Sustainable Products

10 Jun 2010 How to Save Time and Money with Converted Eco Friendly Bubble Packaging

[caption id="attachment_1513" align="alignnone" width="350" caption="Custom Bubble Packaging on Demand!"][/caption] Converted into what? A form or shape that is easier and faster to use such as a bubble pouch, bubble sleeves or bubble bags. Saving the planet is obviously good but sometimes reducing packaging costs can be the difference between profit and loss. Saving time may also prove to be the difference between meeting an important customer deadline or disappointing them.

Converting Bubble Packaging on an “As Needed” Basis

As many different sheets and bubble sizes as we have available, there are times when a flat sheet of bubble is NOT the best packaging option. Sheets can lead to wasted material and manual wrapping can be costly in terms of labor. With the use of a compact and inexpensive bar sealer a sheet of bubble packaging can be easily converted into a sleeve, open end pouch, pouch with a closing flap, or even a full enclosure. While our bubble packaging is tinted green to make its biodegradability obvious, most users don’t realize how easily it can be sealed into just about any form or shape for easy and quick packaging use. Envision creating a sleeve that you can easily slip over a bottle or tubular shaped product. Or making pouches of almost any size to fit your variety of product sizes. Now imagine being able to save substantial time and money with all of the wrapping, cutting and taping that can be reduced if your bubble packaging conformed to your product like a well fitting, protective glove.

Converted Bubble Packaging for Larger Volume Applications

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11 May 2010 Mills Gone Wild or How to Play Safely in a Fast Rising Market

What may sound like a story about intoxicated college students on Spring Break is really not that at all. It is about a paper and corrugated box industry that has just announced a second, substantial price increase in less than four months. It’s definitely not fun and the only “wild and craziness” involved here is an effort to try to keep up and minimize fast rising product costs, while many of our customers resist increases and are simply working hard to survive.

Are the Paper and Corrugated Increases Justified?

My personal opinion is no, they are probably not but then again who knows. As a non-manufacturing distributor of corrugated products, our largest competitor is but a flea in the overall market and scope of an industry that measure sales in terms of tons and billions of dollars. There is a lot of industry talk about expired government subsidies, a shoot out between two major mills with the rest of us as innocent bystanders caught in the cross fire and of course the ability of the industry to control pricing by controlling output and production. The week of January 22nd Pulp & Paper reported an increase of $50 per ton on liner board and the end result was an increase on corrugated boxes that ranged from 6 to almost as much as 10% depending on the manufacturer. This most recent increase announced the week of April 23rd of $60 per ton, is likely have a similar impact in terms of increase percentage on box pricing.
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06 May 2010 Can Retail Packaging Be Attractive, Unique and Green?

[caption id="attachment_1428" align="alignnone" width="425" caption="Candle Packaging Designs for Every Need - and Budget"][/caption] Retail packaging can be attractive, unique and green - and we have helped many companies create packaging that is eye catching and eco friendly. For example, it’s not easy to stand out in a highly competitive market such as candles, where appearance is every bit as important as recycled content or recyclability, but we provide our customers with options and combinations that few other companies have to offer.

Green Packaging Must be Cost Competitive, Too

We understand that everyone has a price point they have to target depending on where and how they sell their product and of course, manufacturing costs, including ingredients. Packaging costs and appearance requirements differ greatly for products selling over the internet or at a green fair, versus products retailing at a high end boutique. That is why we specialize in designing to the acceptable cost and will usually offer our design clients a variety of options, different looks and varying costs. Everyone’s needs are unique as is our custom retail, eco friendly packaging.

Wide Range of Solutions because of our Wide Range of Products

Most suppliers represent a manufacturer and have one type of product to offer. Corrugated box suppliers rarely sell paperboard (folding carton) packaging and the opposite is true as well. Neither is likely to offer a paper tube design, even if it happens to be the best option for the customer and application. The benefit of working with a resource like us is that we are able to not only offer all substrate options, we can provide combinations of material that no one else will ever suggest. Different bases, bodies and lids can sometimes be used to minimize costs and create a truly unique package.

