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Q & A

Q: Can we get Blank labels on a roll?
A: YES, If you want blank labels, we make those too, on rolls or sheets. However, the cost is the same as printed labels since we run it through the same machine and same process. Simply purchase the size you want and send no artwork, and just a note that the labels will be blank and not printed. Rolls come on a 3" core roll. If you need other size cores, such as a 1" core, we can do that too - just call for details.

Q: Can these labels be machine-applied?
A: The labels are suitable either machine-applied or hand applied. If machine applied, just let us know the wind direction required and the core of the rolls.

Q: What type of Paper is used for the Tree-free labels?
A: Our tree-free papers have unique color, tone, and fiber. As the first tree-free plant fiber and vegan adhesive label, it is known for superior printing and quality adhesion while still being fully compostable. The paper is made of 100% sugarcane plant fiber waste. This replaced the hemp plant fiber paper of version 1.0 of the Pure Label product as the sugarcane paper is more consistent and a bit thicker (70 gsm). Clients enjoy the strength, consistency, and quality of the sugarcane paper labels and the 100% compostable and the high quality adhesives.

Q:Which Eco-friendly Label is the best choice for me?
A: It's important to know how to choose the best sustainable label for your business. Every label from Pure Labels is made with leading eco-friendly and sustainable materials.
Choose from the widest selection of eco-friendly labels with different sustainability characteristics including 100% recycled, natural, tree-free, compostable, biodegradable, and more). To find out more, check out our blog post Which Eco-Friendly Label is Right for Your Brand?

Additionally, we offer various labels to perform in different types of applications and environments, such as refrigerated, frozen, wet, oily, and more. Many labels also provide interesting and unique aesthetics not found anywhere else, including natural plant fibers, colors, and textures.
Deciding upon a sustainable label may depend upon what's most important to you and your brand message (e.g., fair trade, recycled, compostability, vegan, etc), which we are more than happy to help you with deciding which label is best for your sustainable business.

Q: Why do you have sustainable, recycled, and compostable adhesive labels that are not found elsewhere?
A: As innovators and pioneers in sustainable packaging and labels since 2000, we're continuously improving and developing sustainable packaging solutions that will help our clients success in creating amazing natural, organic, eco-friendly, and sustainable products with packaging to match their values and brand ethos. We proudly serve our sustainably-conscious brand owners and together able to lead the packaging and labeling industry with best in class sustainable solutions.

Q: Is it possible to match specific CMYK or PMS colors?
A: It is best to build that CMYK or PMS into the file and then call out the CMYK or PMS color on the purchase order or order details. You will need to note if the file is built for uncoated or coated and also call this out when you order as well.

Q: I need help with printing alignment when printing blank labels from templates on my desktop printer.
A: When printing blank labels from a desktop printer, there is a challenge with using text which follows along the circumference of a shape, or even with text that is near the edge or follows the edge of the labels. That has to do with the small difference in registration of the die cut along with the way desktop printers feed and position the paper sheets. Even with professional printing with industrial printing this type of alignment is problematic. It is recommended to allow a clearance of at least 1/8" inch from the edge for professional printing. For desktop printing it would depend upon the model of printer as they have varying alignments.

Q: Are compostable labels okay to recycle too? I think clients will want to EITHER recycle or compost the entire package, so I’m hoping one can do both!
A: It is ok if you put the compostable labels into the paper recycle bin however the compostable adhesives will be blended in with the recycled paper. The recycle-friendly labels have adhesives which can be easily separated from the paper pulp and the adhesives do not get blended in with the recycled paper. Ideally you want to instruct clients on composting your packaging if the rest of your packaging is compostable. Ideally, even a compostable container should not be put into recycling.

Q: Do you have any icons, certifications, or graphics I could use in my artwork to convey the sustainable labels are eco-friendly and sustainable?
A: Sure, we have some nice short suggestions for how to describe the great benefits of the labels (plus you will get nice discount whenever printing artwork that mentions Pure Labels), as well as some cool and attractive graphic images to use on the labels such as a 'tree-free' label image and more.

