higher insulation properties.

To help maintain package integrity when faced with cold, wet coolers, Labeltronix ( presents Arctic Bright White Felt. The label is ideal for wineries, spirits makers and craft brewers looking for a waterproof, “chill-proof” label with a felt-like texture. This is the second label material Labeltronix has launched in its signature, proprietary “Arctic Shield” family of labels that can withstand the very wet and cold environments like coolers and ice buckets. Not only is the label incredibly functional as it will not break down in the cooler, it is attractive and offers the consumer a textural experience.

“Our customers have asked for a beautiful white label that has a different tactile experience when a shopper picks it up,” says Jill Sambol, Labeltronix marketing manager.

The Arctic Bright White Felt works well with either flexographic or digital offset printing. Branded labels can be embellished with finishing touches like hot foil stamping, embossing, varnishing or lamination.


Green labels win awards

Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials’ ( CleanFlake™ portfolio was recently named “Top Product of the Year” in the Environmental Leader Product & Project Awards. CleanFlake is a patent-pending adhesive technology that “switches off” when submerged in a recycling bath so the label cleanly separates from the PET flakes. These labels firmly adhere to PET bottles or other containers during use, but they easily detach in a conventional recycling facility and float to the surface of the bath, allowing the clean PET flakes to sink to the bottom for easier reclamation.

According to the company, direct printing, paper labels and standard pressure-sensitive labels applied to PET bottles tend to lower the recycling efficiency and the quality of recycled PET. In 2010, 1.5 billion pounds of PET were collected for recycling in the United States, yet reclaimers reported yield losses ranging from 24.4% to 32.2% due to contamination by labels, adhesives and other components – amounting to a loss of over 40 million pounds of bottles. This label addresses the recycling issue without sacrificing the integrity of the label for consumer use.

Another eco-friendly label supplier has won an award for its sustainability efforts. G3 Label Division ( has earned the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC) Chain of Custody certification from Scientific Certification Systems, one of the world’s leading FSC certifiers and one of FSC’s founding members. 

G3 Enterprises’ GTREE™ is an environmentally sustainable, high-performance wine label paper which was developed for use on all bottling lines, including those utilizing high-speed and mobile bottling application equipment.

Emerging trends in alcohol labeling

From Laura L. Clark, Global Marketing Director, Beer & Beverage, Avery Dennison Labels & Packaging Materials.

A few trends stand out as packaging and labeling progresses in the alcohol segment:
  1. Metal BOPP facestocks & further downgauging for premium pilsners
  2. Unique die cuts and clear pressure sensitive labels on aluminum cans for craft beers
  3. Embellishments in wine labels for Millenials
  4. Mixed labeling materials (film & paper) for spirits

The FSC-certified GTREE is manufactured with 100% post-consumer waste. Following years of research, testing and development, the GTREE label contains recycled fiber consisting of sorted office paper that has had at least one useful life before being recycled. G3 Enterprises teamed with Monadnock Paper Mills, which is also known as a global environmental steward, to research and develop a 100% PCW label stock that could meet the rigors of bottling. The label stock features excellent tensile and tear strength, brightness, embossing and scuff resistance that is equal to or better than current paper stocks. The GTREE label paper also is designed to hold up its integrity in coolers and ice buckets, with a unique formulation which results in increased resistance to water absorption allowing it to maintain its premium appearance and high quality print aesthetics.

“We are very excited to begin exclusively offering the GTREE™ label,” says Tom Gallo, vice president of Strategic Development of G3 Enterprises. He adds, “Not only will the label be visually appealing to all consumers, we know that it will easily meet the needs of both eco-conscious consumers and wineries.”

Today’s labels are smarter and are doing more than simply relaying information and grabbing consumer attention. They are environmentally friendly, recycled and recyclable and have the strength and integrity to withstand rough handling by retailers, consumers and summertime coolers.

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