What are linerless labels?


Linerless labels are pressure-sensitive labels that do not require a backing material like standard labels. The labels have a non-stick release coating, which allows the labels to be wound on a roll without the adhesive sticking to the label below it. Linerless labels offer a range of benefits in comparison to standard labels; including economic, ecological and application benefits. However, before switching to a new method of labelling, there are a few considerations that must be taken before making that decision.

Benefits of linerless labels

There are multiple benefits for using linerless labels. For instance, using linerless labels could save you money in the long run as the reel is made almost entirely of usable material. This means that a roll of linerless labels that weighs similar to a roll of standard labels will have more labels per roll, working out at approximately 40% more labels per roll. This increases productivity as the rolls will need changing on a less regular basis, and decreases shipping and storage costs.

Linerless labels are also a much more environmentally friendly solution compared to its counterpart. Removing the backing material for the labels results in less waste going to landfills as the material cannot be recycled or burned. It is also worth mentioning that removing liner paper adds an additional health benefit to staff members. The liner material can be a slip hazard for workers if left on the floor of a workplace, e.g. a factory.

If labels are being manually applied, the application becomes easier and less time-consuming for the operator applying the labels. As the label will no longer need peeling off of a liner, the operator will only need to tear the label from the machine before placing onto a pack, further increasing productivity. Despite a machine being able to use a peeler as the label is being printed, the operator will still need to spend a short amount of time disposing of the waste liner per label, including bin disposal changeovers once full. Over a period of time, this will add to the time consumed on non-productive working.

If downtime is a frustration within your production line, read our guide on Total Productive Maintenance (TPM).

Things to consider

Despite the long-term cost saving and productivity benefits that linerless labels offer, it is important to take into consideration the cost of adding new machines to your production line. If you are currently using label machines that use standard labels, it is most likely that your machines will not be compatible with linerless labels. This will mean that your company will need to invest a considerable amount of money in new machinery just to be able to add linerless labels to your production line.

If you are looking to add linerless labels to your production lines, it might be worth taking a phased approach. By adding one or two new machines, you can monitor the production and cost saving benefits over a period of time to see if it is worth investing heavily in completely new machinery.

Our range of Zebra products are compatible with linerless labels, and offer rugged reliability, exceptional performance and unprecedented flexibility to suit the needs of the modern factory. View the range of Zebra products here.

A person within a workplace printing a label from a Zebra printer


  • Linerless labels are pressure sensitive labels that do not require a backing material (a liner).

  • They have a non-stick release coating that allows the labels to be wound up without any sticking together.

  • There are multiple benefits of using linerless labels, including; ecological, economical and application benefits.

  • Adding linerless label printers to your production line can be expensive, so it’s worth trialling one or two machines first before completely swapping out your labelling machinery.

Get in touch

Want to switch your operation to start using linerless labels? get in touch and one of our experts will be happy to help.