Inside Sustainable Packaging

20 Sep 2011 L’Oreal: Green, Beyond the Obvious

PureologyL’Oreal is serious about sustainability, and that commitment goes well beyond the surface. You might say like beauty, it’s more than skin deep. They have proactively helped lead the cosmetics industry, making their products and primary packaging as sustainable as possible. I am pleased to say they also see the value of making their secondary packaging consistent with everything else they do and believe. This world famous French company consists of 27 different brands, many of which are household names. Domestically in the U.S., they include retail consumer brands like Maybelline, Softsheen and Garnier, as well as professional product lines including Matrix, Redken and Pureology, to name just a few.
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13 Sep 2011 Sustainable Packaging – Hanesbrands and Globe Guard® Products Are a Good Fit

Globe Guard custom printed shipping envelopes for HanesWhen the nice people at Hanes first contacted us, they were looking for a product they could use to ship out a sample of their ComfortBlend tee shirt with Eco Smart® fiber for a special promotion. They were absolutely certain about three things:
  1. The container or mailer they used had to be green. Ideally with a high percentage of recycled content and definitely 100% recyclable as well.
  2. They wanted to be able to custom print it in relatively small quantities with their brand/logo and other product/environmental information.
  3. As is often the case with projects and promotions, they were rapidly running out of time to meet their deadline.
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10 Aug 2011 Sustainable Packaging – Niche Products and Broad-Based Solutions

Niche Products and Broad-Based Solutions for Green PackagingI have spent several decades in the packaging industry and almost five years specifically in the green packaging market. During that time, I have come to appreciate both innovations that may have limited appeal but solve a specific or unique problem, as well as products that may not be as newsworthy but provide a solution to a much wider group of customers. What Is a Broad-Based Solution? In my mind, it is a product that would have mass appeal and solve a common or very typical packaging problem. For example, when we and others began promoting 100% recycled content corrugated for shipping boxes, the concept did not win awards or grace the cover of packaging magazines, even though it could potentially benefit every single shipping box buyer and user.
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15 Jun 2011 Inside Sustainable Packaging Reaches Three Year Anniversary

Inside Sustainable Packaging blog 3 year anniversaryIt’s difficult to believe that we’ve been doing this for three years, but this week marks the third anniversary of the launch of our popular blog. In 2008, our then-marketing director Brad Shorr urged us to blog and share what we know and what we do, with the world. I reluctantly agreed, even though operating a business that openly ran contrary to my nature as well as my experience in the packaging industry, where you learn to never, ever risk educating the competition. Nearly 300 blog posts later, I am thrilled by the results of our outreach and even more grateful for the people and companies it has brought into our lives. If we have educated a competitor or two along the way, it was a small price to pay for the information we’ve been able to share with hundreds, if not thousands, of people, as well as the relationships we have made. One of the things we most appreciate is the feedback we receive from our ISP readers, which is quite often sent to us offline. To commemorate this three year milestone we’ve shared a few of the most frequently asked questions.
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10 Mar 2011 How to Beat the New USPS Rate Increases

Rate increaseAs a substantial U.S. Postal Service rate increase goes into effect on April 17, many in the mailing and fulfillment industry are seeking ways to help minimize the increase, or better yet, reduce costs. Packaging can be an important component in that effort and will either help or hurt your bottom line. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind. REVIEW Packaging Size does matter and so does shape. Is the item being mailed in the smallest possible container? It is not unusual for us to see items shipping in a container that is much larger than necessary because it was created by a design or marketing person with absolutely no regard for postage or shipping costs. The USPS rewards automation and penalizes packages that aren’t automatable. That cute, eye catching die cut your designer is so proud of might be costing you big money.
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25 Jan 2011 Globe Guard “Packaging 101” Lesson: Don’t Let Under Filled Boxes Create Overwhelming Problems (Part 2)

