„We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors,
we borrow it from our children”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Ecology as a legal obligation
In today’s world, the topic of ecology is becoming one of the most important, not to say the most important. The seriousness of the situation is added by any research and reports on climate change, unusual and dangerous atmospheric phenomena, and subsequent species of plants and animals that disappear forever. Legal provisions were created to sanction destructive human behavior. Final consumers are obliged to comply with them, but also producers to a large extent.
The Act on packaging and packaging waste management contains a definition of extended producer responsibility. What does it mean?
The extended producer responsibility system is a set of measures taken to ensure that product manufacturers bear financial responsibility or financial and organizational responsibility at the product life cycle stage when it becomes waste – including for selective collection, sorting, and processing. It is also a responsibility including contributing to the prevention of waste and to increase the suitability of products for reuse and recycling.
Manufacturers’ obligations include from the Act:
- Obligations for placing products in packaging:
- The use of packaging that meets the requirements,
- Conducting public educational financing,
- Ensure recovery, including recycling, of packaging waste, such as packaging waste arising from the same type of packaging as packaging in which the products were introduced (alone or by means of data recovery organization) – failure to perform requires the payment of product charges (PLN 0.30 – 2 , 70 PLN / kg),
- Achieving the packaging waste recovery and recycling levels specified in the Act,
- Keeping a record of packaging weight in which products were marketed in a given calendar year.
The law is becoming more and more restrictive, and failure to comply with the provisions on ecology and environmental protection results in fines, and as a result can be used to manage business activities.
Ecology as a huge trend
Focusing on the beauty industry, we could see how cosmetic brands came to the market with the “not tested on animals” mark, freon-free deodorants , and when it turned out that the entire cosmetics industry of the European Union had to adhere to certain rules, producers began to introduce new brands under slogans: Eco, BIO, VEGAN, natural cosmetics, cosmetics with natural ingredients, etc. Currently, we can see thousands of eco cosmetic brands. We can be sure that there will be even more.
Here are some statistical data provided by the website. INFOVEGE.COM
From July 2013 to June 2018, 175% more vegan cosmetics were launched
- 19% of people check if their cosmetics are tested on animals
- Sales of vegan cleaners at Tesco increased by 80% in 2019
- Superdrug vegan cosmetics recorded a 750% increase in sales in January 2019
- “Not tested on animals” is the most important product designation for 57% of people
- From 2017 to 2018, there was a 20% increase in searches for “vegan makeup” [source: Hitwise UK study]
- Sales of prestigious vegan cosmetics in the UK increased by 38% in the 12 months from February 2017 to the end of January 2018.
- 76% of people think more should be done to find an alternative to using animals
- “ Cruelty-free ” cosmetics brands, representing 20% of the female facial skincare market, saw an increase of 18% in 2018, while for the entire category this increase was only 7%
- The Market Research Future report predicts a 6% increase in the number of cruelty-free cosmetics in 2017-2023
Ecology in packaging and labels
The first ecological brands began to stand out not only in composition but also in packaging. Graphic designs of cardboard boxes or labels were characterized by natural colors (white, beige, brown) and the hallmark was the green accent most often the leaf. As more and more vegan, Eco and bio products appear, the graphic designs of their labels have started to evaluate. Today we have very clean, toned-down designs on the market, but also incredibly energetic, saturated with colors. It all depends on what consumers they are dedicated to.
Graphic design alone is not everything. Demanding customers are increasingly starting to pay attention not only to the ingredients from which the products is made, not only to marketing declarations regarding its origin or operation, but also to packaging and labels. A lot of ecological labeling solutions have appeared on the market. Manufacturers of approach them with great uncertainty and often with the assumption that new equals are expensive. But are you sure?
Do Eco-nomic and Eco-logy goes together? There are many solutions that prove that this is it. Here are some examples:
- Labels derived from plant sources, produced in a way that avoids the use of scarce resources of crude oil, reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, e.g. sugar cane film, cellulose film completely biodegradable and compostable.
- FSC® certified paper labels
Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) is an organization that deals with the certification of forests and wood and paper products. Compliance with FSC guidelines enables timber harvesting while maintaining the viability of forests and their biological richness.
The FSC CoC certificate is based on the chain of control of product origin. This means that in order for the final product to be sold as certified, FSC rules and standards must be observed at every stage of raw material acquisition and processing. Only then is it possible to mark the final product with an FSC label?
