Sustainable Products

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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01 Oct 2009 The Globe Guard Approach: Green, Greener and Greenest

Just when I start thinking I have said and written everything I possibly can about our Globe Guard eco friendly, 100% PCW shipping boxes, I realize I have missed something really important.

Our 3 Eco Friendly Choices for Corrugated Boxes

Our focus has always been on sustainability, combined with application. Each customer requirement is slightly different so it became necessary for us to have available three different types of board, as well as several different grades, so we could provide the best green product for any specific and challenging application.

Green

[caption id="attachment_892" align="alignnone" width="325" caption="100% Recyclable"]100% Recyclable[/caption] For certain customer applications such as those requiring a white exterior on the box, no one is able to provide a product that is 100% PCW recycled content or even 100% recycled content. I have written several times on how a white exterior on any box requires a virgin (white) outer sheet so the greatest possible recycled content is 60 to 70%. It is important to note that this is still considerably better and greener than the average, “standard” box which is typically 30 to 40% recycled content.

Greener

[caption id="attachment_893" align="alignnone" width="325" caption="100% Recycled and Recyclable"]100% Recycled and Recyclable[/caption] Customers who use corrugated mailers often do so because they are looking for something a little more attractive than the average RSC style box. For those customers, appearance is every bit as important as function. Most customers are willing to forgo the outer, white (virgin) exterior in the interest of sustainability but they are not eager to compromise on appearance. We have determined that our 100% recycled content board enables us to die cut mailers just a little cleaner and neater so that is what we prefer to utilize for any die cut design.
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24 Sep 2009 Selling Boxes versus Selling Packaging

A good customer friend recently recommended us to a customer of his and referred to us as “a great supplier of eco friendly boxes”. Certainly that description is accurate in that we are probably best known for our unique, Globe Guard 100% PCW shipping boxes. However, there is a distinct and real difference between selling eco friendly boxes and selling eco friendly packaging.

Green Shipping Boxes and a Whole Lot More

When a potential customer calls us or visits our Globe Guard Products web store, they usually have a very good idea of what they want and if they find it there, they are able to point, click and the product they need will soon be in their hands. We are indeed a good supplier of green boxes but we also offer a large variety of other eco friendly products on that same site. This includes a large selection of box alternatives and quite frankly, you are not going to get that from your average box maker or seller. When a box is truly required to ship a product, we also understand the average customer also needs tape to seal the box, void fill to protect the contents and even labels to be able to address the box. Just in the area of void fill alone, we offer one of the widest varieties of loose, molded, paper and eco friendly plastic solutions. Each is in stock and we will gladly and enthusiastically explain the pros and cons of each product for your specific application.
[caption id="attachment_878" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Globe Guard product photo courtesy of Jeffery Levin"]Globe Guard product photo courtesy of Jeffery Levin[/caption] Stock versus Custom Corrugated
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27 Aug 2009 Globe Guard Introduces 5 New Sizes of Green Shipping Boxes

[caption id="attachment_785" align="alignnone" width="355"]Five New Green Shipping Boxes Now in Stock Five New Green Shipping Boxes Now in Stock![/caption] It is often said that good things come in small packages. If that is true, we have just provided you with some great new ways to ship them in green, eco friendly, 100% PCW boxes. We discovered that our 6” cube box was still too large for some products, so we added a 4” and 5” cube. At the other end of the size spectrum we also added a 16”, 18” and 20” cube shipping boxes as well.

12 Stock Sizes of Cube Shipping Boxes

Our cube box line up now includes: 4”, 5”, 6”, 8”, 9”, 10” 12”, 13”, 14”, 16”, 18”, and 20” cube boxes, in stock and ready to ship immediately. Why Is It Important to Use the Correct Size Box? Using the smallest possible size shipping box offers many sustainable and economic advantages.
  • Obviously, cost. Typically the smaller the box, the lower the cost
  • The smaller box uses less tape to seal it
  • The smaller box requires less void fill product
  • In some cases it reduces shipping cost
  • A smaller box can reduce the required storage area
  • It delivers minimal packaging to your eco minded customers
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13 Aug 2009 Taking the Fear Out of Custom, Green Boxes

do not fear custom shipping boxesIt had been a while since I wrote on this subject but a recent experience reminded me it was time again. I spoke to a potential customer who wanted our Globe Guard, 100% PCW shipping boxes. The problem (he thought) was that he needed a different size and a heavier grade not listed on our green packaging, e-commerce site. Since the boxes were for the launch of a new, unproven product, he was concerned about having to order large initial quantities. I could see he was very worried about cost, especially when he admitted he would love to add his logo on two sides of the new box.
The fear left his face and he smiled when I told him none of his perceptions about custom size, custom grade, custom printed, green packaging were true.

