Date: March 6, 2024
To: Cotton Ginners

From: Chris Berry, Chairman

Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee
Subject: Phase-Out of Paper Hang PBI Tags

The Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee (JCIBPC), chaired by Chris Berry, a Wellman, TX ginner, had its 2024 Annual Meeting in Memphis on February 28th. During this meeting the committee approved the updated 2024 Bale Packaging Specifications and set a phase-out date for paper PBI hang tags.

Over the last three years, staff has been directed to work with the industry’s tagging suppliers to determine the usage of hanging PBI tags. During this period, usage of paper tags has declined from nearly 900,000 tags to 215,000 in 2023. These tags, which are held onto the bale with small gauge wire or zip ties, can cause damage to mill machinery and pose potential fire risk if accidently left in a bale. Due to these issues, in 2023 the Specifications for Bale Packaging Materials were amended to say, “Small gauge wires on bale tags are not recommended.”

Following this year’s report on tag usage, the committee determined hanging PBI bale tags that use small gauge wire or zip ties are to be removed as an approved product from the specifications after the 2024 crop year.

Following the 2024 crop year, only adhesive type PBI tagging will be approved for use per the Bale Packaging Specifications ( and the PBI Tag Specifications (