FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Custom Digitally Printed Pouches

What sets Rootree™ apart from our competitors?

We are a family, right to the core. Our roots are grounded in our beginnings as a family business and we value working with the smallest start-ups and the largest brands. We treat each customer equally: as part of the family; it’s in our DNA. Our state-of-the-art digital printing technologies allow us to offer our clients many benefits.

  • No minimum order quantities
  • No setup fees
  • Custom designs
  • Multiple SKUs in one run
  • Quick turnaround times
  • Variable content and data
  • Sustainable manufacturing processes
  • Custom sample packs
  • Manufactured in Canada

What is the lead time for custom pouches?

Our lead time for digitally printed pouches is typically around 2-3 weeks from the customer’s final sign-off on their art proofs, however this may vary depending on the time of year or due to material shortages. Contact our Sales team to discuss our current lead times. If you’ve ordered online, our team will be in touch shortly to provide your estimated shipping date.

Can you make any size and type of flexible packaging?

Yes! Our custom pouches can be created to the exact size that you require for your product, within our manufacturing capabilities. The maximum sizes vary based on the pouch style you choose. In general, we can produce pouches as small as 2.5”x2.5” (63.5x63.5mm) to as large as 14”x16” (356x406mm). We offer a wide variety of pouch styles which can accommodate almost anything you’d like to package. Features like clear windows, metallic effects, and various zipper styles are available on most of our products, and many of our conventional materials are able to be vacuum sealed.

  • Stand-Up Pouches
  • 2 or 3 Side Seal / Lay Flat Pouches
  • Quad Seal Pouches
  • Flat Bottom Pouches
  • Spout Pouches
  • Side Gusset Pouches
    Check out our custom solutions to see a selection of products that can be ordered online. Not sure what size or style to order? Check out our What Bag Do I Need? and What Size Do I Need? pages for helpful information. Need a little extra help? Please contact us.
What are 'optimized' sizes?

These sizes have been designed to reduce waste during printing and production – they have the same capacity as their equivalent stock bag sizes but have been formatted for efficiency. Thanks to this optimization, we are able to offer these sizes at a lower cost and as a more sustainable packaging option compared to our competitors.

How many colours can I use in my design?

Thanks to our digital printing process, you can print in an endless array of colours at no extra cost. We strive to provide our clients with the best colour, which is why we colour-match every job and provide tear sheet samples if needed. Interested in Pantone colours? Our state-of-the-art printing presses are able to match Pantone colours very closely. We are also able to order Pantone-matched ink, though this is typically reserved for very large orders, and would add costs and lengthen the turnaround time for the order.

What are the benefits of digital printing? Are there any cylinders or plates involved?

Our digital printing process does not require plates or cylinders – that means quicker turnaround times, flexibility for design changes between runs, and no plate costs! Our digital printing occurs at our facility in Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

Can I order samples?

We are happy to put together a customized sample pack for you – all you have to do is pay for the shipping. This will allow you to become more familiar with our sizes and finishes to help you determine what best suits your needs. Request a sample pack.

How do I determine the best pouch size for my product?

We are happy to put together a customized sample pack for you – all you have to do is pay for the shipping. This will allow you to become more familiar with our sizes and finishes, which will help you determine what best suits your needs. We’ve also developed this handy chart for our optimized sizes and their respective fill amounts.

What is the minimum order?

There are no minimums, however orders under 500 units are considered a prototype run and do require a flat fee of $1,500 - $3,000, depending on size and style, to cover set-up and overhead costs.

Do you offer a compostable option?

Absolutely! We are proud to offer custom compostable pouches, made with certified compostable materials, option to add compostable zippers or valves, and designed and manufactured locally to suit your needs. In fact, we created an additional FAQ page for our compostable pouches for all your questions!

What compostable material options do you offer?

We offer clear, metalized, and paper options for our compostable pouches.

Are your pouches recyclable?

