Will the BPA ban affect your thermal labels and tickets?

Find out the facts in our Q & A sheet

In response to research into the effects of Bisphenol A (BPA), the EU decided to restrict its use in 2016; the legislation comes into effect on 1st January 2020. BPA is found in many plastic products plus, in small quantities, in thermal materials used to make thermal labels, tags and thermal tickets.

Our operational team members have been working tirelessly to make sure that our customers’ thermal labels, tags and tickets are compliant. We hope this short question and answer document will help clarify the situation for you; we are happy to talk to individual customers who’d like to know more.

What is BPA?

BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins for over 50 years. Whilst BPA is most commonly found in plastic products like food containers and water bottles, it’s also used in thermal papers; till rolls, thermal tickets and thermal labels for example may all contain BPA.

Why the new legislation and change?

Over the past few years, there have been concerns that BPA poses a risk to health.

In response to research into the effects of BPA, the EU decided to restrict its use in 2016; the legislation comes into effect on 1st January 2020. You can find summary information here:

You can find the full regulation here:

How does this affect my thermal labels or tags?

If you use labels, tags or tickets that are made with a non-top coated thermal material, then they may contain the chemical BPA. When the ban on BPA comes into effect ( 1st January 2020) your labels and tags will need to be manufactured from a BPA free thermal label material.

When do I have to start using BPA free thermal labels?

After 1st January 2020, it will be illegal for us to supply you with thermal labels, tags, tickets, cards etc made from materials containing BPA.

Our understanding of the legislation is that, if you hold stock of thermal labels and tags that may contain BPA that were delivered before 31st December 2019, you will be able to use your stock up after 1st January 2020.

Trade customers, however, should not sell any affected label stock they hold to their customers after 1st January 2020.

Has Piroto already changed my thermal label material to BPA free?

Piroto has been working with its suppliers to change over to BPA free thermal materials during 2019. In virtually all cases our material suppliers have developed a BPA free material with the same technical specification, qualities and performance as the material it is replacing.

In the few cases, where material suppliers have been unable to provide a BPA free equivalent, we have sourced an alternative material to manufacture your thermal labels.

Will the change in the material affect the performance and the thermal imaging on my labels?

In most cases, there will no changes to the performance of your thermal labels and tags unless we have to use an alternative suppliers product. In those cases, your internal account manager will be in contact with you to explain our recommendation and arrange samples or a trial.

Will I have to test a new BPA free material?

Where material suppliers have been able to provide an equivalent BPA free material we are confident that there will be no need to test your thermal labels, tags or tickets or send out sample thermal materials. We have updated our material data sheets to confirm the material is BPA free and would be happy to send you a copy should you need confirmation.

In the event that we have had to source an alternative material, we will let you know. We’d be happy to send you samples of the new thermal material and help you run a trial of your new thermal labels, tags or tickets if necessary.

Does this mean the price of my thermal labels and tags will increase?

Whilst the material suppliers have all said that a BPA free material is more expensive to produce, it appears that, where there is an equivalent material, they will not be passing on the increase to customers for the time being.

Where an alternative material has had to be sourced, mostly on ‘specials’ such as thin thermal, then unfortunately there has been a price increase moving to BPA free.

What happens if I do not use all of my stock by January 2020?

Any labels and tags that have been manufactured by us using a material containing BPA and were in your possession before December 31st 2019, can, as far as we are aware, be used up after 1st January 2020.

Where our customers have a stockholding agreement we will ensure that any thermal labels and tags manufactured using materials containing BPA are delivered before the year-end. Subsequent deliveries in 2020 will be manufactured from BPA free materials.

Will this increase the lead time on my labels/tags?

We do not believe the change to BPA free material will increase any lead times, however, if there are any changes you should know about, your internal account manager will be in contact to let you know.

Do you have a certificate confirming the labels you are supplying me are BPA Free?

If you require written confirmation that your labels, tags or tickets are BPA free, please contact your internal accounts manager who will be happy to provide you with a material datasheet to confirm compliance.

We hope that this clarifies the key points but please do feel free to contact a member of your account team with you would like further clarification.