Should You Switch from Paper Liner to PET Liner?
March 29, 2023
After a long period of supply chain shortages in the label industry, things are finally starting to improve. Essential raw materials are becoming more available, and prices are stabilizing. However, there are still challenges sourcing paper liner due to shortages and inflated pricing, particularly for 40# liner (the typical liner for label materials) completed on rolls.
Fortunately, we have a solution: PET liner. This is not just a second-rate option to hold you over until the paper market fully stabilizes. For many types of labels, PET liner is actually a better solution, and you’ll be glad you switched.
Why Use PET Liner?
PET, which stands for polyethylene terephthalate, is a type of plastic that is commonly used in packaging and labeling materials. It looks different from paper-based liner, which might take some getting used to. However, once you get over the fact that it looks different, you may find that PET liner is a better, less expensive, and more practical material for many projects.
Let’s look at five reasons this is the case.
1. PET is easier to get.
Unlike traditional paper liner materials, which has been more difficult to source during the ongoing paper shortage, PET liner is readily available. “Readily available” also translates into shorter lead times.
2. PET has better performance characteristics.
PET liner is more durable and moisture-resistant than paper. This means that it can be used in a wider range of applications, including those that require your labels to be exposed to water, chemicals, or extreme temperatures. This is why PET liner labels are commonly used in the food and beverage industry to label products that need to be stored in refrigerated or frozen environments.
3. PET liner labels are less likely to cause production delays.
PET labels are less likely to tear or puncture. This means they are less likely to cause problems during the labeling process, as paper labels can sometimes jam or tear, causing production delays. It’s our job to keep things on schedule, but especially on tight-turn jobs, it’s nice to have the extra confidence that PET liner brings.
4. PET liners are fully recyclable.
Paper liner labels are more difficult to recycle than PET liner labels because of the way they are constructed. Paper labels are typically made from a combination of paper and adhesive, which can be difficult to separate during the recycling process. Paper labels can also be coated with a layer of varnish or other coatings that can further complicate recycling. By contrast, PET is fully recyclable.
5. PET liners can be more cost-effective.
While, in some cases, the upfront cost of PET liner labels may be higher than that of paper labels, their durability and resistance to moisture means that they are less likely to need replacing, which can ultimately result in cost savings over time. For some liner constructions (such as “film on film” constructions compared to “film on paper”), the upfront cost may be comparable.
PET Liner — Your New Favorite Substrate?
In general, opting for PET liner labels instead of conventional paper liner labels can bring numerous advantages. PET liner labels are known for their robustness and ability to withstand moisture, as well as their eco-friendly properties and cost-effectiveness. For businesses seeking alternatives to paper-based label constructions and desiring a higher performing product with faster turnaround times, PET liner labels might just become your new “go to” substrate.
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