Aluminum Recycling with Labels

Aluminum Recycling with Labels

Aluminum Recycling – with Labels

Protecting the environment is very important to us – it always has been.  We take it very seriously when our products are considered to be unfriendly to the environment.  Labels are not ideal on aluminum cans – this is true.  As we noted in this blog post back in 2019, compatibility of the label and the container are critical.  Paper labels on paper envelopes (like our self adhesive postage stamps) is one of the better options, but even in this case, the adhesive can be problematic and build up in the recycle process.

 

Baled Cans

Our Customers Need Us – They Need Labels

Because many of our beverage customers are small, craft producers, they really have no other choice.  Nobody wants to pollute, but there is really no other viable option.  Printed cans have a 12 week lead time and the minimum practical order quantity is more than 200,000 cans.  This is way too many labels for many of our brewers.  They don’t have the time, money, or space to order that many cans at a time.  Flexible inventory and quick turn times make labels a very necessary part of the business plan.  Sleeves are no better.

Sleeves Have Diffferent Problems

Shrink sleeve labels, which we could potentially produce someday on our existing equipment, are no better.  The shrinkable plastic film is STILL a contamination to the aluminum recycling stream.  AND, they typically have at least an 8 week lead time.  One brewer is ordering shrink sleeves in the midwest, getting them shrunk onto cans in California, and then shipping their brewery in Montana!  This isn’t a green solution!  

Not a Big Problem!

Sadly (for us) this really isn’t a big problem.  Labelled cans are likely less than 1% of all cans recycled in America.  We certainly wish this number would grow over time, because that would be good for our business, but in reality, it is a very, very small number.  All the Red Bull, Bud Light, and Coors cans render the small number of labelled Craft Beer cans meaningless.  And, there is other contamination.

Yes, recyclers would like the most pure aluminum possible, but it isn’t realistic to have perfectly clean cans.  Gum, cigarrette butts, and other waste is in every load of cans that has ever been recycled.  There has to be an allowance for contamination in the recycling process.  There is no other option but to filter out all the waste – including poly labels – when the cans are melted down.  Yes the problem is growing becasue small, innovative crafte producers have this option that didn’t exist 10 years ago, but it is still a very small problem compared to the economic opportunity and creative expression offered by this flexible packaging option. 

Control What you Can

Given the benefits of labels, the choice you can make is to work with an eco-friendly label company like Rose City Label.  We are 100% wind powered, we use water wash printing plates, and have many award winning recycling programs in our business. We were just recognized again in the FTA 2021 Sustainability Excellence Awards

If you need great labels for your canned beverage, at least you have the opportunity to work with a company with a focus on sustainability.  Call us today.  We can help with all your label needs. 

Label of The Month – Beautiful Blakeslee Vineyards Rose’

Label of The Month – Beautiful Blakeslee Vineyards Rose’

Label of The Month

This is the first in our series highlighting beautiful, eye catching labels.  We will select labels that showcase excellent design from our designer partners, but also highlight the technical expertise of Rose City Label.  Our aim is always to communicate the desired message on your product, and to do it in the most cost effective way possible.  By using our expertise and maximizing the capabilities of our equipment, we get the very best outcome for you – our very important customer.

This first label is the Rose’ of Pinot Noir from Blakeslee Vineyard Estate in Sherwood, OR.  This premium wine producer has a tasting room with indoor and outdoor seating (very COVID-19 safe) and a breathtaking view.  On top of that, the wine is fantastic and Bill and Sheila Blakeslee are wonderful to work with.  If you love good wine, this is definitely one to put on your list for tasting.

Design and Execution

This amazing Label of the Month was designed by our friend Chris Noud at Now Design Creative Services.  We are happy that Chris trusted us to execute his design for our mutual client.  We take this responsibility seriously.  Using our Premium Digital Printing and Foil/Embossing presses, we are able to deliver these labels reliably, on time, at a very fair price.  Another important part of this label is the premium paper we use that is specifically designed for wines that are stored in cold, wet conditions.  This is specifically designed to survive an ice bucket – the killer of lower quality labels.

Key Challenges

  • Very tight tolerance embossing and foil stamping
  • Fine, closely spaced parallel lines that have to be foil stamped cleanly
  • Detailed image of bird logo
  • Durability in Ice Bucket environment

Label of the Month

If you have a great product, and a passion to connect with your consumer, please call us today.  We are label experts!  Challenging labels that allow us to elevate your brand – these are the things we love to work on.  Maybe if we work together well, your label could be featured as a Label of the Month in a future post.  Call us today at (503) 777-4711.

We are Beverage Can Label Experts!

We are Beverage Can Label Experts!

Beverage Can Label Experts

Because of the great brewery customers that have trusted us all these years, we have become beverage can label experts.  Putting labels on cold, wet cans moving at high speed is not easy.  Excellent machine operators need to keep the speed, tension, and label pressure at optimal levels. Still, without premium labels from bevergage can label experts, you don’t have a chance.

Tons of New Sizes!

Today we print for many, many different can sizes.  16oz and 12oz are definitely most popular, but the 19.2oz can is coming on strong.  A few of our brewery clients are going exclusively to the 4-pack of 16oz cans for all their packaged beer in 2021.  No bottles and no other formats.  Whatever you need, we can help.  We add new sizes to our library every week.

Gateway Brewing is a wonderful community brewery.  They had good success during COVID-19 by offering home delivery of their 16oz cans.  We love working with smart, creative businesses that adapt and stay relevant in tough times.  Check them out at gatewaybrewingpdx.com

Cider in Cans, Too!

Most of our beverage can labels are for beer – maybe that is changing.  More and more we are seeing cider, mead, and CBD infused seltzers packaged in cans.  This diversity makes it even more interesting for us.  And the material choices are endless – clear, white, metallic – we lots of options to make your design pop off the shelf.  And, with our very dense white ink, we can provide some amazing effects on clear and metallic substrates – ask us about them when you call with your next project.