Q: Can you give some examples of sustainability messages?
A: Changing Labels For Good. PURE Labels™ are 100% Compostable. (or 100% Recycle-friendly, or 100% Recycled, depending upon the label chosen)

Q: Are there any specification sheets detailing the certifications of the labels and adhesives?
A: PURE Labels™ are the leading sustainable adhesive labels and each formulation has it's own specification. We have varieties including 100% Recycle Compatible and Compostable adhesives, All-natural plant fiber paper, Fair Trade produced, tree-free hemp and wildgrass, and more. There are certifications, including 100% compostable adhesives made with all natural raw materials and formulated to comply with international compost standard ASTM D6868, as well as compliance with BPI Certification for Biodegradability and Din Certco. We are pleased to provide customers with specification sheets upon request.

Q: My label has a barcode. How can I ensure this scans without a hitch?
A: For your barcode, we suggest to have this printed on top of a WHITE INK area. This is important with the natural paper since there are naturally-occuring fibers which may make barcodes hard to read. Also, to help to differentiate WHITE INK from NO INK in the artwork PDF, we suggest to use HOT/BRIGHT PINK wherever you want WHITE INK to be printed and call it out that this is actually white ink. So for example in this case, it could be a bright pink rectangle box for the barcode block, and then the black barcode on top.

Q: Can we print on the edge of the labels?
A: Allow 1/8" for any print near the edges. Occassionally there can be a slight "float" of 1/16" on the die cutting machine, so to account for this we encourage clients to avoid printing a border since a slight shift in a die cut could make the border look off-center. Our recommendation is to produce the label graphics without a border line, if that is an option.

Q: I do not see the quantity or the size or the shape of my label here online? How do I get it?
A: Send us your label details and needs and we can make most any size, shape, or quantity.

Q: Do you print using soy based inks?

A: For large runs (generally over 100,000 labels), we can print with water-based inks. However many small businesses order less than 100,000 labels, and these are printed digitally. In order to maximize material efficiency and keep our minimums as low as possible, we print digitally for the shorter runs. This means, however, that digital ink technology is used which are not soy or vegetable based. Below you can find some information on sustainable labels which highlights the specific information on digital printing and misunderstanding of soy inks. 

Most jobs we print are printed on digital printers.  All the labels printed on digital printers are fully compostable including the inks.
  • The inks have been studied, tested, and analyzed by OWS and the inks we use do not interfere the compostability.
  • We do not use soy ink as these inks are largely petroleum-based and a bit of a misnomer to their actual sustainability claims. There are concerns about soy inks as a greenwashing term.
  • The labels printed on certified compostable adhesive labels with full color digital ink printing are still fully compostable. The printed inks do not impede on the compostability of the labels.

SOY INK? – “The biggest misconception people have is that all of the components of soy ink are made from soy,” says Gary Jones, Vice President EHS of the Printing Industries of America.

Oil is just one component of ink. Other ingredients include pigments, resins and film formers, and various additives to lend desired characteristics to different kinds of ink. Some of those other components may come from renewable resources, but many do not. Pigments, especially, are generally mineral in origin and it’s not uncommon for them to be toxic. For instance, carbon black is widely used as the pigment for black ink and is classified as a Group 2B carcinogen. What may come as a surprise to many people is that most veggie inks contain substantial amounts of petroleum. (Excerpt from

Q: What is the average/expected turn around time with placing an order?
A: Labels are printed and shipped within 3-5 business days after approval of the artwork proofs, and often faster.

Q: What certifications or standards do the compostable labels comply with?
A: Our compostable labels use a compostable adhesive made with all natural raw materials and it is formulated to comply with international compost standard ASTM D6868. It is also in compliance with BPI Certification for Biodegradability and Din Certco.

Q: What is the turnaround time for printed labels?
A: New orders: Labels will be completed and shipped 3-5 business days after artwork proof approval and payment confirmation. An additional 2-3 days are required if your label requires a custom die to be made. Proofing new artwork can be as quick as 1-2 days, but it is best to allow as much time as possible - number of artwork versions and any changes that need to be made after review can both extend the timeline.

