Sustainable Products

28 May 2009 Soft-But-Firm Sustainable Packaging Solution

[caption id="attachment_423" align="alignnone" width="300"]Eco Nest Eco Friendly Void Fill Eco Nest Eco Friendly Void Fill[/caption] Those are words usually reserved for describing a mattress or pillow but it this case they are also the best way to describe our new Globe Guard Eco Nest void fill product.  It is very effective, undeniably green, an amazingly simple idea, and quite frankly it handles certain applications better and lower in cost than most “high tech” or “engineered” packaging solutions. Sustainable Packaging Simplicity Globe Guard Eco Nest is essentially nothing more that shredded corrugated board. Perhaps a little packaging science went into the determining the best width and length of the strands of corrugated board but it is as basic a concept as possible - used corrugated boxes are recycled, shredded and turned into protective, loose void fill. The product can be used over and over but when it is time for disposal, it can be recycled again and probably be used to make new corrugated boxes like our Globe Guard 100% recycled PCW corrugated boxes.  The whole concept and process is so simple, it’s almost ingenious. The Pros and Cons of Loose Void Fill The greatest benefit by far is that loose void fill easily and fully conforms to the shape of the product being packed. That is what makes products like foam peanuts appealing from a user/shipper perspective, though perhaps not from a receiver/customer perspective. Loose fill dispenses easily and quickly, is usually light weight, and most versions are relatively low in cost. The down side of loose fill is that it often settles and crushes, especially when used to pack dense, heavy products. It is not at all unusual to receive and open a package where the product being shipped has drifted to the bottom of the box and the loose fill packaging material has shifted to the top where it offers little or no protection. Globe Guard Eco Nest conforms and supports but does not breakdown. What Makes Globe Guard Eco Nest Different? When a bird makes a nest in a tree, the components, usually twigs and blades of grass, have little strength individually, however when woven and working together, they are amazingly strong and resilient. We have all seen a nest on the ground that fell from a tree due to a wind storm, and noticed it is always fully intact. That is the same concept that makes Globe Guard Eco Nest such a terrific product from a performance standpoint. The shredded corrugated strands mesh to support even the heaviest and most delicate products - even when they are shipped via USPS, UPS and FedEx.
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12 May 2009 Can Sustainable Packaging Be Attractive and Decorative?

It sure can be and it can also be environmentally and socially responsible as well.  We are very pleased to announce a temporary addition to Globe Guard Products.com. Through a special, limited agreement with a top tier, well respected manufacturer, we are very pleased to offer eight of their eco-friendly decorative packaging products on a close out basis. Decorative sustainable packaging that is more than pretty on the outside eco-friendly-decorative-packaging-1All 100% natural and renewable materials were used on these products and the term “hand crafted” truly applies to them with all of the manufacturing performed off shore in a totally committed, fair trade environment. The products include -
  • Three different, beautiful handmade gift boxes, all made out of treeless paper.
  • A black Abaca bag with a bamboo lock
  • A very unique twine basket.
  • A beautifully crafted wooden tray that is perfect for product presentations.
  • Two different size, handmade, lightweight embroidered bags. Every bag has a unique and different embroidered design and the detailed work is rare in a product in this price range.
Where and how is decorative packaging used?
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30 Apr 2009 Hey Green Business Owner, Your Boxes Are Talking about You

What are your boxes saying about you? I have come to believe that every box has a story to tell about the person or company who sent it. I am quite sure that together with the other packaging/shipping materials being used, the box sends a silent but powerful message to the recipient about the shipper.
  • If you are utilizing “used/recycled” boxes are they saying you are conservative and considerate of the environment or are they screaming, cheap and uncaring about the image you project to your customers?
  • If you are using boxes that are obviously too large for the product(s) being shipped, are they communicating your lack of knowledge and/or concern about the correct use of packaging materials?
  • If your customer’s product arrives damaged, are your boxes saying that you would rather save a few cents than to develop a long term relationship with them?
  • If you are using a standard corrugated box with any percentage of virgin fiber, are your boxes admitting you are willing to sacrifice a few trees in a misinformed effort to save some money or time?
Our Green Customers Are Not Like Everyone Else And thank God they are not. However, this also means that we as a supplier to them, our packaging not only has to perform as well and be as cost competitive as everyone else’s, it also has to be as green as possible.
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28 Apr 2009 Eco Friendly Corrugated Boxes – “100% PCW” is Not 100% Bad or 100% Good