The answer is yes, and no. Sustainability is a pillar of our business, that’s why we strive for better manufacturing processes and offerings on a daily basis. Our conventional flexible packaging, like our competitors’, is typically made from 3 or more layers of material. Since these materials are made from different types of plastics, the pouch is qualified as code #7 recycling, or “other”. Most recycling facilities are unable to separate the materials in order to properly recycle them – this is typical in the flexible packaging industry. But it doesn’t end there. Our manufacturing process is significantly more sustainable than our competitors, from our optimized sizes to our staff programs. Learn more about the benefits of Rootree’s flexible packaging.
The second part of our answer is YES! Rootree offers custom flexible packaging that is recyclable under code #2. Our recyclable line is more limited than our conventional line. But don’t worry – it’s not too complicated! We encourage you to learn about our RT | Recyclable line or shop our recyclable packaging.
If you are looking for an option that is even more eco-friendly, we offer compostable packaging made from renewable, non-GMO, & bio-based materials, offered in both paper and non-paper options. Shop our compostable packaging. Still have questions? Check out our compostable FAQs!

I don’t want any artwork, but I need a custom size – can you do that?

Yes we can!

How do I send my art?

A selection of common dielines can be found on our website. Artwork must be placed on an official Rootree dieline and must conform to our Artwork Guidelines. Learn more about our Artwork Guidelines and, if you’re choosing compostable, read about our additional Compostable Guidelines.
For assistance with dielines or assembling artwork, please contact prepress@rootree.ca.

Creative Services

What creative services do you offer?

Your brand is your foundation and our Creative Services Team has you covered from concept to launch. We offer creative services for virtually any of your business needs – we specialize in working with customers to take their ideas from a concept to fully branded packaging with an eCommerce website, custom photography, social media presence, business cards, and even trade show backdrops and banners. Check out our full list of Creative Service offerings and let our team help tell your brand’s story.

Can you assist me with my pouch artwork?

Yes, our Creative Services team has many talents! Our in-house graphic designers specialize in package design and we offer a variety of design packages.

I have a business concept, but I don’t know where to start. Can you help launch my brand?

Yes! Our full-service, in-house creative team specializes in branding, package design, e-commerce websites, digital marketing, and so much more.

What web design services do you offer? What about e-commerce?

Our Creative Services team works with our clients to take their ideas from a concept to a fully branded business with an eCommerce website. We also offer website updates and we can work with a variety of platforms including Shopify, Squarespace, and custom Wordpress. Our team does it all! Check out our packages and offerings.

Do you offer logo updates or redesigns?

From logo updates to redesigns to full brand identities – our Creative Team helps you get that vision out of your head and onto the paper. We can ensure you’ll hit the ground running with a brand that your audience will love. Contact our Creative Team today!

I’m struggling with social media. Can you help me?

Let our Team be your guide to helping you launch your business into the world of online marketing and social media management. We offer a variety of online marketing services.

Co-Packing

What kind of products can you pack?

Spices, sugar, candy, liquids - we can pack almost anything! We also accommodate a variety of packaging styles, including pouches, glass jars, tins, and more.

Is there a minimum order for co-packing?

There is no minimum package quantity – our pricing is based on volume. Get a co-packing quote!

What information is required from me during the co-packing process?

Customers must provide us with any certificates which may be applicable to their product, such as organic. Customers must also ensure that packing slips are provided by their suppliers. Any other details (blending quantities, boxing instructions, batch codes, etc.) must be explicitly laid out by the customer.

Are you Halal certified?

Yes, our clients and their customers can be at ease with the guarantee that their Rootree co-packer has not altered their halal food status. By becoming Halal Certified, we are now able to service halal brands who strive to provide their customers with 100% confidence in their products.

Can you pack my Certified Organic product?

Yes, our co-packing facility is certified by Canada Organic and USDA Organic.

What other certifications do you have?

Rootree’s co-packing facility has various certifications.

Stock Pouches

What styles and sizes of pouches do you carry?

We offer a wide variety of stock pouch styles which can accommodate almost anything you’d like to package! Stock packaging is sometimes referred to as blank, pre-made, or mylar pouches, but it’s essentially just an unprinted package. We can add valves and/or tin-ties to most of our stock pouches for a fee. Many of our stand-up pouch sizes have zipper and non-zipper options, as well as window options.·

Are your stock pouches recyclable?

