Sustainability is a big issue in construction as in other industries. Be this in the use of raw materials or the energy and water used in production of construction products, there is progress being made in reducing the impact of construction on the environment.
There is also increased pressure on companies to look at the sustainability of supplier products and goods further down the supply chain. Brands are being encouraged to take more responsibility and be more conscious of not only the product in terms of the choice of raw ingredients, which affects carbon footprint, or water and energy usage, but also in the choice of packaging.
As we are all aware, one of the biggest topics of conversation currently in packaging is plastic. And we can expect continued momentum with regards to reducing the use of plastic as well as on other resources that play a part in product wrapping and promotion.
Recent innovation has meant that there are now options available to manufacturers, new alternative materials that make a statement in support of sustainability as well as doing their job in protecting and promoting the product.
Biodegradable packaging and label options such as hemp and grass paper, for example, as well as materials that can be up-cycled i.e. bamboo, glass.
For those keen to make a first step in the right direction, then a more eco-friendly label is a good start. Paper products that are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified are available which show your labels are made from responsible sources.
One of the newest label materials is grass paper. Grass paper consists of 50% sun-dried grass fibre (hay) and 50% FSC-certified paper. Grass paper is made from the rapidly renewable raw material grass, which reduces the use of wood and is therefore particularly sustainable.
Grass paper also offers further advantages in comparison to conventional paper. Thanks to short transport times of the grass, CO2 emissions are reduced by up to 50%. Water consumption is also reduced by up to 50% and the grass paper is made without the use of chemicals.
Grass paper is free of pollutants and allergens and is ideal for companies that value sustainable and compostable materials and want to set an example for the responsible use of our resources.
In the industrial sector, labels need to be exceptionally durable, able to cope with outdoor elements, transport and be resistance to solvents, fuels, oils or abrasion.
Labels for chemicals must be resistant to particular stresses so that they remain adhesive and clearly legible for as long as the container is in use. At label.co.uk we print roll labels, self-adhesive labels and film labels made from polypropylene and polyethylene which fulfil all the requirements of hazardous substance labelling.
Recent developments have led to an additional more sustainable water-resistant label option, this is the use of a waterproof polymer material made from renewable sources such as sugar cane or corn.
Digital label printing in itself, when compared with other technologies, is a much more sustainable way of label printing; it reduces print run wastage for the customer, but also due to the ease of setting up the digital press, the printer produces hardly any waste. Digital printing does not require chemically treated plates, it is quick to set up the machine and it only runs as and when required. Thus saving both time and energy. Now could be the time to re look at your labelling to find a solution that benefits the environment as well as saving both time and cost effective.