Inside Sustainable Packaging Tag

13 Oct 2009 The Sustainably Confused and Marketing Challenged

[caption id="attachment_918" align="alignnone" width="400"]Globe Guard Boxes Have 100% PCW Content Globe Guard Boxes Have 100% PCW Content[/caption] We may not have the loudest voice but we proudly claim our rightful place in the in the front row of the sustainable choir, having spent over two years singing the praises of recycled 100% PCW content corrugated board and boxes. We are helping to educate the market and the people who hear us are asking questions of their current suppliers. Quite frankly, those suppliers do not always know how to respond and counter our unique products. An email exchange with a new reader last week served to remind me that we continuously add new readers and subscribers to our blog, who may have not read some of our older, previous posts on the subject. So every once in a while it is a good idea to recap and update. Last week I also spoke to a prospective West Coast customer who complained her current box supplier was unable to give her the same answer twice on the construction and recycled content of the boxes they are supplying her.

Why 100% PCW Content Corrugated Boxes

Most eco minded people will agree recycling is a necessary component of an effective sustainability strategy. After all, recycling is one of the basic three “R’s” of sustainability along with reduce and reuse. What can we possibly do with all of the paper, corrugated, and paperboard waste we create? After all we can’t make deck lumber, designer bags or high end kitchen counter tops with it. However, we can make excellent corrugated board and related products out of that paper waste and a handful of companies and suppliers like us are doing just that. To be fair, most corrugated board has some PCW content but the more we use the better, right? As long as there is no compromise on quality or performance, doesn’t it make sense to reuse as much of that waste as possible?

Dispelling the 100% PCW Quality Myth

Our products have been tested over and over again and grade for grade 100% PCW is every bit as strong and performs as well as any other board construction combination. As I have said many times, “ALL 32 ECT boxes are 32 ECT strong, regardless of the board’s recycled content." After all, that is what that 32 ECT certification stamp on the bottom of every Globe Guard box means - the box has been tested and has met or exceeded the edge crush standard for 32 ECT boxes. Yet, companies that don’t have 100% PCW to offer continue to respond with information that is at best out dated, and at worst, deceptive. “That stuff is no good.” “100% PCW board is not approved for UPS, USPS, or FedEx shipment”, they may say. “That board is like the stuff that comes in from China”, others may defend. Desperate people say desperate things but many of these comments are outright lies and need to be confronted whenever they are presented as fact.
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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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24 Sep 2009 Selling Boxes versus Selling Packaging

A good customer friend recently recommended us to a customer of his and referred to us as “a great supplier of eco friendly boxes”. Certainly that description is accurate in that we are probably best known for our unique, Globe Guard 100% PCW shipping boxes. However, there is a distinct and real difference between selling eco friendly boxes and selling eco friendly packaging.

Green Shipping Boxes and a Whole Lot More

When a potential customer calls us or visits our Globe Guard Products web store, they usually have a very good idea of what they want and if they find it there, they are able to point, click and the product they need will soon be in their hands. We are indeed a good supplier of green boxes but we also offer a large variety of other eco friendly products on that same site. This includes a large selection of box alternatives and quite frankly, you are not going to get that from your average box maker or seller. When a box is truly required to ship a product, we also understand the average customer also needs tape to seal the box, void fill to protect the contents and even labels to be able to address the box. Just in the area of void fill alone, we offer one of the widest varieties of loose, molded, paper and eco friendly plastic solutions. Each is in stock and we will gladly and enthusiastically explain the pros and cons of each product for your specific application.
[caption id="attachment_878" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Globe Guard product photo courtesy of Jeffery Levin"]Globe Guard product photo courtesy of Jeffery Levin[/caption] Stock versus Custom Corrugated
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21 Jul 2009 Nashville Wraps and Salazar Packaging Team Up to Offer Globe Guard 100% PCW Boxes