When and Why Custom Grade, Eco Friendly Boxes Make Sense

Even though 32 ECT is the most popular grade, we know there are times when a heavier duty box is necessary. We offer a standard upgrade 44 ECT and have even worked with double wall construction designs when needed. The price jump from 32 to 44 ECT is usually less than 10% or in most cases, a few cents per box. This also puts to rest another old packaging wives’ tale – “my application is to tough for recycled corrugated board”. Nonsense! We can tailor the box thickness and grade to the application because we do not just offer what we have in stock. Custom Size Shipping Boxes We currently offer 24 of the most popular sizes on our green packaging store and that will increase to at least 30 in the next month or two. However, 50% of the boxes we sell are not stock boxes at all. We make them to our customers exact size requirements and have made as few as one hundred boxes for customers with a short run need. Don’t believe anyone who tells you you have to buy hundreds or thousands of boxes to get the size you need. We do it for our customers every day of the week. Those large internet and catalog companies who offer “hundreds of sizes in stock” are terrific but not if the size you need for your product is not on their stock list. Custom Print Shipping Boxes
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16 Jul 2009 A Better Cushioned Mailer from Globe Guard

Back on March 26th we published an article on this blog talking about sustainable packaging dead ends. In it I described a personal pet peeve which is single use products that are destined to end up in a land fill. It only adds salt to the sustainable wound for me when the manufacturer leads customers to believe that they are doing a good, green thing. An Imperfect Sustainable Packaging Example - Cushioned Mailers We have all used them at one time or another but cushioned (foam or bubble) lined paper mailers feature two excellent materials. Unfortunately they are laminated together and cannot be separated for easy sorting and recycling. Since the outer layer is paper, they are likely to hold up for only one trip through USPS, FedEx, or UPS so it is usually a prompt and short trip to your local land fill. Think about the millions of these that are used for home or office and you can see how easily the problem is compounded. A Near Perfect Sustainable Packaging Solution - Globe Guard 100% Recyclable (Plastic) Cushioned Mailers [caption id="attachment_634" align="alignright" width="220"]A Better Padded Mailer A Better Padded Mailer[/caption] Before the anti-plastic people get all worked up, please keep in mind that on sustainable, green packaging, it is not always about bad versus good. Sometimes the decision is not all that simple and the choice is between very bad and perhaps, not so bad. Or in this case between completely unrecyclable and easily recyclable. I know I would likely be escorted out of some green gatherings for using the C word (compromise) but that is the reality of current eco friendly packaging options. The key is to know what you are using in terms of content and how or if it satisfies the sustainability requirements of reuse, recycle and reduce. What Makes These Plastic Cushioned Mailers Green
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14 Jul 2009 Green Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry (for using a higher grade of packaging than necessary)

mailing-envelope-from-globe-guard-eco-friendly-packaging-productsMuch of the attention on sustainable secondary packaging is rightfully given to using too much of a given packaging material. A compounded example is using a box that is oversized for a shipment, thereby also requiring more void fill product than necessary. We have all seen the examples of bad packaging posted here on ISP and on other excellent green focused sites like Sustainable is Good. We like to scrutinize not only the quantity of packaging also the quality of the packaging being used for a specific application. Some of this is for good environmental reasons but it is important to note that it often results in a lower cost to our customers, and today, that is a very good thing. Typical Examples of Over Packaging These include some of my all time favorites that can often be found in many mail rooms and shipping areas.
  • Using cushioned mailers for products that do not require cushioning such as soft goods, textiles, paper products, etc. I have written many times on bubble and foam mailers that are destined to wind up in a land fill because the plastic and paper used to make the mailer are laminated together. Both packaging materials are recyclable in theory only, since they cannot be separated and effectively recycled.
  • The use of white corrugated and envelope mailers of almost any type and configuration. Why do customers pay more for a product that is less eco friendly, looks less eco friendly and will arrive at its destination looking worse due to its white surface?  When a client wants to be “obviously” green and reduce costs, this is usually one of the first areas we look at and change.
  • Utilizing Tyvek, Nylon reinforced and other premium or reinforced mailer envelopes.There are some marvelous materials being used for applications that do not require them. They usually have excellent specific properties such as moisture protection or puncture resistance but are also not recyclable because of the composition and structure.
Why Do Companies Over Package?
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11 Jun 2009 Printed Water Activated Tape is Creative, Sustainable Packaging at its Best