For our pre-made pouches, the individual materials are recyclable. However, most recycling facilities are unable to separate the materials in order to properly recycle them – this is typical in the flexible packaging industry. Find out more about the environmental impact of plastics by reading our blog.
If you’re looking for a sustainable alternative, our custom packaging is available in both recyclable and compostable.

Do you have compostable stock bags?

We do not currently offer compostable stock bags. However, our custom pouches are available in compostable materials.

Do you carry foil pouches?

Yes! We offer pre-made and custom pouches with a metalized layer.

Digital Labels

Can you print any size label?

We can print custom size and shape labels up to 7.25"x16" (184x406mm). Our labels are great for many applications and we offer specific sizes to complement our stock packaging.

What material can you print on?

We offer custom printed labels in high-gloss, matte, or freezer-grade lamination.

What’s the lead time for labels?

10-14 days from artwork approval.

How many colours can we print?

Our digital printing process allows us to print an unlimited number of colours in a design at no extra charge.

What is the minimum order for labels?

There is no minimum order requirement.

Compostable

What sets your compostable bags apart from other companies?

Unlike our competitors, the materials we use are fully compostable! This means our packages won’t degrade into microplastics, and the material will safely compost back into the earth.

Where can the package be placed to decompose?

Right in your backyard! Our films and inks are certified home compostable, while our zippers and valves are certified industrial compostable! To compost at home, cut off the zipper and valve (if applicable) and dispose of them separately.

What is the difference between home and industrial composting?

The main difference between home and industrial composting are the conditions the compost is in. At home, where the compost is often left outside, the temperatures are cooler and it’s difficult to mimic the heat an industrial composting plant produces. The industrial composting process is much more controlled – by adding heat, oxygen, microbes, and other materials to aid in the process, a product that may take 8-12 months to decompose at home, may take less than 6 months at an industrial composting facility. Check out the Standards for Compostability EN 13432 for more information on composting.

Can I place it in my green bin that gets picked up by the city?

Unfortunately for the time being, our packages can’t be placed in your green bin – but it’s not for the reason that you might be thinking! Our compostable packaging is compostable, but it’s just too convincing of a plastic replicate that it is impossible to differentiate it from regular plastics at first glance. This means that it gets sorted out of the compost and sent to the landfill. For now, you’ll have to continue composting it at home or bring it to a private facility that accepts compostable packaging for industrial composting.

If my package ends up in the landfill, will it still compost?

This is a tricky (but good) question! Essentially, nothing fully breaks down in a landfill, even organic matter, because landfills are inherently lacking the right environment for degradation – that’s why we see that landfills are eventually capped and the land cannot continue to be reused as a landfill. But the good news is that the compostable materials won’t be leeching harmful chemicals like plastics do during that time, it won’t turn into a microplastic and pollute our waters, and since the compostable packaging is made from renewable resources and sustainable forestry initiatives, it has a much cleaner pre-lifecycle footprint than plastics do.

How long will it take for the bag to decompose?

The compostable packaging we’ve developed can decompose at home in ~8-12 months! If brought to an industrial composting facility, our compostable packaging can take 6 months or less to decompose! Our compostable materials are verified by a third party to be home compostable, industrial compostable, or both.

What makes your compostable bags compostable? How can they look so shiny without any plastic?
  • We offer two different types of compostable packaging: paper and non-paper. Both our products have a base layer made from cellulose, which is basically just wood chips ground to pulp to make a clear film.
  • For our paper packages, we use kraft or white paper (like a sturdier version of those brown bag lunches you used to get as a kid!); paper is naturally compostable.
  • For our metalized compostable, we use a thin layer of aluminum combined with our cellulose layer to create the barrier layer – when the cellulose breaks down it leaves behind the aluminium, which is inert.
  • Our compostable cellulose bags have a natural shine, often surprising clients and customers that they are fully compostable.
How well does the compostable packaging preserve my products? Will it stay as fresh as it does in conventional plastic packaging?

