There’s no question that the popularity of veganism and vegan products is continuing to grow. With this, the demand for ‘vegan organic packaging’ is increasing, and ‘vegan’ substrates are starting to come onto the market. This is a fantastic development for companies that sell vegan products and also want their packaging to match their values.
However, what constitutes a ‘vegan’ label? You might not expect to find any animal products in paper, plastic, or metallic foil labels, but some types of ink and glue do contain animal derivatives such as gelatine or shellac. (Ironically, many animal-based and organic inks fall into the sustainable printing category, designed to replace solvents and petrochemical compounds.)
Another area of concern for vegans could be the printing press itself – in an environment that prints both vegan and non-vegan labels, the same press is likely to be used. Residues from non-vegan printing work might compromise the status of your vegan labels.
What are the options for vegan labels?
Fortunately for printers that serve the vegan food, apparel, and cosmetics market, there are now more options for vegan printing than ever. Herma, a global supplier of self-adhesive label material, for instance, has certified that it does not use any animal products in its own manufacturing, but cannot confirm that the same is true for its suppliers. If you want to make sure that your labels are vegan, acrylic glue can be used in place of more traditional glues that may contain animal products. When it comes to inks, materials that use soybeans or algae as a base can be used, and these are completely vegan-friendly, as well as ecologically sustainable.
More animal-free substrates are also becoming available, offering a choice of printing surfaces for vegan brands. To meet this demand, it’s important to make sure that your printing press can be used with vegan products. The printing presses available from Focus Label are compatible with a wide range of vegan substrates and inks, making our flexographic presses the ideal solution if you need to produce labels with absolutely no animal products.
Caring for our environment
Choosing vegan products is a part of the wider sustainability agenda and is one way to be kinder to our environment, but it can be difficult to reconcile vegan printing practices with some sustainability strategies. To give printing businesses the greatest flexibility, we provide Phoseon & GEW UV LED curing technology for drying. The technology avoids the use of harmful substances such as mercury and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, while also negating the need to use animal derivatives. This is a real bonus for companies who wish to take a vegan and eco-friendly approach to their label printing. LED UV technology is also appropriate for use with thinner or heat-sensitive substrates, offering fantastic versatility and choice for the end client.
If you’re keen to find out more about the options for vegan printing with our flexographic, digital, and hybrid presses, please contact us today.