With certified labels, we guarantee that products come from forests managed in a responsible manner – we care for the environment,
We can create a positive image of the company, and thus we have the opportunity to expand the market for our products – networks such as IKEA require all of their suppliers such certification, which means that all their subcontractors must also have such a certificate.
- Thin-film labels – made of thinner materials than standard ones on the market. What do they give us regarding ECO?
– Lower label weight:
– lower transport costs,
– less waste in the printing house (i.e. less waste to be thrown away – and you care about ecology throughout the supply chain),
– less waste in the form of a label substrate at the manufacturer, i.e. again lower costs of waste collection for you
– less frequent roll changes on the application machines. Because thinner labels will roll more, up to 36%. And this means less downtime and better production logistics, i.e. cost savings for the manufacturer.
– films, especially PET, can be recycled with the packaging – lower recycling costs
– You can also make good use of it in marketing (positively) – you are a company that cares for the environment in accordance with the less waste principle.
– In addition, we get an interesting image element – thinner material blends in better with the packaging and creates the effect of an invisible label.
- Variable numbering labels – on the one hand, image building can be improved – as in the attached versions – for limited series products, premium products, personalized products, it can also contain memories of internal logistics processes.
Sequential numbers printed on the backing or devices on the label will allow:
– Control the number of labels – ordering ahead of time and only when needed. If necessary, carry outnumbering on the supporting base. The numbering may include on the base, e.g. every 2, 3, 5 or 10 labels. By unwinding only a portion of the web, you can quickly check the number of labels remaining in the role of the web for the roll.
– cover wastage or theft of products, you must have the right amount of products sent to the customer – we can mark products with unique numbers additionally placed on each label. You can configure yourself for each ordered number range as required.
– Easily identify the production batch, which in the case of complaints (which occur) can reduce the cost of this ad and the operation of its procedure.
– Less production waste is, of course, measurable bills for companies, and as if it were not an indirect but equally positive impact on the environment. And again you can use this element positively to strengthen the image of an eco-positive company. “Caring for the environment, we conduct 100% control of the production process, which reduces production waste.”
- The shrink sleeve label can be ECO …
PVC – a material for sleeves most often used in Poland due to prices. But … They are not biodegradable . You cannot sell it on the market in Germany.
Therefore, PET and Hybrid can be a substitute.
Below is a small comparison
I .Polyvinyl chloride PVC
– Oil derivatives that are very harmful to the environment and chlorine.
They are not “green” in terms of their extraction, refining and by-products. They are not biodegradable or degraded
II. Foil group Eco Positive – PET and PET G
Effectively replaces PVC in the EU due to price and environmental impact.
They can be easily recycled, along with the packaging
6. Wooden labels – made with a top layer of wood.
- The peel-off label can also be a pro-environmental solution.
It is usually used where we need to contain a lot of information on a small surface of the packaging according to the principles:
– refuse – give up excessive amounts of packaging elements
– reduce – reduce costs – we do not waste products in the event that we do not sell the intended quantity covered with one language version. You do not need to stick labels to avoid wasting any product. And we don’t throw away unused labels – thus we produce less sludge.
The peel-off label is a very good marketing tool – on 4, 6 or 8 pages we can put selected information, eg where the plant ingredients of our creams come from and what action they have. We can also transfer the client to the expanded reality of the brand – QR codes transferring to a selected website, where we will show a short presentation on how we encourage the consumer to care for the environment.
It is worth looking at peel-off as a tool for dialogue with consumers.
Brand owners seeking development services and following trends can take into account the compromise. Ecology and economics can go hand in hand – they do not burden the planned budget in the field of self-adhesive labels, it is possible to increase the value of brands by marketing and sales. Pro-ecological activities are currently not only modal for a given lifestyle but increasingly strictly required by state legislators.
What to do to apply ecological solutions while optimizing costs? The answer is simple.
It is worth it already at the stage of proceeding or changing the material on some printed label will go to a professional printing house. Structural papers have different absorptivity of paints, thinner films take colors differently, therefore it is necessary to use a solution for the intended effect. Prints. The range of ecological materials is constantly expanding, so it is worth consulting with the printing house and choosing tailor-made solutions. Going or the following anyone, we will not overtake, calculate which way you can win the race for the heart of the consumer.