The Transition to Linerless Labels: Key Benefits and Applications

1/29/2024 RRD

The Transition to Linerless Labels: Key Benefits and Applications

Companies seeking a superior label solution certainly appreciate an economical choice — but in today’s demanding business environment, where every detail is critical, they’re likely also looking for such benefits as increased convenience, versatility, and sustainability. Linerless labels offer these benefits and more, providing an array of advantages to businesses of all types.

If you’re unfamiliar with linerless labels, here’s how they differ from their standard counterparts: Standard labels contain three components — a face stock (the front side of the label where ink or toner is applied), an adhesive, and a liner to keep the labels from sticking together. Linerless labels, however, contain only the face stock and adhesive, and they feature a special release coating allowing the labels to be wound over each other without sticking.

How businesses can benefit

As noted earlier, linerless labels offer numerous benefits for businesses as well as the print operations serving them. Here are just a few:

Versatility and productivity: Available in a variety of sizes, linerless labels are designed for an array of applications and can accommodate numerous printer requirements. Plus, linerless labels come in a continuous roll, allowing for on-demand sizing. It’s easy to print different-sized labels for different jobs, all without changing the roll or needing to divert the job to another printer. This saves time and reduces waste. Once a linerless roll is set up in production, it lasts longer — resulting in fewer roll changes, less downtime, and increased productivity.

Economy and reduced costs: A roll of a linerless label product contains up to 60% more labels than a roll of conventional labels. With more labels per roll, fewer rolls are utilized and shipping costs are reduced. In addition, because more linerless labels fit on a roll, fewer rolls are required, so they need less warehouse space. This can be a critical issue for operations with limited storage capabilities.

Sustainability: Each roll of labels is wound on a core, then packed in a carton and likely shipped on a pallet, which is produced from wood. Linerless labels, however, utilize fewer wood-derived components, as they require fewer cores, cartons, and pallets vs. their standard counterparts. In addition, liners from standard labels are challenging to recycle and are typically sent to a landfill. A linerless label eliminates the need to dispose of and/or recycle liner materials.

Safety: As items are labeled, the liners from standard labels can easily accumulate on the shop floor. If they aren’t collected, they can create a substantial slipping hazard. Linerless products eliminate this problem.

Companies going linerless

Because of the numerous benefits they offer, many businesses are now implementing linerless labels in their operations. Let’s take a look at just a few examples:

  • Grocery stores and delicatessens — The increased demand for freshly packaged foods has resulted in a requirement of labeling at the point of purchase. Grocery stores, delicatessens, and other food providers print out a linerless label — which contains the price, barcode for scanning at checkout, nutritional information, expiration dates, and more — and then apply the label to the package.

  • Fast-casual and sit-down restaurants — COVID greatly accelerated the trend for online and carry-out ordering. Linerless labels applied to the outside of food containers or sacks containing multiple items make it easy for the customer to know it is indeed their order, and that it’s been packed correctly.

  • Healthcare settings — In healthcare, some processes and tasks that have typically been handled from a central location are now conducted bedside, including unit dosing. Linerless labels printed from Omnicell devices and applied to medications serve to simplify the labeling process and elevate medication safety.

  • Manufacturers and distributors — Consumer reliance on e-commerce has increased exponentially, and shipment volumes mirror that growth. Linerless labels enable manufacturing and distribution companies to increase their efficiencies and keep up with consumer demand.

Linerless Labels from United Ad Label
The information presented in this blog was originally published by RRD’s United Ad Label, a label manufacturing company with a deep understanding of label materials, printing technologies, and business processes. Specializing in healthcare, veterinary, and business labels, our linerless labels are in stock and ready to optimize existing preprinted labels or direct thermal labels.

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