Inside Sustainable and Branded Packaging

Industry News and Perspectives

23 Nov 2009 Sustainable Packaging, and Fishing Poles, Umbrellas and Yard Sticks

[caption id="attachment_1022" align="alignnone" width="300"]Extra Tall Shipping Boxes Now Available Extra Tall and Extra Long Shipping Boxes Now Available[/caption] What does one have to do the others, you might ask when a blog post title more resembles that of a yet another Harry Potter movie. The items are a small sampling of products that will fit into our new extra long stock shipping boxes. We have just added a 4” X 4” X 36” and a 4” X 4” X 48" to our assortment, allowing us to provide a sustainable packaging option to customers selling and shipping long, thin items.

Now Offering Extra Long and Extra Tall Corrugated Shipping Boxes

Unusually long products deserve unusually long green shipping boxes These are not your average 30 to 40% recycled content boxes - these are our standard (for us) 100% PCW boxes. Globe Guard boxes remain one the greenest boxes available and ideal for so many applications ranging from golf putters to curtain rods. Often times, these extra long products are particularly challenging because not everyone stocks these sizes and lengths so we are very glad to be able to now carry them for you. Our Stock Box List Is Growing Green
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19 Nov 2009 Eliminate Steel or Plastic Strapping by Roping Stretch Film

From a sustainable packaging standpoint, securing boxes to a pallet for shipment is a choice of lesser evils. Among the leading options - steel strapping, polyester strapping, polypropylene strapping, and stretch wrap - stretch wrap is probably best, since it normally requires the least amount of mass per application. How to Make Stretch Wrap Film Work with Heavy Palletized Loads When corrugated boxes are heavy and/or dense - for instance, when shipping nuts and bolts - stretch wrap does not exert enough holding force on the palletized load to keep the load securely in place. For these applications, shippers will either replace stretch film with strapping, or use stretch wrap in conjunction with strapping.
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12 Nov 2009 Globe Guard Adds New Packing Paper Items to Product Line

[caption id="attachment_1003" align="alignnone" width="300"]4 New Packing Paper Items Now In Stock 4 New Packing Paper Items Now In Stock[/caption] If you are a regular reader you know we enjoy talking about the importance of being “eco obvious” and packaging papers enjoy one of the highest “eco obvious” ratings, probably only second to molded pulp packaging products. For a product to be eco obvious, it should be easily recognizable by consumers as being eco friendly.

The Globe Guard Packing Paper Line Up

Our industry-first Globe Guard Green Packaging Store opened with four basic types of paper for interleaving, wrapping, cushioning and void fill applications:
  • 24” 40# recycled Kraft rolls
  • 24” 50# recycled grey bogus rolls
  • 24” 60# recycled indented Kraft rolls
  • 20” X 30” recycled industrial tissue sheets
Then much like our initial stock box sizes which quickly grew from a dozen sizes to over thirty because customers told us what they needed, our papers have also expanded due to customer input and guidance.

One New Paper Type and Two New Packing Paper Put Ups

Here are a few new packing paper products we have added to our store:
  • 24” 30# newsprint rolls
  • 36” 40# recycled Kraft rolls
  • 36” 60# recycled indented Kraft rolls

Packing Paper Dispensers

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03 Nov 2009 Big Green Shipping Boxes Now Come In Smaller Bundles

[caption id="attachment_978" align="alignnone" width="425" caption="Lower Minimums for Larger Green Shipping Boxes"]Lower Minimums for Larger Green Shipping Boxes[/caption] For a long time we’ve tried to keep the bundle sizes on our Globe Guard stock shipping boxes at a consistent 25 boxes per bundle. However, due to numerous customer requests, we are reducing our box count on larger boxes. Why are we implementing this change? Namely, two reasons: Bundle weight and purchase quantity. Bundle Weight A 25 count bundle of our GG-27, 5” cube boxes only weighs all of 5 pounds. That is obviously a very light weight, convenient bundle for shipping and handling. However, a bundle of our new GG-31 box which is 22” X 22” X 12” in size, happens to weigh almost 67 pounds when bundled in 25’s. Technically that large bundle can still ship via UPS or FedEx but becomes much more difficult to handle in our facility or yours. Purchase Quantity Sometimes you need a large box for a particular need but you may not need twenty five of them. Large boxes get expensive due to size so it doesn’t seem fair to force a customer to buy more than they really need or want, in order to use our eco friendly 100% PCW Globe Guard boxes. Our goal from the beginning was to make green shipping boxes available and affordable to everyone and that includes small volume, over size box customers. Customer convenience combined with customer safety is our greatest concern so this change made sense from both perspectives. How Will the Bundle Counts Change?
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29 Oct 2009 Unilever and Axe Deodorant Three Pack Win Globe Guard Eco Consistency Award

While recently shopping at a club store, I found myself intrigued by a sharp looking three pack of Axe dry deodorant. The three tubes of product were not in the boring, traditional 1 X 3 or 3 X 1 multi-pack configuration which has become the norm. The products were staggered, which made them stand out in the personal care aisle.

