In our efforts to help companies become more green, we often look for what we refer to as “low hanging sustainable packaging fruit”. That is those little, easy changes that can be implemented quickly with little or no investment required. In fact the sweetest fruit is that which results in immediate savings — and with the help of a good customer, we found a terrific area for immediate and easy green savings!
Slip sheets are those almost invisible layers of packaging material you usually find between a pallet and a product load or even in between layers of a product load. Many companies will add a second slip sheet to the top of the load, in case the pallet is double stacked. Slip sheets provide some level of abrasion protection and are used primarily to keep products clean. On certain types of product loads, they can even be used to eliminate or avoid a pallet altogether. Slip sheets can be made of plastic, paper board or corrugated. Regardless of material type, what they almost always have in common is that slip sheets are certain to wind up as waste, as soon as the load arrives at its destination.
Sustainable Opportunity Discovered
Giving credit where credit is due, during a conversation about our 100% recycled (PCW) Globe Guard corrugated boxes, it was a customer that asked the question, “Can I use this board for my slip sheets? I really hate the amount of corrugated we use for that purpose.” Resisting the temptation to slap my own head like in one of those V-8 Juice commercials, I immediately replied, “There is absolutely no reason to use virgin board for that application”. Since that initial conversation, I have suggested it to several other customers and soon, a few of them will be using our brand new Globe Guard slip sheets and reducing their cost in the process.
Sustainable opportunities are all around us and in spite of popular belief, they do not always require a lot of time and and money. It is important to examine the application and use of a product as well as the volume or composition. Sometimes, a really good green solution is right under our nose, or right under our load.