As one of the country’s leading female chefs and restaurateurs who has pioneered the culinary scene in scenic Sedona, Arizona for the past 20 years, chef Lisa Dahl knows a thing or two about food. Not only is food something we all desperately need to survive, it’s also something “for the soul” as she so eloquently puts it.
When we sit down after a long day to enjoy the fruits of our labor (no pun intended), we don’t necessarily think about what it took to get all that food to our grocery store shelves or favorite restaurant, but it’s worth exploring.
“I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Plastics.”
That was a famous line from the movie, The Graduate, that hits home more today than it ever has in the past.
For all the negative press consumable plastics are receiving in the news today, there needs to be a positive spin on durable polyolefin plastic goods. These plastics play a very important role in the preparation, growth, harvesting, delivery and shopping of food that most people don’t really understand or grasp. Fully recyclable polyolefin plastics are utilized every day by OEM’s to make tractors lighter and more fuel efficient, water and sprayer tanks more durable, hydroponic/aeroponic growing systems easier to manufacture, and produce totes, bakery trays, milk and beverage crates re-useable and returnable to help keep their costs down which in turn keeps our costs down. Polyolefin plastics are also used in the shopping carts we use to hunt and gather as we make our way through the isles at our local grocery or retail store.
Since the early 1990’s, low surface energy (LSE) polyolefin plastics have skyrocketed in production replacing heavier composites, metals and other materials due to their exceptional durability. Industrial Designers and Engineers chose these plastics specifically for their ability to stand up against chemicals, various harsh environments and heavy impacts while lasting 10 years or more, the normal life expectancy for most of these products.
The resistant nature of LSE polyolefin plastics makes them the perfect plastic for these types of products that must endure all types of abuses. But ironically, it’s that same resistant nature that keeps labels from sticking or bonding to the surface. That means Brands names, logos, and safety/warning labels have no chance to endure once they get past the initial decorative process at the factory and are introduced into the real world.
As an example, look at the shopping cart flap next time you’re at the store. If the safety label is missing, and most of them are, ask yourself what the implications might be? According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, it’s big. 20,000 children are injured every year in shopping cart related injuries. In 2012, the ASTM Shopping Cart Subcommittee issued a warning label standard for shopping cart manufacturers. Within the standard, it states that “warning labels shall be permanent” which begs the question, what does permanent mean? For consumers, permanent means that the warning label on the flap is giving them vital information that may protect their children from harm. For the grocery store or retail chain, permanent means protection against liability. In other words, for consumers, grocery stores and retail chains, the labels better be truly permanent.
But shopping carts are just one of the many products we listed earlier. Re-usable & returnable beverage crates, baking trays, produce crates, supply chain pallets, food service items, water tanks and more need permanent Brands names, warning labels and shipping/tracking information that can endure the constant abuse of impacts, abrasion, pressure washing, cleaning chemicals, dishwashing cycles, various UV and moisture environments including contact with fuels, oils and other chemicals. We can tell you with confidence that there is no method of labeling today that can survive this magnitude of abuse whether it’s pressure-sensitive adhesive, hot stamp foil, heat transfer or in mold label (IML), even if they’re called permanent.
The only viable solution is to use a 100% compatible Polyfuze label tailored to permanently meld into LSE polyolefin plastics.
How permanent are Polyfuze labels? So permanent that they’re backed by our lifetime guarantee, our pledge that brand names, logos, and safety/warning labels will be on these durable products until their end of life use.
And when end of life comes and it’s time to recycle, there’s no labels to remove that only becomes waste on the ground or landfill because Polyfuze labels are 100% recyclable, just like the LSE polyolefin plastics they’re seamlessly fused to.
Polyfuze, the only label permanent enough to help LSE polyolefin plastic products get the produce, baked goods, beverages and other products where they’re going.
Did you know that polyolefin plastic theft of returnable/re-usable bakery, milk, produce and beverage crates is BIG Business for recycling thieves? Millions of dollars are lost to theft every year, a cost that eventually gets passed along to the consumer.
Ask us how we can help you curb your plastic theft problem with our DTECT label innovation.
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