globe-guard-100-per-cent-pcw-stock-boxesIn the last week I’ve spoken with two people, one from a very large, green company and the other from a very small, green company. Both had very strong opinions about 100% PCW content corrugated boxes. “I must have 100% PCW or as close to 100% as possible,” one said. The other said, “I recently tried 100% PCW but it failed miserably”. Both comments demonstrated a basic misunderstanding about corrugated, how it is made and how even 100% PCW it can be modified to satisfy almost any application. I sincerely believe that the “100% PCW” requirement has in many cases become at best an ineffective guideline, and at worst a crutch for people who want to make a difficult decision, as simple as possible.  Corrugated made of PCW material is an excellent sustainable packaging solution and a critical part of a long term environmental solution, but it has to be combined with some basic product knowledge to be cost effective as well as performance effective. Corrugated Fun Facts. OK, not fun but good to know corrugated-side-viewFor over a hundred years, almost since it was first used to line and support men’s’ tall hats, corrugated board has been made virtually the same way. A sheet of corrugated board is made up of three approximately equal (by weight) components, two face liner board sheets and the medium (the fluted layer) in between the inner and outer sheets. If you make one of those three components 100% PCW, your board is approx. 33% PCW, two PCW components would result in 66% PCW, etc. Once you go below 100% PCW content on any of the components, the recycled content gets fairly “gray” but if someone is claiming 90% PCW, that is not only unlikely, it is virtually impossible. Since there is no accurate scientific way after production to verify the recycled content percentage or type (PCW or post production) of each component, a vendor is fairly free to claim almost any PCW percentage they care to.
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09 Apr 2009 Sustainable Packaging – When Brown and White Make Green

kundorwahun-1One of the best parts of doing what we do is the opportunity to meet some really neat people doing some terrific things for the world we all share. We were recently contacted by Mark Simmons, one of the co-founders of www.Useless.org a unique company selling very useful products for a very good cause. They donate 10% of their profits to fund water and sanitation projects worldwide. Did someone say “eco-consistency”? Regular readers know that eco-consistency is my mantra, but when I spoke to Mark that was exactly what he was trying to accomplish. He was committed to buying packaging materials that communicated and confirmed his company’s very deep and sincere values of protecting the earth and “using less”. It sounded like a perfect application for Globe Guard 100% recycled PCW content corrugated boxes and it was. Eco friendly corrugated boxes – to print or not to print Even though we heavily promote our stock box unprinted program, we also understand the need for customization and branding. Today, well over half of our Globe Guard box business is custom grade, custom print or custom size. Realizing the importance of branding, especially at this early stage of his company’s development, Mark decided he wanted their logo printed on the box, in white - a most unusual color for box printing. I was not sure how white ink would turn out on a brown box, but the end result is a marvelous shade of green (packaging).
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02 Apr 2009 Sustainable Packaging Update 4 – Packaging Papers – 60 lb Indented Kraft

packingpaper_6922webOur eco friendly packaging store www.GlobeGuardProducts.com shows just a small sampling of the most popular types of packaging papers, in the most popular width – 24”. The truth is that we offer many more sizes, weights and grades than we can possible show on a web store. Virgin and recycled Kraft, bogus, and newsprint for interleaving, surface protection, cushioning and especially for void fill. They are all excellent materials when used for the correct application but we have found a new favorite and so have our customers. – indented recycled Kraft paper. What is indented Kraft paper? Indented is Kraft paper that has been run through a secondary process giving it a raised, bumpy finish which makes it softer to the touch while making it tougher and better for certain applications. For example, it does a better job of filling a void within a box being shipped because the indenting makes it more voluminous and bulkier. Hence you wind up using less of it to fill the same size void and it is more effective in protecting the product, especially if it is heavier, has sharper edges or is more likely to be damaged in shipment. Packaging paper that does not hurt economically or physically Since the indented Kraft paper we sell is 100% recycled content, it is considered eco friendly and because you use far less of it, it is green from that aspect as well. Let’s not forget using less also results in a lower unit cost which is good for the pocket book, especially in these tough economic times. We recently showed 60# indented Kraft to a lady who packs boxes all day and with an immediate large smile on her face, she proclaimed, “no more paper cuts”. As soon as she touched it she immediately realized our paper was softer and would not result in the skin on her fingers and hands being painfully slit on an almost daily basis. Yet she could also see that it was stronger and would do an excellent job of satisfying her void fill needs.
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26 Mar 2009 How to Avoid a Sustainable Packaging Dead End

