Well, guys...here we go AGAIN!
The labeling industry is about to be dealing with yet another rapid change that we'll have to adjust to.
What's the crisis this time? Another massive paper release liner shortage.
The situation has become so disruptive that Avery Dennison recently referred to the current environment as "inflationary and highly volatile."
And yes, I know. We're all tired of hearing this type of news, too. But unfortunately it's unavoidable and we need to address things head on.
So let's dive into the latest issue to see where our industry is headed:
According to Kevin Clunie, VP of Sales & Marketing at Mactac, 87% of the release liner consumption in North America is paper-based.
However, continued supply chain shortages have created an unstable supply and demand environment for paper products.
"The industry has been growing, but the paper supply has been slacking," states Clunie, referring to the growing demand for release liner in North America, which was up 3.5% in 2021.
The most recent causality of this is the shortage of paper-based liners.
With few solutions available, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) quickly became the material of choice as a paper liner replacement.
But why has it become the go-to product?
It's because PET is the closest alternative to paper release liner.
Before the liner shortage began, PET was promoted as a sustainable option for companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
But now, PET liner has become crucial for businesses to continue supplying customers and end-users.
"The move of the moment is around supply," mentions Clunie. "Customers are going to PET out of necessity right now more than sustainability."