One Example of Unique Variety and Flexibility

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04 May 2010 Short or Single Run Packaging Solution – Think Digital Printing

We are very fortunate to work with many new companies or companies with new products requiring green packaging. In many cases however the initial run is relatively short and when or if the job will ever run again is unknown. We also have a number of clients who do promotional type work who know their job is never going to repeat. Biggest packaging hurdles and expenses – Plates, dies and set up costs It is not unusual for a tooling and plate cost to run into thousands of dollars depending on the type of print, number of colors and the design of the package being run. That makes it cost prohibitive for many companies, so they resort to labels or other ways of branding their products. The end result often times puts them at a competitive disadvantage in terms of package appearance when consumers are comparing their product to others on the retail shelf or over the internet. The other factor that comes into play is set up costs and that is what usually makes short runs so expensive. It is the combination of expensive plates, tooling and long set up times being amortized over smaller quantities. Keep in mind the set up time for two thousand printed shipping or retail display boxes is virtually the same as for a two million piece job. Unfortunately the end result is that the highest per unit prices are being paid by the companies who can least afford them. Digital printing on almost any packaging substrate Almost any grade or type of plastic or paper material can be digitally printed with virtually any copy and number of colors. Plastic substrates can include polyethylene, polypropylene and even foam board. Paper substrates can be any grade of paperboard or corrugated and they can be printed on white for sharper colors or on natural brown for a more muted effect and a greener end result. The image below shows the difference. While the poster version on the left is brighter, the softer tones on the right are very popular and desirable today for green products and consumers. [caption id="attachment_1423" align="alignnone" width="425" caption="Left: Printing on white board. Right: Printing on brown board."][/caption]
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29 Apr 2010 The Many Faces of Reusable Shipping Containers

It is great to see a surge of interest in reusable packaging in many different forms and faces; some very familiar and others, brand new. A few of the traditional containers include everything from drums, bins, trays and totes made from metal, plastic and even heavy wall corrugated configurations. At Salazar Packaging and Globe Guard® Products, we offer some of the newest reusable packaging solutions that are available in the sustainable packaging market. These include: [caption id="attachment_1410" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Globe Guard 100% PCW Shipping Boxes"][/caption]

Custom Globe Guard Corrugated Boxes

Many people have a difficult time thinking of corrugated boxes, especially 100% PCW boxes, as reusable but we are now engineering boxes for multiple use. Increasing the board weight from a standard 32 ECT to a single wall 44 ECT typically adds less that 10% to the cost but may enable the box to be reused many times depending on the application. We are also able to apply different eco friendly coatings to the inside and outside of the container to help it extend its useful life by increasing its resistance to oils, moisture, etc. These same coatings also help the box to hold up better cosmetically, improving the possibility it will be reused without negatively impacting its biodegradability, compostability or recyclability. [caption id="attachment_1411" align="alignnone" width="360" caption="Globe Guard Reusable Boxes"][/caption]

Custom Globe Guard Reusable Boxes

If you have not seen the new patent pending Globe Guard® Reusable Box, it offers all of the above flexibility and advantages with one, additional, very unique feature of being able to easily provide two distinct looks with different printing on the inside and outside. When the box is inverted inside-out it not only provides a new life, the new look makes it easy to communicate a customized message with instructions, bar codes or other data, as well as routing or status information.
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21 Apr 2010 Custom Printed Water Activated Tape – Sustainability and Branding Made Easy

[caption id="attachment_1385" align="alignnone" width="425" caption="Communicate Your Brand with Green Packaging"][/caption] It is increasingly difficult today to make a lasting positive impression on a customer considering all of the competition and options that are available. Companies spend a lot of money creating and image and brand and...

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08 Apr 2010 Reverse Logistics and the Globe Guard Reusable Box

Whether your company calls it closed loop recycling or reverse logistics, the fact is that some way, somehow, the task is to get a valuable resource back to where it can be reused. It is green, and it saves money.

