Posted on October 19, 2010 by Dennis Salazar

Can Packaging Aids and Dispensers be Sustainable?

Some people are surprised to go to our green packaging web store and find a section devoted to a selection of packaging dispensers. After all, how does a piece of hardware fit into the whole idea of sustainability, eco friendliness or being just plain green?

Different Packaging Dispensers for Different Jobs

We are very experienced in packaging equipment, ranging from high-speed vertical and horizontal bagging systems to shrink wrappers able to run in excess of 100 packages per minute. However, on our Globe Guard products web store we focus on just a handful of low-cost, non-powered dispensers designed to make life easier, minimize labor and reduce repetitive motion or other injuries. They are also designed to use less of the consumable packaging product they are dispensing and that is green indeed. Here is a simple description and recap:

Stretch film dispenser – if you use rolls of stretch film to wrap pallet loads of product you may be surprised to know that back injuries resulting from manual pallet wrapping are one of the leading work injury claims. The low price of $99 is a small investment when you consider how much easier it makes a strenuous task and how much more yield you can get out of stretch film when you have a mechanical braking mechanism assisting in the film elongation. Pallets are wrapped tighter, at a lower cost and much safer with a little help.

Packaging paper dispenser – We stock and offer the most popular 24” and 36” wide packaging paper dispenser models but they are available in a variety of sizes and designs including a model designed to hold three rolls of up to 48” wide paper. Bogus, Kraft, indented Kraft and newsprint are easily dispensed for a packer, making them more efficient and actually using less of the paper. The knifeless cutting mechanism also makes tear-off easy without the use of a potentially dangerous cutting blade.

Plastic tape dispenser – Regular readers of this blog know we do not regard plastic tape as very green but offer it because in some situations there is no better option, such as when taping must be done in many locations within a large plant environment. A manual plastic tape dispenser is designed to help the packer apply the tape easily, smoothly and with minimal waste. When you use plastic tape, using as little as possible is about as green as it gets.

Water activated paper tape dispensers – Everyone knows we are leading proponents of WAT (water activated tape) for sealing boxes because it is greener and simply performs better. We would also be the first to admit that applying water to the tape to activate the natural adhesive is not always the easiest or least messy part of the process. Unless you are only shipping a few packages a day, we discourage people from attempting to wet and cut the tape manually. That application method may seem economical and thrifty but it always winds up messy, time consuming and tends to use more tape in the process.

We offer three WAT options because customers’ needs and applications vary so much:

  • Manual dispenser – The operator manually draws the amount of tape needed and as it is pulled off the roll, it runs through a small reservoir of water activating the adhesive on the tape. It is relatively inexpensive and will make the task more economical and efficient. This dispenser is recommended for sporadic use of less than ten boxes being sealed per day.
  • Semi-automatic tape dispenser – Rather than manually pulling the tape through the water tank, this unit does it with a roller and a crank handle that features a scale showing different tape lengths. Pull the crank to the tape length you need and the machine delivers it. This dispenser works well for packers sealing fewer than one hundred boxes per day.
  • Automatic, electric tape dispenser – For application greater than one hundred boxes per day, an electric model proves to be a good investment. It is faster because it delivers tape as the model above but does it with the ease of a programmable push button. The correct length of tape is delivered instantly and it is ideal for workstations where two or more packers are able to share it.

This year has seen multiple price increases on virtually every packaging product, including pallet and bundling stretch film, as well as both types of box sealing tapes.  Reducing or minimizing the amount you use of both products makes good sense environmentally and economically.

Don’t forget if you are a Globe Guard customer, please call us for your special discount on all stock packaging dispensers, because even though we appreciate you using all of our Globe Guard products, we don’t mind if you use less of them.