Inside Sustainable Packaging Tag

19 May 2009 Sustainable Secondary Packaging and the Third Party Shipper

It may sound like the title to an unusual movie or book, but the fact is that today it is not at all uncommon for an eco conscious e-commerce company (seller) to utilize a fulfillment company, third party logistics (3PL) company, or contract packager to fill, package and ship their customers’ orders. Outsourcing the fulfillment portion of the order process is an excellent way to minimize costs and focus on sales and marketing but it does have a potential down side, especially if the fulfillment company (shipper) does not share the same green values as the seller. The Biggest Risks of Using a Third Party Shipper eco-friendly-packaging-papers-and-corrugated-boxWhat you sacrifice when you turn fulfillment over to another company is control. For example, the people filling your valuable customer’s order are not your employees -  in fact they may not even be the employee of the company you are utilizing. More and more shipping companies use temporary labor services to satisfy their customer’s packaging requirements which can vary greatly with seasonal or other volume surges,  so the phrase “here today and gone tomorrow” certainly applies. In other words, there is little or no accountability for the person actually pulling and packing the order for you and for your customer. Another potential casualty of working with a third party shipper may unfortunately be eco-consistency. The eco friendliness of the packaging materials and the techniques being used, as well as the ultimate appearance of that package shipping to the customer, are completely in someone else’s hands. As a consumer, we all have been on the receiving end of a product that is over packaged, under packaged, or one that uses an excess of packaging materials we hate. For me,  it is foam peanuts of any size, shape or color. The shipper is setting the quality AND green standard for you in the eyes of your customers but remember - while the shipper is invisible to the customer,  you are not. When things go bad, you get the blame whether you deserve it or not. Packaging Sustainability and the Third Party Vendor Can Be a Beautiful Thing scanner-for-order-fulfillmentWe have been fortunate to be the supplier of choice in several of these seller/shipper situations and can tell you that when they work, they work great. One recent situation developed because the customer/seller introduced and recommended us to their fulfillment company. Obviously we had to overcome the relationships the shipper had with their existing packaging suppliers but eventually they saw the many benefits to their customer as well as with other present or potential customers. Today, being a “green fulfillment house” has many advantages as they soon realized when they quickly picked up another, substantial “green” client.
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12 May 2009 Can Sustainable Packaging Be Attractive and Decorative?

It sure can be and it can also be environmentally and socially responsible as well.  We are very pleased to announce a temporary addition to Globe Guard Products.com. Through a special, limited agreement with a top tier, well respected manufacturer, we are very pleased to offer eight of their eco-friendly decorative packaging products on a close out basis. Decorative sustainable packaging that is more than pretty on the outside eco-friendly-decorative-packaging-1All 100% natural and renewable materials were used on these products and the term “hand crafted” truly applies to them with all of the manufacturing performed off shore in a totally committed, fair trade environment. The products include -
  • Three different, beautiful handmade gift boxes, all made out of treeless paper.
  • A black Abaca bag with a bamboo lock
  • A very unique twine basket.
  • A beautifully crafted wooden tray that is perfect for product presentations.
  • Two different size, handmade, lightweight embroidered bags. Every bag has a unique and different embroidered design and the detailed work is rare in a product in this price range.
Where and how is decorative packaging used?
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28 Apr 2009 Eco Friendly Corrugated Boxes – “100% PCW” is Not 100% Bad or 100% Good

globe-guard-100-per-cent-pcw-stock-boxesIn the last week I’ve spoken with two people, one from a very large, green company and the other from a very small, green company. Both had very strong opinions about 100% PCW content corrugated boxes. “I must have 100% PCW or as close to 100% as possible,” one said. The other said, “I recently tried 100% PCW but it failed miserably”. Both comments demonstrated a basic misunderstanding about corrugated, how it is made and how even 100% PCW it can be modified to satisfy almost any application. I sincerely believe that the “100% PCW” requirement has in many cases become at best an ineffective guideline, and at worst a crutch for people who want to make a difficult decision, as simple as possible.  Corrugated made of PCW material is an excellent sustainable packaging solution and a critical part of a long term environmental solution, but it has to be combined with some basic product knowledge to be cost effective as well as performance effective. Corrugated Fun Facts. OK, not fun but good to know corrugated-side-viewFor over a hundred years, almost since it was first used to line and support men’s’ tall hats, corrugated board has been made virtually the same way. A sheet of corrugated board is made up of three approximately equal (by weight) components, two face liner board sheets and the medium (the fluted layer) in between the inner and outer sheets. If you make one of those three components 100% PCW, your board is approx. 33% PCW, two PCW components would result in 66% PCW, etc. Once you go below 100% PCW content on any of the components, the recycled content gets fairly “gray” but if someone is claiming 90% PCW, that is not only unlikely, it is virtually impossible. Since there is no accurate scientific way after production to verify the recycled content percentage or type (PCW or post production) of each component, a vendor is fairly free to claim almost any PCW percentage they care to.
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10 Mar 2009 Sustainable Packaging – Keeping it Real

