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Are Product Labels Vegan?

Plant-based products are more popular than ever, with record numbers of individuals choosing a vegan lifestyle. Many businesses have worked tirelessly to create high-quality vegan products for consumers, whether that be food items, beauty products, or something else entirely. When you’ve invested time, money, and energy into developing a truly vegan product, it is essential you make sure every aspect of it is meeting these standards. Packaging and labelling is often overlooked when it comes to vegan products, but it can be the difference between having a truly 100% vegan product and not. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of how every part of a product is produced, so it is critical your labels are living up to expectations. 

Here at Atwell Labellers, we are specialists in all things labelling machine related, and we’ve put together this guide to help you understand vegan labels for your products. 


What Makes Some Labels Not Vegan?

We often see manufacturers assume that labels will be plant-based, because they are made from materials such as paper or plastic. In actual fact, many labels are not vegan as they contain some products which have come from animals in one way or another. There are many animal by-products found in materials you wouldn’t expect, and label ink and adhesives are great examples of this. Some label inks contain glycerine from animal fats, shellac from beetles, gelatine from hooves, or bone char.

Depending on how strict you want to be with your vegan products, you may also be concerned with labelling machinery which handles both vegan and non-vegan products. Most labelling equipment will be used for all kinds of products, but you might want to consider investing in a dedicated vegan labelling machine solely for use with your vegan range. 


Are Labels Vegan-Certified?

Whether you are printing labels in house with labelling machines or using a contract labelling service, you might be wondering if it’s possible to get labels which are vegan certified. Vegan certified labels are available from various suppliers, but often these are not used as a standard for label producers. If you want to guarantee vegan certified labels it is best to research your options and speak with your supplier or contract labelling service. They should be able to provide certification for vegan product labels. 


How Are Vegan Labels Produced?

Vegan certified labels will be made using different materials and different methods than traditional labels for labelling machines. Plant-based inks are often created from soya beans, but this can be a complicated subject as some inks use animal products during the creation process. These inks are then often refined so all organic materials are stripped, leaving the ink free from animal products. When it comes to adhesives, any adhesive which is acrylic based is likely to be vegan, and there is little difference in quality compared with traditional adhesives. Label stock such as paper and plastics are usually naturally free from animal by-products, but with so many options to choose from it is important to double check if you are after labels which are truly vegan.