In my opinion, there are some concepts and ideas in sustainability that are still not as well understood and accepted as they should be. Back in November, 2007 I wrote an article for Sustainable Is Good titled “The One Material Myth” . The theme of that article was that in many cases, a combination of two, easily separated and sorted materials is a much better sustainable solution compared to one material that is not as eco–friendly or as easily recycled. The key to that theory and statement is “easily separated and sorted”. Recently I have been seeing a rash of two material packaging products being sold under a green flag that are absolutely terrible in terms of sustainability. They are virtual green dead ends because the final outcome will always be a land fill. Eco Dead End Products bubble-mailersA terrific example of this is the cushioned or lined mailer envelope. The make and model is not important or whether the mailer is lined with foam or a bubble product. If the liner is fused to the paper, no one is going to separate and recycle either material so the whole mailer winds up in the trash. The mailer in the photo brags about its 100% recycled paper with 25% PCR. Don’t get me wrong.  I think it is wonderful that they are using recycled content paper. However I know the unsuspecting public is buying this product, thinking they are doing a good thing for the environment and not even realizing that since it is lined with a plastic bubble cushion inside, it cannot and will not ever be recycled.
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24 Mar 2009 A Less Expensive Way to a Greener Box Sealing Tape Solution

As we have mentioned before, we enjoy helping customers switch from pressure sensitive tape to water activated tape (WAT) because we are convinced it is a more eco friendly and usually, a better way to seal a box. WAT Dispenser Cost Can Be an Obstacle I think most people realize paper water activated tape is a more sustainable than plastic pressure sensitive tape and the reasons are well documented, including several times on this blog. Up to now, we offered two WAT dispensers, both of excellent quality but the prices have been $395 for the semi-automatic unit and $995 for our electric unit. This has often been a major problem for low volume customers or even larger volume tape users with multiple packing and taping stations. An Unfair Comparison of Tape Applicators “But my plastic tape supplier gives me my tape guns for free”.  I have heard this many times and am amazed some people still don’t realize they are paying for those “free or low cost” pressure sensitive tape applicators, in any number of ways -
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19 Mar 2009 Sustainable Packaging – When Waste Makes Sense

environmental_conservation_symbolIt probably sounds strange coming from us because we are so outspoken critics of waste and we encourage using less whenever possible. However, the first objective of being a sustainable (green) business is to be a sustainable (viable) business. At times like this, saving money is a necessary objective for financial and even practical reasons. It does not help the green cause if a eco minded business goes broke because it failed to reduce costs whenever possible, without compromising their green values. Last week I received a call from a company that uses four different size plastic slip sheets as inter-leavers during their manufacturing and in plant material handling. The sheets are placed between products to prevent abrasion but are removed and discarded when the product is packed into individual boxes. Their goal was to be as green as possible and ideally to reduce the cost of these, single use disposable sheets. Application Analysis After a review of the use, customer expectations, etc., we discovered an important piece of information. To avoid dimensions, let’s say they use a “small” sheet, a slightly larger “medium”, a substantially oversized, “large” sheet and an even a slightly larger “extra large”. Four sizes and the relatively small volume on each are almost identical. We also determined that for no good apparent reason, they were using a high quality, high clarity, food grade, low density polyethylene virgin resin formulation.
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17 Mar 2009 Great Green Ideas Don’t Have to Be Big or Expensive

recycled-corrugated-tote-from-wwwglobeguardproductscomIn fact our green idea is fairly small and is only 15.75” X 14.25” X 9” high at its greatest dimensions. Some might even call it compact, so it can more easily be utilized in a small home or business office environment. What we offer is a rather unique recycling tote constructed out of Globe Guard 100% recycled content corrugated. It is neutral, natural brown Kraft colored in color so it does not clash with any décor. We realize competitive products are often bright colored plastic but ours is not designed to double as a highway traffic control device. Furthermore, if you are one of the many people who advocate the limited use of plastic, isn’t it a bit inconsistent to utilize a plastic recycling bin for your paper waste? If you are a regular reader you know we like to have fun with our topics and we are most definitely enjoying this one. In fact I am going to state that when designing our recycling tote, we strictly adhered to the following three R’s:
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