When to use water dispersible labels
Water soluble and water dispersible labels are often preferred by companies who own their own RCPs and have full control over the washing process. This is sometimes known as a ‘closed-loop’ system.
You can read more about water dispersible labels in our recent news article.
Water washable labels: are also known as water removeable labels, water release labels or cold water labels. The key difference between water washable and water dispersible labels is the make-up of the label substrate.
Whilst a water dispersible label breaks down completely on contact with water, with a water washable label the substrate stays intact. What’s more it is only the adhesive that breaks down, not the label face.
When to use water washable labels
Water washable labels are preferred by food manufacturers and retailers who use a third party, such as IFCO, to supply their reusable packaging containers. Importantly, whilst the reusable trays are washed by the provider, it remains the user’s responsibility to ensure traceability labels can be removed by commercial washing systems.
We would be happy to talk directly to your RPC provider to ensure our water washable labels meet their specification.
You can read more about water washable labels here.
Water removable labels
Water removable labels come in two main types; water dispersible labels and water washable labels. Used in food manufacturing and retailing to maintain traceability, water removable labels are growing in popularity. Moreover, they are specifically used for labelling reusable packaging containers (RPCs) as well as trays and crates.
Here we explain the difference between water dispersible and water washable labels, and illustrate when to use each.
Water dispersible labels: also known as water removable labels, water soluble labels, dissolvable labels and soluble labels, are a form of traceability label. The labels fully disperse on contact with water. Therefore, they are often used by food manufacturers and retails who utilise reusable packaging containers (RPCs) to transport finished good and ingredients.
Water dispersible labels can be made from a thermal or thermal transfer material. Therefore they can be over-printed with traceability information or distribution details using a thermal transfer or direct transfer method.
The labels work by dissolving in water. That is to say, when the RPCs are washed, the label adhesive and substrate breaks down and is carried away with the waste water. Furthermore, the waste material is totally biodegradable.
When to consider using water dispersible labels
Quick & easy to remove
Water removable labels are quick and easy to remove – no harsh chemicals are needed, which means they are a quick, easy and safe labelling solution.
If you use outsourced tray washing solutions we can help you determine if water washable or water dispersible labels would fit with your operation.
Keep reusable containers clean
Water dispersible labels keep your trays and containers in better condition – no sticky label adhesive residue to remove means your reusable equipment lasts longer; saving you money too.
If you use a commercial RPC provider, you may be advised to use water washable labels. That could mean avoiding any costly fines levied on returning damaged or dirty trays.
Water dispersible label substrates are made from biomaterials meaning they break down into ultimately biodegradable particles.
We are happy to provide full label specifications and environmental credentials. This means you can be clear that your labels meet your environmental promises.