Repeat orders: For orders that repeat dies and exact artwork, the turn around time is 3-5 business days (plus shipping) from payment confirmation. Orders with the same die but new artwork will need to be proofed, and turnaround will be 3-5 days (plus shipping) from proof approval and payment confirmation.

Q: How can I get Sample Stickers rather than making a full order?
A: Free printed samples are always available - just ask. However if you want your specific artwork printed on our label material, Sample Stickers are $150 (as of April 2017) - and multiple printed samples may be included. The printed samples are production-quality print proofs and not die cut. Please call us directly to order custom samples at 773-276-4554

Q:  My art files are not outlined PDF's and they seem clear and perfect on the screen.  Can we just use these?
A: What you're describing is right - the images will appear perfectly fine on the screen and the proof sheets we provide may even be printable on a desktop printer, but the digital printing technology used for printing the labels is engineered to product the highest quality print possible and needs all the raw images and fonts embedded in the file since it uses them directly when printing.

Q: What is required to make a PDF an 'Outlined PDF'?
A: An outlined PDF is necessary for the artwork to be print-ready with commercial-grade printing technology. Simply convert all the text to paths (outlines). 

Q:  Are PURE Labels available in Removable or Repositionable compostable labels?
A:  YES!
Q:  What is the MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) for Labels?
A:  PURE Labels has no minimums, however we generally recommend a minimum order quantity of 3000 to 5000 depending upon the size and quantity of the labels needed. If you'd like to see the best pricing for your needs, please request a quote with various quantities so you can decide which volume makes the most economic sense for your business.  Also, remember you can mix-n-match artworks within one print job - so that means you can order 500 of 10 different label artworks and we'll combine them into one print run of 5000 labels total - saving you money!
Q: Is it more economical if I print on blank labels or have your company print them for me?
A: It typically makes good economics to have printed labels once there are at least 1000 printed labels needed, with a minimum of 500 labels per artwork.  The cost of printing less than 1000 labels is usually much more expensive than purchasing Blank Sheets of die-cut PURE Labels and printing on your own printer or at a local retail print shop.
And when printing less than 500 of a single artwork there is an additional charge.
It is a decision which each company makes based on their own needs, however economically it certainly is best to purchase a pack of blank labels and print them on your own when there are less than 1000 total labels.
Q: Does Cedar Grove approve PURE Labels as commercially acceptable adhesive labels?
A: Since March 2017, Pure Labels clear adhesive label has been recognized by Cedar Grove as the only acceptable adhesive label for commercial composting.
Cedar Grove plays an important role in diverting organic waste from landfills. From their Washington compost facilities more than 350,000 tons of residential and commercial yard and food waste are composted annually.
Q:  I heard there are some "special" discounts.  How can I get a lower price on my labels?
A:  You're right!  We offer lower discounts of either 2.5% or 5% off your orders.  Click here for the details. Also, to save money our customers expense, we will bundle all various label artwork into one single print job, which saves a lot of expense!  Any questions? Just call us at 773-276-4554.
Q:  Are PURE Labels compostable labels certified by BPI?
A:  PURE Labels compostable label products and the proprietary adhesives are certified according to both ASTM D6400 and EN13432 and also comply with FDA and EC 1935/2004 for direct food applications.
Q:  Are the inks used on the printed labels also compostable?
A:  Yes, this is possible.  For a completely certified printed label we must use the same ink/printing which was used to earn the certification.  If you require to use the same compostable inks as the certification, the labels must be printed on a flexo printer with compostable inks - the flexo printers require large print run (approx. 50k-100k labels per artwork) to be economically viable.  There are not yet any digital (short-run) commercial printers within the compostable certification and therefor no short-run digital print jobs fall within the certification.  That being said, digitally printed labels often comply wtih ASTM D6400 and EN13432 since the total mass of the ink is less than 1% of the total mass of the label.
Q:  Can you provide labels with a dead edge?
A:  Yes