First Impressions Can Be Deceiving and Greener than Expected

[caption id="attachment_968" align="alignright" width="143" caption="Green Packaging: Axe and You Shall Receive"]Green Packaging: Axe and You Shall Receive[/caption]My first reaction was positive on the aesthetics of the package but I immediately assumed they had accomplished the staggered look with some type of pre-molded blister card or clam shell. I am not a big fan of either packaging style because though they are usually high on appearance, they tend to be low on my sustainability scale. The board and film used are fused together making them virtually impossible to separate. Even if I can get the darn package open, which is often a huge challenge, the packaging waste is almost always destined for a land fill because it cannot be easily segregated for easy sorting and recycling

Long Time Green Packaging Problem and Favorite Subject

I have carried on a long term personal war against the “one material” myth. There are green activists who insist that any packaging solution must feature a single substrate, material or component to be considered sustainable and green. I wrote about this almost two years ago in an article featured on Sustainable Is Good and in a word, my response is baloney. Baloney by the way is never a “one material” hunger solution. Much like hot dogs, the less we know about the composition, the better.
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22 Oct 2009 Continuous Improvement in Sustainable Packaging

Our Sustainable Shipping Boxes and Recycled Mailers Are Now More Sustainable

Continuous improvement is a well worn phrase that means a lot of different things to different people. Even though the packaging industry is launching brand new green products on an almost daily basis, this post is more about redesign and enhancement of existing products, rather than new product innovation. Here are two perfect examples of manufacturing taking a good, green product and making it better and greener.

Globe Guard 100% PCW Corrugated Board

[caption id="attachment_946" align="alignright" width="275"]Globe Guard Shipping Boxes Now Easier to Reuse Globe Guard Shipping Boxes Now Easier to Reuse[/caption] Our manufacturer is not eager to share details but the structure of our board has been “re-arranged” to provide a stronger and thicker outer sheet to our boxes and less “wash boarding”. Not to be confused with Dick Cheney’s favorite past time, water boarding, wash boarding is when the vertical fluting on board is visible through the outer liner sheet. Keep in mind that our 32 ECT board is still 32 ECT so there was no weakness being addressed or strength gained. This is an improvement made to provide a little more outward/in puncture resistance and for cosmetic reasons. Our boxes look better for a longer period of time and possibly improve the possibility of them being re-used. Re use is good and this is a significant green improvement to what was already an excellent, industry leading product.
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20 Oct 2009 What Is Better than Recycling Packaging?

[caption id="attachment_935" align="alignright" width="144" caption="Chairman of the (Corrugated) Board"]Chairman of the (Corrugated) Board[/caption]Most green minded people agree the only thing better than recycling used packaging is finding another or different use for it. Ideally this is using the packaging to create something of greater value and more permanent use. We are all familiar with terrific “up cycling” success stories such as turning post consumer packaging waste into fashionable bags or transforming used glass beverage bottles into very durable and pricey counter tops. A New Low in Up Cycling? I rarely go on YouTube because I have a tendency of getting lost in the amazing variety of videos to be found there, ranging from the instructional and inspirational to the outright ridiculous. A friend sent this link to me with the usual and customary “you need to see this”. Unable to resist the temptation, I checked it out and was fascinated by what I saw. A young man known on YouTube as “brusspup” created a sturdy chair using nothing but previously used corrugated board to construct it. It is obvious he knows something about design and maybe a little about corrugated as well because his chair uses no adhesive and it is assembled in a way that utilizes the strongest dimensions of the board for greater weight support than most would expect.
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15 Oct 2009 Sustainable Packaging and Staples – Still Not Easy!

[caption id="attachment_926" align="alignnone" width="350" caption="Staples Packaging Leaves Much to Be Desired"]Staples Packaging Leaves Much to Be Desired[/caption] Earlier this year, January 13th to be exact, I posted an article complaining about some very eco unfriendly secondary packaging I had received from one of our favorite suppliers, Staples. Large retailers often appear to be leading the green charge so the interest level they create is usually high and this was no exception. The post was soon picked up by Green Biz and other eco focused blogs and I even contacted them on at least two occasions and offered my services at no cost so I could help them determine where Staples' in house fulfillment “eco system” is obviously broken. I was told they were “working on it,” so as a loyal customer concerned about their secondary packaging as well as the environment, I waited, and waited until this week when we received delivery of an order we placed for two boxes of ink cartridges.

Staples Green Update – More Green Packaging Problems

The photo above show the two boxes of Canon ink cartridges which shipped from two different Staples facilities. I appreciate the fact that the order was split-shipped to be filled quickly but I find I hard to believe that neither facility had both items. I am not sure what type of carbon footprint that creates but the worse news is that each facility used a different way of packaging the product and neither passed the green test as far as we are concerned. The term one step forward and two steps backwards comes to mind when we compare it to the packaging described in our January blog post.