Yes, our compostable packaging maintains the freshness of your product like conventional packaging would. However, due to the natural material base, compostable packaging itself does have a shorter lifespan than conventional packaging (in our defence, forever is a tough one to beat!). Our packaging can withstand normal conditions such as the grocery store shelf, your customer’s pantry, and it’s even freezer-grade! Our compostable packaging will remain shelf-stable for up to 2 years under controlled conditions. It’s important to remember that packaging made from natural materials may behave differently when in contact with other products (naturally)! We always recommend that clients order some samples and test their products inside of these bags over a period of time to determine suitability. As always, a chat with our Sales team to discuss your specific product needs is never a bad idea!

I hear the word ‘biodegradable’ being used a lot – is that the same thing as being compostable?

Terminology in the sustainable industry can be very confusing. While many companies use the term “biodegradable”, it is a catch-all term and does not have the same meaning as “compostable”. The term “biodegradable” refers to a material’s ability to break down into smaller micro pieces in nature but does not mean that it will turn into a natural product. Bioplastic, for instance, is considered biodegradable, but while it can degrade in the environment, it remains a plastic and won’t turn into a natural material. Often, the term “biodegradable” is used to embellish the green profile of the product and falsify the belief that the item is made from organic matter, and therefore is compostable. This is not the case. The term “compostable” refers to the material’s ability to fully return to the earth and cause no harm to the environment.

While we’re on the topic of plastics, how do they impact the environment? Isn’t it good that plastics breakdown so they don’t take up space?

When plastic breaks down, it becomes a microplastic which, in most cases can only be seen under a microscope, although they can be as large as 5mm. But just because it’s harder to see the microplastic, doesn’t mean that it’s not there! Most microplastics still end up in our oceans, drinking water, and even in marine animals, but unlike regular pollution, is nearly impossible to clean up, leaving more of an environmental impact than most people realize! Recent studies show that humans ingest thousands of microplastics a year through dust in the air, plastic packaging, drinking water, and eating animals that have microplastics in them (just to name a few). So while bioplastics seem like a good solution at first glance, they are extremely harmful to the environment. Remember, even if the plastic isn’t as in-our-face as we’re used to, it’s still impacting us daily in more ways than we are consciously aware of. For more information on microplastics, see PAC’s resource

Will the compostable packaging impact my design?

Good question! When choosing our compostable products, customers should keep the following in mind:

  • Believe it or not, compostable packaging will not diminish the colour of the inks on your package at all! In fact, our inks continue to be vibrant and colourful on our paper and cellulose options!
  • Compostable materials can sometimes be a little rougher around the edges. You might see some tiny burrs on the cut lines or tear notches which have not fully been detached. This is normal – because of the film stiffness, they can be more difficult to cut.
  • Mother Nature is great at a lot of things, but ironing isn’t one of them! The compostable films can sometimes have a covert wrinkly or wavy appearance. This usually becomes indiscernible after printing, and we think it adds character!
  • Being a role model can be exhausting, and while our packaging tries to live up to today’s beauty standards sometimes its natural aging will start to show. Over a period of time you might find that any unsealed edges begin to show a slight curl, but don’t fret – it’s what’s on the inside that counts!
Can I still have a product window with compostable packaging?

Yes! Windows are still an option for compostable packaging. However, due to the nature of the compostable materials, it won’t have the same ‘freshly cleaned windshield’ effect you’re used to with plastic and will have a slightly diminished clarity.

Is there a way I can let my customers know the packaging is compostable, and how they can safely compost it?

Often customers ask us if they can make claims like “100% Compostable” or “Fully Biodegradable” on their packaging – in short, no (at least not yet!). We are committed to being transparent about the proper disposal of our products, and we don’t want to mislead anyone along the way. That’s why we’ve created an informative compostable logo that we require to be placed in a visible location on every package. This way, your customers are able to acquire more information about your compostable packaging and are informed on how to properly dispose of it – no confusing claims or misleading statements required!