Posted on April 5, 2011 by Dennis Salazar

Paper Based Packaging Is the Greenest Way to Lower Costs When Plastic Prices Are Soaring

A quick look at today’s headlines or the nearest gas pump confirms oil prices are on a steep rise, which ultimately impacts natural gas and plastic resin prices as well as everything we buy or use that contains plastic. Experts tell us there is no end in sight, so as we see plastic packaging going through the roof with some products experiencing multiple price increases in the last six months, it’s a great time to remind our readers that almost any plastic packaging solution has a paper-based alternative.

If you use plastic mailer envelopes…..

Consider using a light weight corrugated box. We are now able to make low-profile RSC style boxes as low as 2” high without a cutting die, using lighter weight board to reduce costs and shipping weight. In addition, we offer custom and stock die cut boxes like our recently launched Light Rate box. Also, regardless of style or design, corrugated boxes remain one of the easiest and lowest cost packaging containers to brand with your logo or artwork.

If your product does not require the protection of a box, such as soft goods (bedding towels, clothing, etc.), take a look at paper unpadded mailers. Most paper mailers today offer some level of water resistance, and though in most cases plastic mailers have a definite advantage in terms of weight, paper is considerably greener and lower in cost. In addition, some paper products such as our Globe Guard® mailers can be custom printed in as little as one case minimum quantity.

If you use plastic void fill….

Remember that paper comes in a wide variety of grades and sizes and was used for void fill long before the first inflatable air pillow was invented. On our Globe Guard store we offer stock paper products including gray bogus, newsprint, 40# Kraft and 60# indented Kraft for heavy duty applications.

If you are a regular reader of this blog you know inflatable void fill is one of my favorite products, and our biodegradable bubble packaging on rolls is one of our newest and most popular items. However, after another 8% price increase on bubble packaging was announced this week, it’s good to know what your lower cost options are. Using the right paper can be very cost effective, and by adding a low cost dispenser (also available on our store) you make it very labor efficient to use as well.

Globe Guard custom printed paper tape samplesIf you use plastic tape…..

Take another look at water activated paper tape. It’s much greener and it adheres to corrugated material so well that in many cases packers use less compared to plastic tape. It also has a high “Globe Guard Eco Obvious” rating and is available custom printed.

If you use plastic shrink or stretch film….

I admit I don’t have a great paper-based packaging solution for you, but it is a great time to review your purchases of plastic films in an effort to make sure you are using the least amount possible to get the job done. New film technology has helped to create stronger films at much lighter gauges to dramatically improve yields and reduce cost.

Also, confirm the need and application before continuing the use. We recently saved a customer a substantial amount of money and plastic by simply asking, “Why do you place your green product in a un-green plastic bag before you put it into a green Globe Guard corrugated box?” When she could not come up with a good reason, she agreed it was a quick and easy way to reduce her packaging and costs.

Please contact us for a no-cost analysis of your overall packaging operation. We rarely find a situation where we are not able to reduce a customer’s cost and use of plastic products by at least 10%.