[caption id="attachment_2305" align="alignright" width="300" caption="A 3-POUND BRICK EASILY SEPARATES TAPE FROM A SEALED BOX."]3-lb. brick easily seperates tape from box[/caption] Now that we’ve covered what usually causes under filled boxes and what mistakes are made in an effort to solve the problem, let’s get into the solutions The #1 Most Common, Correct Solution Please note that the list of ineffective solutions for under filled boxes provided in part one of this post does not include the item that is most frequently the problem, which is the void fill product being used. Most packing operations have been using the same void fill and packing method for years, and in many cases it is the wrong material and/or it is incorrectly being used. New void fill products are constantly being created or improved, so what may have been the best and least expensive product just a few years ago is rarely still the best answer. Another common mistake people make in regard to void fill is focusing on the price rather than the cost. If the box is sized properly, the correct void fill is used and it is applied correctly, the void fill cost should decrease, not increase.
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20 Jan 2011 Globe Guard “Packaging 101” Lesson: Don’t Let Under Filled Boxes Create Overwhelming Problems (Part 1)

[caption id="attachment_2290" align="alignright" width="281" caption="LOOSE FILL SETTLES CREATING UNDER FILLED BOXES."]Loose fill settles creating underfilled boxes[/caption] This year our plan is to continue being one of the best sources for practical sustainable packaging information on the Internet. We have also decided to at least monthly provide basic solutions that can benefit packagers whether they are green minded or not. In other words, providing answers to the problems we most commonly encounter in the field. One of the most frequent problems I have seen over the course of a career measured in decades rather than years (boy do I suddenly feel old) is the classic problem of under filled boxes. What are the reasons boxes are under filled?
  • Using the wrong size (too big) box
  • Packers attempting to be economical with void fill or trying to avoid over stuffing
  • Packers rushing or simply not doing a good job (poorly trained)
  • Using the wrong void fill for the application
  • Product or void fill “settling” after the box is sealed. (This is a common problem with flowable loose fill products.)
  • Air escaping from the product after the box is filled. (Soft goods and paper products are great examples of this.)
  • Using the wrong box sealing tape
  • Applying the tape incorrectly
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06 Jan 2011 7 Ways to Reduce Sustainable Packaging Costs When Market Prices are Rising

Reduce Sustainable Packaging CostsSustainable packaging is probably more available, affordable and competitive than ever before but it is not exempt from what can best be called annual or seasonal price increases. This is the time of year when almost every manufacturer of packaging products passes through an increase to cover material, labor, operational and transportation increases they have incurred in the previous year or anticipate in the coming year.
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31 Dec 2010 I Am the Perfect Sustainable Package

Happy New YearI don’t want to end 2010 with a depressing topic, but like many people, I too tend to get reflective this time of year as I review the passing year’s accomplishments and failures. It is also an excellent time to list the objectives I hope to be able to achieve in the next twelve months, of course assuming I live long enough, which is actually the point of this slightly different (for me) blog post. A Season of Losses Over the course of the last two years I have lost my father who gave me life, my mentor who gave me a career, and several close friends. It is sad to witness the passing of friends and family because each one is significant and diminishes the richness and fullness of our lives. To everything there is a season, and it appears I have entered the season when I am separated from some of the people I love and respect, at least temporarily if you believe in an afterlife, and gratefully, I do.
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21 Dec 2010 Sustainable Packaging Question – Why are my brown boxes wrapped in green, plastic film?

Bundles of Globe Guard boxes wrapped in bio filmEvery bundle or pallet load of Globe Guard boxes we ship out is wrapped in our Globe Guard stretch film. Occasionally, we receive an email or call asking us how we can possibly wrap and ship a product as green as our Globe Guard 100% PCW, recycled content boxes in an un-green material like plastic. For the benefit of those who wonder but don’t ask us, here are a few reasons why we do what we do. Globe Guard Stretch Film is Oxo-Biodegradable In other words, it is not a typical or average plastic product. We usually attach a note to each bundle or pallet load reminding customers that the film is above all else recyclable. That is not always the case with bio plastics, but our formulation does not prevent the film from being recycled after use. If it does unfortunately end up in a land fill, the film is formulated to breakdown in a fraction of the time other, standard plastics will degrade.
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