eco friendly packaging Tag

18 Mar 2010 What Is the Greatest Myth in Sustainable Packaging?

[caption id="attachment_1288" align="alignnone" width="432"] Contrary to Popular Opinion, Green Packaging Doesn't Have to Cost More[/caption] Last Sunday I had the opportunity to make a presentation and attend the International Housewares Show. It is a great event held annually at Chicago’s lake front McCormick Place and one I don’t miss because of the new products that are usually launched at this industry showcase. This was my third consecutive year at this show and in terms of packaging sustainability I would have to admit that the Housewares industry has been a little slow to jump on the green bandwagon. I even wrote an article about it for Sustainable Is Good in 2008 that commented on the very mixed reaction the Housewares industry had to sustainability. I am very pleased to report that two years later they “get it”. I was thrilled to see countless booths showing eco friendly and green products and for the most part, much of the packaging was “eco-consistent” with the products they are making and marketing. I was truly pleased to see how much progress was made in a short two year period. Back to the greatest myth However, there is one area where many of the people still lag behind and that is in the realization that green packaging does not necessarily have to cost more. In numerous conversations I had with people who appeared to have a sincere interest in making their packaging more eco friendly, they commented on the “high cost of green packaging”. In fact many of the inaccurate perceptions and outdated perceptions I have dealt with in the past are alive and kicking in this segment of the market. They include -
  • You can’t find green packaging products
  • The minimums are too high
  • The quality isn’t there yet
  • And of course, the greatest myth of all – green packaging costs too much
Forward to the sustainable packaging truth We have spent the last three years of our lives exposing and destroying these myths by making eco friendly packaging products available and affordable. The minimums are truly minimal and we guarantee our quality to be second to none.
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09 Feb 2010 Helping Green Packaging Customers Find Green Packaging Solutions

[caption id="attachment_1187" align="alignnone" width="300"]Screen shot of Recycled Packaging website, with stairs leading up to a doorway. New Recycled Packaging Website![/caption] The world of the internet is a complicated one and it is relatively easy to wind up lost among the incredible amount of information that is now available to anyone with a PC, laptop or cell phone. Of course the objective is to be found by people looking for what you do and offer, but you also have to help them quickly or it is off to the next name resulting from their Google or other search.

A Sustainable Packaging “Fork in the Road”

We have launched a new web site, www.recycledpackaging.com, and its purpose is really quite simple. It serves only to help visitors determine which of our business web sites (www.salazarpackaging.com or www.globeguardproducts.com) is mostly likely to offer the solutions to their packaging challenges. Potential customers can easily determine if stock eco friendly packaging products are what they need or if their application demands a custom solution. We certainly appreciate and welcome all new visitors to both of our sites but for new potential customers in a hurry, we think this option will enable them to more quickly find what they are looking for.

Stock versus Custom Eco Friendly Packaging

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31 Dec 2009 2009, The Joy of Creating Green Moments

My wife, Lenora, and I are fast approaching our third anniversary as entrepreneurs. During the Christmas break we reflected back on how far we have come, not only measured in sales numbers but just as importantly, in terms of friends. Sure there are headaches and disappointments in owning and operating your own business, but we have also enjoyed the privilege and extreme pleasure of working with some pretty incredible people. We agreed our favorite part of the experience is being able to help create and share some unforgettable Green Moments.

What Are Green Moments?

Green Moments: When a committed green minded individual realizes they can have what they want and that is usually a packaging solution that is as green as the products they are promoting. We call it eco-consistency but our customers usually call it, “problem solved”. Here are some great examples.
  • The lady in Maryland who realized she could have her boxes printed with her very attractive logo and it would NOT cost her an arm and a leg to do so.
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15 Oct 2009 Sustainable Packaging and Staples – Still Not Easy!

[caption id="attachment_926" align="alignnone" width="350" caption="Staples Packaging Leaves Much to Be Desired"]Staples Packaging Leaves Much to Be Desired[/caption] Earlier this year, January 13th to be exact, I posted an article complaining about some very eco unfriendly secondary packaging I had received from one of our favorite suppliers, Staples. Large retailers often appear to be leading the green charge so the interest level they create is usually high and this was no exception. The post was soon picked up by Green Biz and other eco focused blogs and I even contacted them on at least two occasions and offered my services at no cost so I could help them determine where Staples' in house fulfillment “eco system” is obviously broken. I was told they were “working on it,” so as a loyal customer concerned about their secondary packaging as well as the environment, I waited, and waited until this week when we received delivery of an order we placed for two boxes of ink cartridges.

Staples Green Update – More Green Packaging Problems

The photo above show the two boxes of Canon ink cartridges which shipped from two different Staples facilities. I appreciate the fact that the order was split-shipped to be filled quickly but I find I hard to believe that neither facility had both items. I am not sure what type of carbon footprint that creates but the worse news is that each facility used a different way of packaging the product and neither passed the green test as far as we are concerned. The term one step forward and two steps backwards comes to mind when we compare it to the packaging described in our January blog post.

Package #1 Shipping from Beloit, WI

At this Staples distribution center the packer opted to use a plastic mailer envelope. Even though I don’t like flexible mailers for crushable product, I am generally a big proponent of mailer envelopes, plastic and paper. I like them because they are light weight, can be made of recycled content and in most areas may be recycled for creating more packaging or other plastic products. However, the mailer that Beloit used did not indicate any recycled content, and did not even offer a recycle code for handling the waste after use. This is a real shame considering some of the new plastic mailers that are available. We offer several that would be better eco options than what was used on this shipment.

Package #2 Shipping from Carol Stream, IL

At this facility they used a 13” long X 10” wide X 5” box (650 cubic inches) to ship a 4” X 2.25” X 2.75” product, or about 25 cubic inches, which is obviously much more box than was necessary.
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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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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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