[caption id="attachment_655" align="alignnone" width="300"]Globe Guard Corrugated Boxes Globe Guard Corrugated Boxes[/caption] (Note: this post written by Dennis Salazar also appeared on Nashville Wraps blog on July 6th, 2009) Sustainable Packaging Creates Strange Bedfellows I may be paraphrasing the old adage about politics but there is absolutely no politics involved in the decision for Nashville Wraps to offer Globe Guard, 100% recycled (PCW) content shipping boxes to their customers. It is really all about good customer service and making it easy for customers to order and receive what they want and need. Two Different Companies with One, Almost Identical Objective nashville-wraps-eco-friendly-gift-packagingMost people and their own customers recognize Nashville Wraps as an innovator and leader in their market of decorative, retail and gift packaging. They long ago committed to making their products and company as green as possible and made news in the green and packaging communities with their Green Way® product line. Our company, Salazar Packaging, Inc. has been working toward the same goal in our product area of green, eco friendly packaging products for secondary (shipping) purposes. We created and trademarked the Globe Guard® line of 100% PCW boxes and began promoting them in 2007.
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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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23 Jun 2009 Announcing – New Green Blog on Packaging Digest

I am very happy to announce I am now blogging for Packaging Digest, one of the media leaders covering the packaging industry. Writing for them is a terrific opportunity to reach a different, substantially larger audience and I invite and encourage you to check out their excellent online and print publications.

The Increasingly Crowded Green Blogosphere

The world of eco focused internet blogging has become very crowded as more people and companies are writing about packaging OR about sustainability. Green is an increasingly popular topic because readers are eager to better understand sustainability. Packaging will always be a green focal point for consumers so the growth in interest is to be expected. packaging-digest-logoIn our work as well as in our writing, we strive to be a place where people with an interest in sustainability AND in packaging can learn more about the people and products impacting both. That is our overall objective on Inside Sustainable Packaging and will be our goal for Common Sense and Sustainability, our new featured blog on Packaging Digest.
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04 Jun 2009 Sustainable Packaging and the Magic Bullet

People who are eager to find quick and simple solutions to some of our most complex sustainability problems are often disappointed when they hear me say there is no packaging magic bullet that satisfies all requirements, at all times, and on all products. In fact, I would go so far as to say that rarely does one product do everything that is necessary for a tough application. If there is a “universal solution” to our eco dilemma, it is probably multiple products and resources working together, each bringing something unique, different and green to the application. One Tough Green Packaging Application bad-axe-eco-friendly-packagingSay hello to Bad Axe Tool Works, a company with a neat name, interesting web site and a premier manufacturer of cutting tools for woodworking and other wood related activities like pruning and clearing trees. When we met them they were concerned with preventing damage during shipment and making sure their packaging was as green as possible. Considering the incredibly sharp nature of their products, it was definitely a challenge. One Great, Excellent Packaging Partner Adams Foam in Chicago makes a terrific product called Green Cell Foam. The product is made from non-GMO corn, and after use, it can be recycled, composted or simply dissolved in water. It is also surprisingly tough and able to stand up to rugged applications like the one that was developing at Bad Axe Tools Works. We had conversations with the nice people at Adams Foam but nothing brings packaging people together like a good, challenging application and Bad Axe did indeed bring us together. What it Took to Get the Job Done (See Photos Below)
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02 Jun 2009 Corrugated Die Cut Mailers – A Greener, Eco Friendly, and Better Corrugated Box Option

eco-friendly-corrugated-mailers-lid-open They are known by many names including literature mailers, tuck and fold mailers, shipper boxes and even pizza boxes, but the corrugated die cut mailer is making a big comeback and guess what? It is greener and no longer white. What Makes These Corrugated Mailers Greener? In the past, virgin board was used to make these versatile shipping and storage containers but today we are making them out of recycled corrugated materials. More importantly they are being made out of 100% recycled material which means they cannot be white on the outside. Many people don’t realize it but when you give a box a white exterior, that outer layer (usually 1/3 of the overall board content) has to be virgin. If you want it white on the inside too, then 2/3 of the corrugated content must be made from virgin fibers. Remember our motto, a virgin fiber is a terrible thing to waste, especially when it is not necessary. Why Have Die Cut Mailers Been Historically White The theory was that they looked better, cleaner, nicer, etc. There is no argument about that when the product is shipped ... but have you ever seen one of those mailers when it arrives at its intended destination? Whether is ships via FedEx, UPS or USPS, the mailer no longer looks pristine or white upon arrival. Typically it is dirty, scuffed and even covered with fingerprints. The white outer layer looks great when it is shipped but the appearance rapidly degenerates as soon as it leaves the shipper’s facility. What Makes These Corrugated Mailers Better?
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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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