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Which Eco-Friendly Label is Right for Your Brand?

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How do you choose the right sustainable adhesive label? Which is better, Sustainable or Eco-friendly labels? Should you use compostable labels or recycled labels? or, are you better off with recycle-compatible labels? Read on. We’ll demystify the terms related to sustainable and eco-friendly labels.

Not too many years ago there were few green packaging choices, and now it seems there are so many good options to consider. Having more options is great but it can become confusing, especially when trying to figure out which claims are genuine. As a pioneer in revolutionizing the sustainable label industry,  Pure Labels still (and always will) provides the widest variety of genuinely sustainable adhesive labels. 

When it comes to adhesive labels, choosing wisely demonstrates to your customers that you are sincere and knowledgeable about your sustainable packaging commitment.

Ecofriendly Adhesive labels and stickers

Which Sustainable Adhesive Label Should You Choose? 

Follow this simple and effective approach to choosing the right sustainable label, and you will hit the mark in selecting the perfect sustainable label. Start by asking yourself these two questions:

  1. Where do clients dispose of their packaging? (e.g., compost, recycle, trash/landfill)
  2. Which sustainable message aligns with your brand promise? (e.g., made from recycled, compost waste, recycle everything)

Let’s look at each of these questions individually:

1.  Where do clients dispose of their packaging?

Most often the labels you will be using are being placed on some kind of packaging. The material and type of packaging being used often dictates which type of sustainable adhesive labels would be the best choice. For example, if you are using one of our biodegradable coffee bags, then the label should be biodegradable, like the biodegradable adhesive labels from PURE Labels. On the other hand if you have a certified compostable packaging then a compostable adhesive label is the best choice as it does not contaminate the process in composting the waste. This allows your customers to simply compost the entire packaging, bag and label together.

If your packaging is… …then choose this label
Compostable Compostable & Bio Labels
Biodegradable Compostable & Bio Labels
Recycled (but not necessarily recyclable) 100% Recycled Labels (white or kraft)
Recycled and recyclable 100% Recycle-friendly Labels
Recyclable 100% Recycle-friendly Labels

2.  Which sustainable message aligns with your brand promise?

Choose your packaging and labels based on what your company is committed to.

If your Sustainable Brand Promise is… …then choose this label
All Compostable Packaging Compostable & Bio Labels
All Packaging is Biodegradable Compostable & Bio Labels
We Have Recycled Products/Materials 100% Recycled Labels (white or kraft)
We Recycle 100% Recycle-friendly Labels
Eco-friendly Business All Sustainable Labels
Green business leadership All Sustainable Labels
Committed to Fair Trade Fair Trade Hemp Labels or Compostable & Bio Labels
Socially Responsible Business Fair Trade Hemp Labels or Compostable & Bio Labels


Be sure to work with a sustainable label printer. Typically, when label printers recommend a label material they will only focus on performance and application. Without doubt these are very important criteria and are equally important in choosing the right sustainable label too – however, your sustainability-focused brand must also consider how labels fit into a powerful sustainable brand statement. 

To illustrate by example, there is a client using Pure Labels Recycle-Friendly labels for organic lip balm tubes. These labels help to convey the depth of their brand’s commitment to being natural, vegan and organic since Pure Labels are natural, vegan and made of 100% tree-free plant fiber. This client wisely leverages his packaging choices to great advantage by reinforcing the sustainable commitment of his company and how every part of the packaging (even the label!) are aligned with his world-leading all-natural, vegan and certified organic lip balms. The brand’s sustainability commitment is unquestionably authentic which has enabled his company to experience incredible growth within the LOHAS (Lifestyle Of Healthy And Sustainable) market base, and enabled him to stock his products at Whole Foods nationwide.

Don't just talk the talk, now your brand can walk the walk too.

Pure Labels offers the widest variety of sustainable and eco-friendly adhesive labels in either custom printed labels or Ready-to-Print Blank Labels. Choose from many sustainable characteristics, including 100% Recycled, Fair Trade, Compostable, Biodegradable, recyclable, and recycle-compatible. The labels are made from organic, natural, vegan, tree-free raw materials including the adhesives. Pure Labels are the only adhesive label recognized by the Fair Trade Federation.