Story | 07/19/2021 05:57:34 | 4 min Read time

Time to say hello to linerless technology in weigh-scale printing

As societies continue to seek new ways to tackle the pressing issues of carbon emissions, biodiversity loss, resource scarcity and waste, consumers are increasingly demanding more sustainable actions from the brands that they choose and the stores they visit. For retailers, any solution that enhances efficiency and helps to reduce waste presents a big opportunity to take their business in a more sustainable direction and demonstrate a commitment to tackling these challenges.

For in-store applications like weigh-scales and price discount labeling, direct thermal linerless labels offer a host of benefits for retailers and are already a popular choice in many parts of Europe.

“Eliminating the liner immediately reduces the total amount of fibre raw material needed to manufacture the label product by 40%, and that’s without considering the savings in energy and water consumption, as well as CO2 emissions, in manufacturing and transportation,” says Marko Tiainen, Manager, New and Emerging Technologies at UPM Raflatac.

To further enhance the sustainability benefits of selecting linerless, opting for labels with internationally recognised certifications such as FSC® guarantees that the wood raw materials used to manufacture them are harvested from sustainably managed forests. These are forests that are managed in such a way as to protect wildlife, help mitigate climate change and improve the quality of water.


Efficiency is the name of the game   

As well as the opportunity to enhance sustainability credentials, there are also tangible efficiency gains to be made by choosing linerless labels. For example, because they are thinner and lighter, retailers get more labels per roll.

“This reduces the need for printer roll changes – an activity that can take up a great deal of time for shop-floor staff in busy stores. Their scanning and traceability properties are identical to labels with liner, but they use less raw materials, thereby making them a more sustainable alternative,” Tiainen continues.

One size does fit all

Instead of having to purchase and store label stocks of different sizes for various in-store applications, with linerless labels the label size can vary right up to the point of printing. Just like a roll of tape, labels can be cut in the printer to whatever length is required for the application in question. Not only does this provide the flexibility to incorporate additional product information, but it also reduces waste by dispensing exactly the right length of label and no more.

“Linerless labeling eliminates the time and costs associated with processing and disposing of liner waste. Given that a busy food store can consume hundreds of metres of labels per day, the savings can really add up. It has been calculated that for a midsize food store chain, this can mean a reduction of 30,000 kg of waste during the year,” Tiainen concludes.


Cleaner, leaner, fit-for-purpose labeling 

UPM Raflatac has developed UPM Raflatac OptiCut™ direct thermal linerless labels in close cooperation with major weigh-scale manufacturers.

OptiCut labels provide a clean cut with excellent adhesion to a variety of substrates including paper and plastic. They are designed to minimise adhesive accumulation and dust inside printers, thereby maximising equipment uptime and extending maintenance intervals. Naturally, as a linerless solution, retailers are not burdened with the challenges of liner disposal. Last but not least, OptiCut labels are manufactured using raw materials from FSC-certified sources and are 100% BPA free. UPM Raflatac operates in accordance with EU 2023/2006 Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) on Food Contact Materials, and all production units in Europe have a certified food safety management system which complies with the ISO 22000 food safety standard. Read more about our food safety processes »


Will your next label be linerless?

If you are a retailer seeking to respond to regulatory pressures, make more sustainable labeling choices, respect customers’ concerns about the environment and save time and money changing rolls and maintaining printers all at the same time, linerless labels could well be the answer.

To find out more about how direct thermal linerless labels can take your business to new heights, download UPM Raflatac’s free guide today.

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