eco friendly packaging Tag

14 Oct 2010 Minimizing the Unexpected Costs of Green Die Cut Boxes

Stock and custom die cut mailer boxesWe enjoy creating eco friendly printed, die cut containers, but they are not exempt from many of the same potential costs and problems of non-green die cut designs and solutions. During a recent phone conversation with a potential new client, I could hear the disappointment in my contact’s voice when I informed him he would probably have to invest several thousands of dollars in printing plates and cutting dies even before his first box was cut or printed. This situation was unique and extreme because we were talking about an oversized, 12” tall, stackable display tray that would be palletized for a large retailer. The two-color copy the customer wanted printed on each panel of course added some cost, but not as much as you might expect. As I have said many times, ink is cheap, but set up time and plates are not. This unfortunately also holds true for cutting dies for new package designs, whether the container being designed is a counter top display, tuck mailer, tray or special shipping box.
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21 Sep 2010 Congressional Honor for Salazar Packaging and Our Sustainable Packaging Innovation

Congressional Hispanic CaucusWe are proud to announce Salazar Packaging was honored at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's (CHCI) Public Policy Conference in Washington D.C. last week. Our work in the sustainable packaging field including our Globe Guard product line, our patent pending Globe Guard® Reusable Box and the industry first green packaging Web store were recognized by 22 members of Congress and six Cabinet secretaries at the closing plenary session titled "Green Economy, Leading the Way" during the Latino Innovation awards ceremony. About the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
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09 Sep 2010 The New eBay Reusable Box – Not Perfect but a Timely Idea

eBay's new Re-useable Box The new box that eBay has created for their customers to reuse is an excellent concept and it could not come at a better time. People are more focused than ever before on all of the “three R’s” of sustainability,” but especially the one I often refer to as “the other R” or “the forgotten R,” which is “reuse.” Don’t be surprised however if it is not necessarily accepted and heralded in the packaging community as it already has been in green circles. Even though I agree it is a great idea whose time has come, it also is a perfect example of how difficult it is to create a truly green package. What’s Wrong with the eBay Reusable Box?
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24 Aug 2010 How to Dramatically Increase the Value of Your Boxes with Minimal Additional Cost

There is no doubt most people know us for our 100% PCW recycled content corrugated, stock, shipping boxes, but over half of the boxes we sell are custom printed with our customers’ brand or design. One of the things we have noticed is that an increasing number are going well beyond the traditional one color logo and using their boxes to make a very memorable and positive impression on their customers. Some Great Examples of Boxes Designed to Impress and Save Money
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23 Jun 2010 Packaging Sustainability and Baby Steps

[caption id="attachment_1551" align="alignnone" width="400"] Too Much Packaging![/caption] The nouveau green packaging industry loves to talk about biodegradability, recyclability, compostability, recycled content, PLA, PCW and a constantly growing variety of green acronyms. They are also just as eager to debate which product or process is best for the customer and for the environment. We ourselves are helping to lead the charge on reusable and recycled content packaging products but often times we all over look the easiest sustainability “R” of all and that is reduce. Packaging reduction opportunities are usually very simple to identify and almost always even easier to correct.

A Perfect Example - A Recent Shipment from Zappos.com

Zappos.com is a terrific company and one of my personal favorites but the recent order (photo) we received from them caught my attention. The box they used to ship our order of baby shoes is obviously more than two times larger than it really needed to be. To be fair, it could have been almost any internet retailer, shipping almost any order and most of them are indeed guilty of this same sustainability crime. I realize it is possible the packer simply selected the wrong size box but having reviewed and assessed many order picking and packing stations; I know the correct size box is usually not available for the packer to utilize. “Use the smallest box available” is the common direction a packer receives but the smallest box available is frequently not the right size for the application and product being shipped. Using an oversized box obviously adds packaging material cost as well as much more difficult to calculate costs such as storage space, shipping cube space, fuel costs, load inefficiencies, etc. Perhaps even more important, it just plain looks wasteful to an ever vigilant eco conscious consumer.
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14 Jun 2010 Green Accountability and Visibility of Imported Reusable Bags

