If your brand is trying to make the earth a cleaner, more sustainable place to live, your promotional materials need to reflect that commitment. Consider eco-friendly packaging, because printing eco-friendly stickers and product labels can be an affordable way to live out your values.
Next time you place an order with your printer, ask whether they carry eco-friendly stickers. Usually, they’re available in die-cut, rolls, or sheets.
Look for stickers made from recyclable or biodegradable materials, such as paper or bagasse, a plant fiber left over during sugarcane processing. In addition, some printers offer eco-friendly stickers that come from post-consumer waste (PCW) materials. Any of these options are excellent choices for your brand.
And, don’t forget to ask about the adhesive. Many adhesives contain toxic contaminants. So, be sure to ask your printer to use recycling-compatible adhesives on your stickers.
Use Symbols on Your Eco-Friendly Custom Stickers to Inform Customers
When your brand goes green, you need to make the most of that move by promoting it to your environmentally conscious customers. There are a variety of designs you can use on your eco-friendly custom stickers to let customers know you’re looking out for the earth.
Whether it’s the familiar “recycle” symbol, green leaves, or another design that evokes nature, including a tiny version of it at the bottom of your eco-friendly custom stickers will make your customers more likely to take – and use – your stickers. After all, you want to get the word out about not only your products but that your corporate values reflect your customers’ values.
Printers usually have a designer on staff that can create an eye-catching, eco-friendly symbol. And, they can integrate it into the sticker’s overall design so that your eco-friendly custom stickers have a seamless, professional appearance.
Aren’t Most Stickers Environmentally Friendly?
No! In fact, most stickers on the market today don’t use an eco-friendly sticker printing process. Many stickers use vinyl or plastic for the sticker itself, as well as a non-recyclable backing.
Now, reusable stickers are a different story. Even though they might use some non-recyclable materials, buyers are likely to use them again and again, making them a more eco-friendly alternative to single-use stickers.
What’s Involved in Eco-Friendly Sticker Printing?
Eco-friendly sticker printing takes a little extra effort on the printer’s part, but it’s well worth the effort in the long run. Here’s the eco-friendly sticker printing process in a nutshell.
Printers start with compostable material, such as sustainably sourced wood and paper, for the stickers themselves. Then, they use a permanent biodegradable adhesive, such as an acrylic, on the back of the stickers.
Finally, they choose a thin backing paper that minimizes its environmental impact. Thinner liners use fewer materials and take up less space in a landfill.
Bonus points if they use backing paper crafted from already-recycled materials since many backing papers aren’t recyclable due to release agents (coatings) that are challenging to remove.
However, some recycling plants use techniques that can remove release agents from liners. Ask your printer to recommend one if you come up empty.
There is another possibility – liner-free stickers. These stickers come with a release agent coating so that the sticker below it acts as a liner. That way, you have no liner at all to dispose of.
Consider Going Green on Your Labels, Too
Promotional stickers aren’t the only way to make your company greener. Consider using earth-friendly labels, ink, and adhesives on your product labels as well.
Sustainable Label Materials
Consider paper labels and biodegradable adhesives when possible. Even better, use paper sourced from bamboo, cotton, sugarcane, or other renewable materials. Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper labels, too, are another eco-friendly label option.
Or, choose reusable labels that you can use several times, saving you money as well as helping create a cleaner world.
If you need labels that are as tough as plastic but won’t present a long-term landfill problem, look at polylactic acid-based labels (PLA). Although its short-term properties are similar to plastic, it will biodegrade in two months’ time. Even better, it comes from renewable, natural sources.
Instead of solvent- or petroleum-based ink, choose an ink that uses water or vegetable oil as its base. Just like more eco-friendly water-based paints, they hold up well under normal wear but come from renewable sources.
Follow Up with Eco-Friendly Packaging
When you’d go to the corner store for a six-pack of soda or beer a few years ago, you’d find it all packaged up in an easy-to-carry set of plastic rings. However, today’s manufacturers are more likely to use cardboard – just as easy to carry but biodegradable, especially if it comes from sustainable sources.
Every year, ten million tons of plastic packaging end up in the ocean, endangering marine life and polluting our food supply. Instead of single-use plastic packaging, opt for multiple-use packaging or packages that biodegrade quickly, such as cardboard. Refillable glass containers, too, are another eco-friendly and safe food packaging choice.
Why Choose Eco-Friendly Label Printing for Your Business?
Stickers are a “thing” among the Gen Z demographic. However, unless you provide them with an option to choose eco-friendly label printing, they’ll likely leave you for a company that does.
This coveted market segment demands sustainable retail. In fact, they’ll even pay more for eco friendly packaging and ecologically sound products.
That goes for stickers as well. Even if you’re using stickers as promotional giveaways, your Gen Z prospects will be more likely to take them if you’ve used an eco-friendly label printing process for your stickers and labels.
So, if Gen Z numbers among your key market segments, it’s a must to switch to eco-friendly label printing. With growing interest in ecologically conscious business practices around the world, you’d be wise to steer your business into a greener, more sustainable enterprise.
At Nova Custom Label Printing, we make “going green” one of our topmost goals. Discover how you can implement eco-friendly label printing into your marketing strategy with our expert printers. Call or email us today!