The Globe Guard Reusable Box is a Tool to Make that Easier

Parts, components and a wide of variety of products are sent out into the world and in many cases are there for exchange, replacement or on loan. Think about cell phones, lap tops, electronic components, replacement parts and other items that are swapped out or returned for credit, etc. The Globe Guard Reusable Box is constructed and designed to make the return trip at minimal material and labor cost. It also has the ability to eliminate the need for special marking and labeling because when the box is inverted inside-out, it can easily be pre-printed with any and all critical information, on both sides of the box. It’s great when the GGRB can be used to return a valuable resource back to where it is needed.
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23 Mar 2010 The Plastic Bag is Exorcized and Recycled

People involved in the green movement love to demonize things and let’s face it, in many cases it is so darn easy. Favorite targets are packaging, plastic water bottles, vehicles like SUV’s, and even companies such as Nestlé’s, and Wal-Mart. And of course, the product everyone loves to hate, plastic bags.

We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us

I may be paraphrasing that famous quote but I think you understand my point. I have always claimed, even in mixed green audiences, that only a small part of the problem is the plastic bag. The real problem is what we all choose to do or not do with the plastic bags when we are done with them. [caption id="attachment_1294" align="alignnone" width="400"]Photo of a suburban cornfield strewn with litter, mainly plastic bags. What's Happening to Your Plastic Bags?[/caption] We live and work in southwest suburban Chicago which has become an unusual mix of farm fields and retail and industrial development. Around the corner from us is the first sign of civilization, a McDonald’s and across the street is another sure indicator of suburban sprawl, a Wal-Mart store. However in all directions, there are also farm fields that in a few months will be filled with corn, soy beans and other crops but for now they are littered with garbage. Most of that litter is plastic bags that were carelessly thrown out of car windows or improperly discarded in one of the many retail store parking lots in the immediate area. It is a terrible shame because the eyesore and waste could have been so easily avoided.

My Green Brother Is My Green Keeper

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11 Mar 2010 A Plastic Bag by Any Other Name

[caption id="attachment_1272" align="alignnone" width="425" caption="How Green Are These Reusable Shopping Bags?"][/caption] First let me say I love Kohl’s retail stores. If you are looking for almost any brand name product ranging from clothing and bedding to luggage and small kitchen appliances, Kohls’ makes it difficult to pay “full retail price” with their never ending sales and promotions. They are terrific but when they stretch the green truth, I feel a strong obligation to call them out on it.

The Ready to Reuse Shopping Bag

At first glance it looked like a great idea. A reusable shopping bag that thanks to a unique design and a well placed snap, neatly folds up into a compact little package. I am sure we all mostly agree the use of reusable shopping bags is probably a good idea so anything that will make them easier to carry and use can only be a plus. Add some green graphics, some cool green buzz words and voila, you have a ... plastic bag. “The Devil Is in the Details” Was one of my grandfather’s favorite sayings and an eternal, indisputable truth. No matter what the subject or when it is being said, the small unobvious details are often where the truth or lack of it can be found. A close look at the small tag, I found deep inside of the bag told me so much more than the colorful bag or the outer tag so prominently displayed. The bag is 100% polypropylene, which of course is nothing more than plastic. This particular bag, like most that are used to help “save the earth”, is imported from China. I think most of our readers know how I feel about importing products like this from the other side of the world, especially when over 10% of our own population is unemployed. Putting that carbon footprint and exporting jobs issues aside, here are some other things that are likely to go unnoticed by the average reusable bag buyer.
  • There is no indication of recycled content. That is not good.
  • There are no instructions for the ultimate disposal of the bag. It will eventually have to be discarded, but how?
  • The tag clearly indicates it is not for use with food but can’t we assume people shop for groceries more often than they do for sox and underwear? Shouldn’t that important information be somewhere where people are more likely to see it?
  • Since it is likely to be used for grocery shopping, wouldn’t it be great if it was washable? Google “reusable bag germs” and get ready to be shocked.
Am I Anti Reusable Bag?
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