At a recent conference I attended as I was walking the show aisles, I was handed an “eco friendly reusable bag” by one of the exhibitors. As you can imagine, that always gets my attention, plus by that time, I was carrying sufficient items and information, to be grateful for a bag. What the Green Supplier Wants You to See We’re not going to get into the bag manufacturer or even the exhibitor that was handing the bags out, because it could have been one of many different suppliers who put a bright spotlight on the green speak and intentionally places the questionable details in the dark.
What the bag supplier chose to make highly visible is “80% post consumer waste” which was printed in large, bold letters on the side panel of the bag. “Pretty impressive,” I thought, knowing that rarely are non-woven reusable plastic bags made out of that high a recycled content, especially of PCW recycled content. “Certainly this bag must be domestic”, I guessed, knowing that as bad as we are about recycling our post consumer plastic waste, other countries are even worse. I walked the rest of the show, carrying and displaying my “eco friendly reusable bag”. Green Should Be Beautiful on the Inside, Too The following day when I emptied my bag, I looked at the two small labels inside and the incredibly tiny print on them. At very close inspection I realized the bag was made of 100% polypropylene and that it was manufactured in China. “Hmmm. That doesn’t sound right,” I thought, recalling the 80% PCW claim printed on the outside of the bag.
I have been told by people who import low cost plastic bags on a daily basis that many Chinese and other foreign manufacturers will gladly sew in any labels you want with any message you want. They are not inclined to allow the truth to get in the way of a good, green message. Their job is to manufacture products as inexpensively as possible and deliver it on time. It does not take a chemist or mathematician to figure out that if this bag is 100% polypropylene and 80% post consumer waste as they claim, 80% of the polypropylene waste was something else before it was collected, re-processed and re-extruded into a reusable, non-woven polypropylene bag. Here in the US, polypropylene is used mostly for drinking straws, yogurt cups, medicine bottle, ketchup bottles, and other food related packaging uses. What is the Truth about Plastic Recycling and Use?
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08 Jun 2010 The Green Get Greener with Reusable Packaging

[caption id="attachment_1508" align="alignnone" width="350" caption="You Can't Reuse Poor Quality Packaging"][/caption] Eco Bags is one of our newest customers but I think most would agree they are not band wagon jumpers in the area of reusable or sustainable packaging. In fact, they are often credited as having helped to build the wagon for others, because they’ve been suppliers of reusable shopping bags and other green products for over twenty years. They know green and live it on a daily basis including reusing packaging as often and in every way possible.

Reusable Green Products Deserve Reusable Green Packaging

A quick look at the Eco Bags website shows a wide variety of reusable and eco friendly products designed to help heal and preserve our planet. They offer beautiful stock and custom products in many shapes and colors from domestic manufacturers as well as other parts of the world. Importing product makes the reuse of factory packaging a challenge because the quality and standards in other parts of the world of some packaging products such as corrugated shipping boxes, are not high as ours. Importing also means the product and packaging have to make a long trip by boat with additional handling at both ends of the voyage. The end result is that in some cases (photo shown above) the poor quality packaging does not hold up nearly as well as the high quality products Eco Bags imports. Keep in mind that even when the foreign packaging survives the trip to Eco Bags, it will likely require additional shipment to a distribution point, fulfillment house, or even to a retailer. The product may also be custom printed which typically results in additional handling, shipment and repacking.

When Reusing Packaging Is Not Possible

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13 Apr 2010 Smart Green Customers Choose Globe Guard Products

A Chicago area clothing retailer had a rather catchy slogan I used to appreciate – “An educated consumer is our best customer”. I believe I related to it as a lifelong student as well as teacher within the packaging industry. I’ve never stopped learning and I truly respect people who also share the same passion, to make good decisions based on study and research, rather than supposition or popular opinion. We’re All in It Together If you are a regular ISP reader you know how much I enjoy meeting and interviewing people who are making a difference in this world. I also truly like being on the opposite side of the interview and freely sharing green facts and opinions. Recently a very smart lady named Mary Kearns, owner of Herban Lifestyle interviewed me for her blog. Mary is a fellow Green America member as well as a fellow 1% for the Planet contributor. She also happens to be a customer but that is never an interview requirement. Mary asked great questions and it turns out, is an excellent writer as well. You can read the interview here - How to Green Your Packing and Shipping.
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