the wrap-around option
Stretch-sleeve polyethylene labels now have a large share of the highly competitive beverage markets, especially soft drinks and mineral waters, throughout Europe and North America. Like shrink sleeves, this labeling method offers a 360-degree method of product decoration using a tough, waterproof material. It widens brand managers’ design options high-quality flexo or gravure printing for achieving eye-catching effects.
Film sleeves are now appearing on more fresh milk products as European suppliers adopt different marketing strategies. As usual, the all-powerful supermarket groups are behind this initiative, having captured a major share of the doorstop delivery business.
Milk delivered in returnable glass bottles by actual humans has yet to pass completely into folklore in the UK. However, the bad news for traditionalists is that Robert Wiseman Dairies, a leading UK milk supplier, has opened a new dairy in Worcestershire. It said to be the largest in Europe and is dedicated to stretch-sleeve labeling, using three bottling lines with integrated applicators capable of speeds up to 400 bottles per minute. The lines supply supermarkets’ own-label fresh milk in four sizes of HDPE bottles.
Just elasticity holds the labels to the containers, which allows for a high speed operation that needs neither heat nor adhesives. It also makes the recycling of both bottle and labels materials more viable. The project was handled by ITW Auto-Sleeves, based in Austria and a pioneer of stretch sleeving. Since 1992 it has been part of the Consumer Packaging Products & Systems Division of Illinois Tool Works of Glenview, IL.