printed-water-activated-tapes What do a West Coast oyster farm, a Wisconsin maker of fine cutting tools, a creative designer of green products for the office and unique online green products store, all have in common? They all decided to combine unprinted boxes with custom printed tape to -
  • Communicate their green brands
  • Make their secondary packaging as eco friendly as possible
  • Reduce their packaging costs
  FREE machine for new printed tape customers. Contact for details. The Benefits of Printed Water Activated Tape
  • It is colorful, stands out and your customers remember your message, logo, and brand
  • It is a much less expensive branding alternative to costly custom printed boxes
  • It has a high green perception rating from even casual observers and customers
  • It’s a paper product so no stripping of plastic tape is necessary before recycling the corrugated box
  • It bonds better to the box making it safer, more rigid and much more secure because it prevents tampering and pilferage
Sustainable Packaging Is Creative? Yes it can be.  Take a look at what these terrific customers decided to do to convey a consistent and memorable image.
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04 Jun 2009 Sustainable Packaging and the Magic Bullet

People who are eager to find quick and simple solutions to some of our most complex sustainability problems are often disappointed when they hear me say there is no packaging magic bullet that satisfies all requirements, at all times, and on all products. In fact, I would go so far as to say that rarely does one product do everything that is necessary for a tough application. If there is a “universal solution” to our eco dilemma, it is probably multiple products and resources working together, each bringing something unique, different and green to the application. One Tough Green Packaging Application bad-axe-eco-friendly-packagingSay hello to Bad Axe Tool Works, a company with a neat name, interesting web site and a premier manufacturer of cutting tools for woodworking and other wood related activities like pruning and clearing trees. When we met them they were concerned with preventing damage during shipment and making sure their packaging was as green as possible. Considering the incredibly sharp nature of their products, it was definitely a challenge. One Great, Excellent Packaging Partner Adams Foam in Chicago makes a terrific product called Green Cell Foam. The product is made from non-GMO corn, and after use, it can be recycled, composted or simply dissolved in water. It is also surprisingly tough and able to stand up to rugged applications like the one that was developing at Bad Axe Tools Works. We had conversations with the nice people at Adams Foam but nothing brings packaging people together like a good, challenging application and Bad Axe did indeed bring us together. What it Took to Get the Job Done (See Photos Below)
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02 Jun 2009 Corrugated Die Cut Mailers – A Greener, Eco Friendly, and Better Corrugated Box Option

eco-friendly-corrugated-mailers-lid-open They are known by many names including literature mailers, tuck and fold mailers, shipper boxes and even pizza boxes, but the corrugated die cut mailer is making a big comeback and guess what? It is greener and no longer white. What Makes These Corrugated Mailers Greener? In the past, virgin board was used to make these versatile shipping and storage containers but today we are making them out of recycled corrugated materials. More importantly they are being made out of 100% recycled material which means they cannot be white on the outside. Many people don’t realize it but when you give a box a white exterior, that outer layer (usually 1/3 of the overall board content) has to be virgin. If you want it white on the inside too, then 2/3 of the corrugated content must be made from virgin fibers. Remember our motto, a virgin fiber is a terrible thing to waste, especially when it is not necessary. Why Have Die Cut Mailers Been Historically White The theory was that they looked better, cleaner, nicer, etc. There is no argument about that when the product is shipped ... but have you ever seen one of those mailers when it arrives at its intended destination? Whether is ships via FedEx, UPS or USPS, the mailer no longer looks pristine or white upon arrival. Typically it is dirty, scuffed and even covered with fingerprints. The white outer layer looks great when it is shipped but the appearance rapidly degenerates as soon as it leaves the shipper’s facility. What Makes These Corrugated Mailers Better?
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