Protection Matters!

The label hasn’t done its job until it gets into the consumer’s shopping cart and then into their cooler while still representing your brand image.  This requires lamination.  A laminate (lamination) is a thin layer of poly that is fused over the ink to protect from scuffing.  Most bottles have a ridge or bumper designed into the profile so you never have the label rubbing against the adjacent label – this protection isn’t provided to cans.  Cans are just a perfect cylinder with constant rubbing and scuffing.  Without lamination, your labels will look horrible in the grocery cooler.

Work with Experts!

Thankfully for you, we have made all the mistakes and learned all the lessons.  We work with all the leading mobile canners and we know how to get can labels done on time and budget.  We are beverage can label experts!  Call us today – we look forward to helping you.

Award Winning Printers!

Award Winning Printers!

Award Winning Printers (again)!

We are award winning printers, again!  Most of the space and energy on this blog is dedicated to showing off our customers and their amazing products, our technical skill, and our environmental commitment.  Today, we are bragging a bit.  In the 2020 Print ROCKS! competition, Rose City Label was again recognized for excellence in printing.  Way to go team!  ** We received 4 previous awards in this competition back in 2017, but it is always nice to be recognized again!

Loowit Brew

Loowit Brewing in Vancouver – Thank You

Our customer, Loowit Brewing was nice enough to trust us with their very special, limited release beer, Tiamat.  Check out more about the beer and see the labels on bottles here.  The beer is an amazing, complex blend –

“Tiamat is a blend of 3 different beers: Barrel-Aged Olde Hardhide Old Ale, Barrel-Aged Cryptodome Barleywine and freshly brewed Shimmergloom Imperial Stout” — this is the description from the Loowit website.  Obviously, a beer this complex and special couldn’t have a boring label on it.  Thankfully, Loowit designed a special label to go with the amazing beer.

Here is the Big Winner – Tiamat!

This label utilizied our premium HP Indigo digital printing along with foil stmaping.  The design is very striking and draws your attention to the bottle right away. Thankfully, we were able to bring this design to life with our printing skill and equipment.  Great job team! 

Award Winning Label Printing

More About the Awards

You can’t brag about Award Winning Printing without an organzied awards competition.  THANK YOU to PPI, Printing Industries of America, and the local volunteer judges that gave up their time to make this happen. Congratulations also to the other award winners – see a full listing here.  If you are more of a visual person, check out the YouTube video by clicking here.  This video shows many, many types of creative printing and design.  It is worth watching the 6 minute video – be sure to check the Rose City Label winning entry at the 0:55 mark in the video.  We have another second place award noted at the 1:40 mark in the video, but it isnt shown visually.  Finally, our Best of Division award is shown at the 2:52 mark.  Wow!  It is humbling to be recognized by our peers and among our peers in this fantastic industry.

Thank You Team!

We continue to be thankful for all our customers that trust us and all our amazing team members.  We work hard every day and it is very nice to be recognized as experts.  If you want to work with our team to produce outstanding labels for your products, please call us today.  We can help.

Black Is Beautiful – Thank You Weathered Souls!

Black Is Beautiful – Thank You Weathered Souls!

Black Is Beautiful Beer

Rose City Label is proud to be a part of the solution – using BEER as a force for GOOD!  With great leadership from a wonderful brewery in Texas, we were able to partner with the Oregon Brewers Guild to support this wonderful program.  We offered FREE labels to the first five OBG member brewers that wanted to brew this beer, but we got 10 fantatsic breweries signed up that same day so we decided to print FREE labels for all 10. What an amazing outpouring of support here in our own community – well done Oregon Brewers!

Thank You Weathered Souls!

Big thank you to Weathered Souls Brewing in San Antino, TX for getting this project moving so quickly.  Just a short time after the public outcry about police brutality toward people of color, the team at Weathered Souls had a dedicated website built to help all of us use beer as a force for good.  Check out Black is Beautiful – the hub for this project that has attracted over 1,000 breweries in all 50 states and 19 countries.  Well done!

Their website gave label artwork, recipe, and a description of the cause.  All they ask is that you donate the proceeds to any good cause that benefits justice for people of color.

Amazing Oregon Brewers that Stepped Up Big!

These 10 were the first to jump in for free labels, but several others have joined in later.  (** For anyone who still wants in on the program, we are offering the labels at a wholesale cost basis from here on out).

Thank You Sasquatch Brewing

This is the first amazing Black is Beautiful label I got to drink personally, and it was wonderful – the flavor, the color, the brewer, and the cause it supported!  Thank you Sasquatch.

High Speed Cold Foil Printing

High Speed Cold Foil Printing

High Speed Cold Foil Printing

This amazing technology doesn’t fully replace hot stamp printing, and it isn’t perfect for every application, but it solves many problems.  This runs at near full press speed (up to 150 feet per minute) and completely avoids the processing on a separate machine.  It takes one full step and station out of process which saves time and money.

 

First, a special UV-curable adhesive is printed onto the label stock using a standard printing plate – no need for an expensive engraved metal plate

Next the foil is laminated to the label stock with the wet adhesive below it.  Then, the UV lamp cures the wet adhesive throught the foil.

Finally, the foil is peeled away from the label.  You can see where the printed image was left on the label – held down by the cured adhesive. 

Perfect for Labels

This inline high speed cold foil printing is perfect for labels. Here is why:

  • Faster press speeds reduce overall cost
  • No need for expensive engraved copper plates
  • Reduced handling for faster delivery
  • Wide variety of foils available

Thanks for considering this relatively new technology for your next project.  We are growing more excited about this with every job we run.  Call us today!