ABC Packaging Blog

Foil Blocking

Foil blocking is the process of applying metallic or ‘foil’ effects to a surface.  We use a metal die – like a stamp – onto which the design is chemically etched or crafted by hand from supplied artwork.  Dies are made from various metals and can be either ‘flat’ (foil only) or ‘combination’ (foiling and embossing done in one pass).  Our foil blocking will enable you to minimise the impact on the environment.  We continually strive to find new manufacturing techniques, substrates and internal processes to deliver quality the minimum on environmental impact.  More information can be found on our website here.

NO HEAVY METALSfoil-blocked-boxes

Today’s hot & cold foils do contain metals. Metals are what provide foil stamping the refractive and reflective properties that makes it shine. Generally these metals are in the form of aluminum — not the toxic heavy metals that are of concern to environmentalists and the public.


Foil stamping has no bearing on papers ability to be recycled. The metallic foil material is removed from paper in the same process that ink is removed during recycling. Both in research and in practice, the standard floatation de-inking process used by recyclers removes foils stamping even from samples containing extremely high concentrations of foil. Paper that has been previously foil stamped is gladly purchased, de-inked, recycled into pulp and made into new paper by recyclers every day.dr-bragi


Foil stamping does not impact the rate of biodegradability of materials that make their way into landfills. This has been proven in controlled studies that looked at foils on a variety of substrates including uncoated inked paperboard, inked paper board with an oil varnish, and inked paperboard with a water based varnish. In all cases both foil stamped and unstamped test samples biodegraded at an identical rate of time.