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Bottle screen printing FAQ

screen printed gin bottle

What exactly is screen printing?
Screenprinting is a printing technique where the print goes straight onto the product. The product to be printed enters a machine, is clamped and registered in the equipment. The product is subsequently put underneath the printing method (the screen). The screen slides, the product moves along, the ink is pressed through the screen by means of the doctor blade (squeegee), and the image appears on the product.

What are the advantages of screen printing?
• High level of durability
• Extremely high level of scratch resistance
• Chemical-resistant
• High level of colorfastness
• No osmosis issues or floating/loose labels

What benefits does screen printing have over paper labels?
• Won't fade, stain, scratch, tear, or peel off
• Increased bottling line efficiency
• Design flexibility
• Branding/Marketing impact
• 360 degree wrap-around printing
• Cost competitive vs. label printing

What is California Proposition 65?
The California state government in 1986 passed legislation that is intended to warn consumers in the state of the possibility of exposure to toxic chemicals. Officially known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, it is better known by its original name of Proposition 65.

Proposition 65 requires the State to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Currently, there are around 750 chemicals listed, with lead and cadmium being the chemicals of concern to decorators.

Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of these listed chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. Proposition 65 specifically lays out the required testing method, limits for lead and cadmium leaching, and the warning requirements for articles that exceed the limits.

Ceramic ware does not need warnings if the leaching test results are below the specified levels. Federal limits still apply to ceramic dinnerware regarding allowable lead and cadmium leaching.

The information provided here is a very brief overview of Proposition 65, and is not meant to answer all questions regarding this law. Any decorators whose products may end up in California (even if not originally sold there), need to be aware of this law, and its ramifications for them, to avoid potential costly problems.

To review the warning requirements, or to view the regulation in its entirety, please refer to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment web site at