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Wash-off labels.

The problem of removal of labels on both returnable and non returnable packaging has existed for many years. This has caused the manufacturer both additional time and expense and the consumer inconvenience. Recent moves by major retailers have meant that the problem has taken on more importance and current trends indicate that the use of returnable transit packaging will be even more widespread in the future. Trays and other returnable containers with remnants of old labels on are a common sight and indeed many are reminiscent of a well travelled businessman's suitcase.

The advantages of returnable transit packaging are more and more apparent particularly in the present climate of high packaging costs and the need for more awareness of environmental issues. Manufacturers of containers as well as washing systems have in conjunction with major retailers come up with schemes which alleviate the problem of label and information removal and to some degree these have been successful. The definitive answer would now appear to lie with the WMW Loma label. This is a pressure sensitive paper label that dissolves in water. This label has the advantage of being able to carry information through the transit cycle whilst disappearing in an environmentally friendly way after washing. The label and gum are non toxic and are fully biodegradable. Independent tests have verified the manufacturer's claim in this area. This is an extremely important advantage with increased effluent charges and stricter requirements on pollution being implemented by local water authorities. The use of these labels means that washing systems can be run without the need of removing filters on a regular basis for cleaning with the consequent increase in throughput and productivity. The product can be attached to containers for fresh, chilled and frozen storage and distribution.

The label dissolves at all water temperatures although better results are achieved with warmer or hot water. It is possible to use virtually all known printing processes such as laser, inkjet, dot matrix as well as hand writing. Bar codes can also be printed on to the surface and can be read with a high degree of clarity by the majority of current systems. As the product dissolves in water the surface of the container remains free from scratches and thus from bacteria. The existence of ISO 9001 accredited standard gives manufacturers and retailers the guarantee of consistent quality standards of the product. With the requirements of the food safety act and other current legislation the WMG Loma labels lend themselves ideally to information traceability for internal audit purposes during production cycles. The system is an ideal replacement for the present unwieldy card system which is in operation in so many factories. The ability to print information, scan and then remove in an efficient and environmentally friendly way will be of tremendous benefit to many food manufacturers. It is also worth bearing in mind the benefits perhaps not always associated with the food industry but in other areas for the consumer. Readers of this article will undoubtedly have their own experience of attempts of label removal on all types of objects.

For more details please contact:

UNION FOOD MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT Ltd, 20 Faraday Court, Park Farm Industrial Estate, Wellingborough, Northants NN8 6XY Tel: 01933 676187 Fax: 01933 674215
COPYRIGHT 1995 Food Trade Press Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:packaging labels
Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Jul 1, 1995
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