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Your Guide to Shrink Sleeves

| Shrink Sleeves

~ by Adam Weber, think4D Accounts Manager

Shrink sleeve labels, commonly referred to as “shrink sleeves” are used in a variety of ways and are incredibly versatile!  Shrink sleeves can cover a bottle, can, or container from top to bottom with complete 360 degrees of graphics, giving brands more space to attract attention on crowded store shelves. 

So, what are Shrink Sleeves?  Simply put, shrink sleeves are made of a plastic film and seamed into a tube.  The tube, or sleeve, is then applied over part or all a container like a can or bottle and heated until it snugly conforms to the shape of the container.

What makes shrink sleeves so popular?  Because shrink sleeves can often cover the entire container, you get a lot more label “real estate” for your branding and design.  This is great if you must include things like nutritional facts or multiple languages in your design.  If your product is required to use tamper-evident packaging, shrink sleeves are great because you can build tamper bands right into the sleeve for a clean and seamless look.   And no more flat, boring containers for your brand…when you use shrink sleeves, you can be more creative with your packaging because they conform to almost any shape!

We’ve mentioned a few reasons why shrink sleeves hold the advantage over traditional labels, but really, the list is endless.  Shrink sleeves are incredibly durable and protect your branding during transport and shelving.  At think4D, your graphics are printed on the INSIDE of the sleeve, so scuffs and scratches aren’t a worry.  These labels are also waterproof, so they’re great for humid or moist environments! 

Of course, with the good comes the not-so-good.  Shrink sleeves typically cost more than traditional pressure sensitive labels due to extra materials used.  Unlike a traditional label, it’s hard for shrink sleeves to be applied correctly, requiring specialty equipment.  Because so much depends on the skill of the application equipment operator, you’ll need to work with a co-packer so your sleeves don’t end up looking sloppy.  Shrink sleeves can also be difficult to recycle, as it depends on the materials used.  Some materials such as PET and PVC can be recycled (if applied to a PET or PVC container), while others like PE (polyethylene) and PP (polypropylene) cannot be recycled (at think4D we use PET and PETg).

We mentioned earlier that shrink sleeves are great for branding and design.  We can’t talk about that enough!  You’re not limited to just your brand logo…with shrink sleeves you can embellish your labels with a myriad of options.  Need a touch of sparkle or shine?  Add some glitter or foil to your packaging.  Want to add some “feel” to the look of your label?  Try a texture coating.  With think4D, you can even add a scented coating to deliver an inviting fragrance with every touch.  These available decorations help your products pop on the shelves! 

But what about sustainability and the environmental impact shrink sleeves has? Having our thinner, lighter weight shrink sleeves may help with logistics costs and less to recycle. Biodegradable shrink sleeves can be treated at your local bioplastic recycling sites. think4D also provides fully recyclable materials like PET which makes it easy to “go green”.

Now I’m sure you’re asking, “are shrink sleeves right for my product?” and the answer is very likely yes as they serve a variety of industries.  Food and beverage products account for the majority of shrink sleeves, but they’re becoming increasingly more popular in health and personal care, pharmaceuticals, household chemicals, and more.   

So, the big question now remains…why should you trust think4D with your shrink sleeves? We have a proven track record and testimonies to show that your project is safe with us, delivers on-time, and arrives in premium condition. Our skilled team has over 100 years of combined experience, employing strict quality control measurements to provide consistency in your shrink sleeves.

Ready to take the next steps? Get in touch today!

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