Package #1 Shipping from Beloit, WI

At this Staples distribution center the packer opted to use a plastic mailer envelope. Even though I don’t like flexible mailers for crushable product, I am generally a big proponent of mailer envelopes, plastic and paper. I like them because they are light weight, can be made of recycled content and in most areas may be recycled for creating more packaging or other plastic products. However, the mailer that Beloit used did not indicate any recycled content, and did not even offer a recycle code for handling the waste after use. This is a real shame considering some of the new plastic mailers that are available. We offer several that would be better eco options than what was used on this shipment.

Package #2 Shipping from Carol Stream, IL

At this facility they used a 13” long X 10” wide X 5” box (650 cubic inches) to ship a 4” X 2.25” X 2.75” product, or about 25 cubic inches, which is obviously much more box than was necessary.
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13 Oct 2009 The Sustainably Confused and Marketing Challenged

[caption id="attachment_918" align="alignnone" width="400"]Globe Guard Boxes Have 100% PCW Content Globe Guard Boxes Have 100% PCW Content[/caption] We may not have the loudest voice but we proudly claim our rightful place in the in the front row of the sustainable choir, having spent over two years singing the praises of recycled 100% PCW content corrugated board and boxes. We are helping to educate the market and the people who hear us are asking questions of their current suppliers. Quite frankly, those suppliers do not always know how to respond and counter our unique products. An email exchange with a new reader last week served to remind me that we continuously add new readers and subscribers to our blog, who may have not read some of our older, previous posts on the subject. So every once in a while it is a good idea to recap and update. Last week I also spoke to a prospective West Coast customer who complained her current box supplier was unable to give her the same answer twice on the construction and recycled content of the boxes they are supplying her.

Why 100% PCW Content Corrugated Boxes

Most eco minded people will agree recycling is a necessary component of an effective sustainability strategy. After all, recycling is one of the basic three “R’s” of sustainability along with reduce and reuse. What can we possibly do with all of the paper, corrugated, and paperboard waste we create? After all we can’t make deck lumber, designer bags or high end kitchen counter tops with it. However, we can make excellent corrugated board and related products out of that paper waste and a handful of companies and suppliers like us are doing just that. To be fair, most corrugated board has some PCW content but the more we use the better, right? As long as there is no compromise on quality or performance, doesn’t it make sense to reuse as much of that waste as possible?

Dispelling the 100% PCW Quality Myth

Our products have been tested over and over again and grade for grade 100% PCW is every bit as strong and performs as well as any other board construction combination. As I have said many times, “ALL 32 ECT boxes are 32 ECT strong, regardless of the board’s recycled content." After all, that is what that 32 ECT certification stamp on the bottom of every Globe Guard box means - the box has been tested and has met or exceeded the edge crush standard for 32 ECT boxes. Yet, companies that don’t have 100% PCW to offer continue to respond with information that is at best out dated, and at worst, deceptive. “That stuff is no good.” “100% PCW board is not approved for UPS, USPS, or FedEx shipment”, they may say. “That board is like the stuff that comes in from China”, others may defend. Desperate people say desperate things but many of these comments are outright lies and need to be confronted whenever they are presented as fact.
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08 Oct 2009 Sustainable Packaging Solution – Corrugated Partitions

I think most would agree that corrugated board is one of the greenest packaging materials currently available. You can buy it with a high or 100% recycled content and when it is no longer needed, it can easily and readily be recycled to serve another day and another packaging application. Partitions have been rediscovered by the green and packaging communities as a great way to solve a packaging or damage problem, while reducing material and labor costs when compared to other product protection options. Best of all, it can all be accomplished with undeniably eco friendly, corrugated board.

Corrugated Partitions - Not Just for Liquor Bottles Anymore

Historically corrugated partitions have been a mainstay in the liquor and bottled beverage industry because they do such an excellent job of separating and protecting one product from another. Obviously bottle to bottle damage is virtually eliminated and other benefits are also enjoyed.
  • Labels are not marred or damaged in shipment because label to label abrasion is prevented.
  • Stacking strength is dramatically increased, even when the bottled and cased products are heavy liquids
  • Bottles and jars remain upright, minimizing the possibility of leakers

New Applications for Eco Friendly Corrugated Partitions

Recently we have had a flurry of partition projects and applications and here are a few reasons why our customers chose this solution over other options we offered: To verify count – Products were individually wrapped with Kraft paper to avoid damage and then randomly stacked and packed in a corrugated case. Our customer was being inundated by claims of incorrect counts. Coincidently the complaints were always for under shipment, never over, so we created a 20 cell partition that separated the individual products for easy, accurate count confirmation. [caption id="attachment_911" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="20 Cell Corrugated Partition"]20 Cell Corrugated Partition[/caption]
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