Tamper evident seals are an essential aspect of ensuring that the contents that are to be consumed have not been tampered with before it reaches the consumer. These come in various formats depending on a mix of what the bottle application is and what export market regulations may be required. 

What are the various types of Tamper-Evident Seals?

There’s not just one type of tamper-evident seal out there, and you can combine some together for additional safety or if there are requirements such as exporting to some specific markets.

Tamper Evident Ring

Tamper-Evident Band

This type of tamper-evident seal is integrated into the design of the bottle cap itself. It is probably the most common form used in packaging and is the simplest being integrated as part of the closure. Some of these can be torn off, and some can be left on to ensure freshness when sealed up again for future use. Most importantly they show evidence of the seal being broken if the closure is removed or partially removed.

Tamper Evident Shrink Band

Tamper-Evident Shrink bands and Shrink sleeves/seals

These are becoming a more common form of tamper-evident seal for when 2 forms of tamper evidence are required or if there is no tamper-evident ring on the closure. They are an additional piece of protective plastic that is placed over the lid/closure of the product and shrunk onto the product using a hot air tunnel. These are cost-effective and can be done after the bottle is filled & sealed.

 Tamper Evident Induction Seal

Tamper-Evident Induction seals

This specialised tamper-evident seal involves thermoplastic materials through electromagnetic induction that creates a hermetic seal. That means it completely blocks out water moisture and other foreign elements that are not supposed to be inside that bottle. This is popular to preserve medicine and vitamins that come in these types of bottles. The induction process (similar to microwave action) creates concentrated heat around the rim of the bottle which thermally bonds the seal to the rim of the bottle. There are many forms of induction seals giving you options such as an economical tri-tab or the easy lift & peel flap for ease of use.

Tamper Evident Lidding Film

Tamper-Evident Lidding films

These are transparent plastic sealants or foil liners that are bonded to the rim of the container or bottle using heat or glue. Generally, these are the only form of closure instead of a lid or screw cap to preserve freshness and quality. Commonly used with food-based products and supplements such as yoghurt pottles.

Tamper Evident Decorative Tab

Decorative Tamper-Evident Labels

These are, as the name suggests: sticky labels/tabs placed over the edge of the closure and down the side of the product to show the seal is unbroken. When the lid is taken off it breaks the label. These can look quite smart from a marketing perspective, but are often not easy to apply – it is often been seen to be used for new products in the market when they are hand labelling. A very cost-effective starter but not very scalable when your volumes grow. 

Benefits and disadvantages of tamper-evident seals

Besides creating a seal and preserving the lifespan of products held within the packaging the key feature is ensuring the safety of the product. When consumers can see tamper-evident seals on products for sale, people know that no one has touched or tampered with them since manufacturing. 

It is important to recognise that there are some disadvantages to tamper-evident seals. The first is that there needs to be the right balance of ease of access and consumer safety. Sometimes these tamper-evident seals are too strong and could be challenging to open by the consumer. 

Another issue is that some seals are made from film or laminated synthetic materials, and can be a combination of foil & plastic, leading to an environmental problem when not properly disposed of. They are one-time use only, and there’s a larger focus on the safety aspect than the environmental one. 

In some markets, the regulation requires you to have more than one form of tamper evidence this means you need to choose which are the best that suit your market, consumer preference and localised recycling or environmental requirements. For example, some brand owners choose a recyclable cap with tamper evident retainer ring with a shrink film over the top for aesthetics and marketing, while another may choose a lift & peel induction liner with a recyclable cap for ease of use.