corrugated box with discountGood news! If you're looking for authentic eco friendly packaging at a low cost, check out our brand new e-commerce site, www.GlobeGuardProducts.com. We built the store for entrepreneurs and small companies who take sustainable packaging seriously. Better news! If you order before April 30, 2009, you'll get an extra 10% discount! (Details at the end of this post.)

Keeping It Real

One of the things I most appreciate about this relatively new expression is that it seems to transcend age. Unlike a lot of phrases that the young or old adopt and the opposite end of the age spectrum cannot relate to, “keeping it real” means pretty much the same to everyone. It has become synonymous with genuine, authentic, and telling it like it is.
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19 Feb 2009 Organizational Eco-Consistency

Image by tomsaint11 via Flickr We spend a lot of time talking and writing about eco-consistency from a marketing and customer relations perspective, especially in how it relates to secondary packaging. We are convinced that boxes, tape and other packaging materials say something about our green...

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05 Feb 2009 Sustainable Packaging Update 2 – Cornerboard

cornerboard Cornerboard is that L shaped laminated paper board product usually placed on the vertical corners and or possibly on the horizontal top corners of a strapped or stretch wrapped pallet. Some may wonder why we chose that particular “ancillary packaging” product to highlight on a blog focused of sustainability but cornerboard is indeed functional, and offers benefits in several key areas. Even though it usually results in a better looking, “squarer” pallet of product, it is anything but decorative or excessive. We believe corner board can be very sustainable in its construction and in its use. Reducing Corrugated with Eco Friendly Cornerboard? Customers are often able to substantially reduce the thickness (and cost) of their boxes by adding cornerboard to their pallets. Board weight of corrugated boxes is usually determined by the “worst case” scenario, even though those challenging circumstances (for example, double stacking of pallets) do not always occur. Why not use a lighter board for your boxes and add the support with corner board when it truly is necessary?
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03 Feb 2009 Eco Friendly Packages through Packaging Automation

shrink wrap machineIf you are shipping any quantity of merchandise it all, packaging automation is worth taking a look at. Automatic corrugated case sealers, shrink wrappers, and stretch wrappers are excellent places to start. Besides the many sustainable packaging benefits of automation, you may find that equipment will -
  • Reduce labor and improve ergonomics
  • Increase throughput
  • Produce more attractive packages
  • Improve tamper evidence
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29 Jan 2009 How to Persuade Prospects to Buy Your Eco-Friendly Products

High speed conveyor with bar code scanner for ...

Image via Wikipedia

These days, it is increasingly difficult to sell products solely on the basis of their "greenness", particularly if the green product in question is more expensive than the non-green alternative. And even when your green product is less expensive, that may not close the sale. Customers are looking for total value. There is simply too much bottom-line pressure in our recessionary market for customers to think otherwise. Are you communicating the total value of your eco friendly product to your prospect? For example, does your product ...
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13 Jan 2009 For Staples, Eco Friendly Packaging – That ‘s not easy!

I realize I am negatively paraphrasing their marketing slogan but the change is quite appropriate after reviewing the packaging of an order they just shipped to us. As a customer, I admit I love Staples but as a provider of eco-friendly packaging products, and as a citizen of the earth, they are very disappointing.  I am sorry Staples, but picking and packing an order while utilizing sustainable packaging products and procedures, quite frankly, has never been easier. Complainants Exhibit A and B Staples order overpackaged The photo above shows the three items we ordered whose combined volume is 582 square inches. The box they used was a 16” X 10.5” X12.25” high, which provides 2,058 square inches of packing space. Because the box was almost four times larger than it had to be, 600 (un-inflated) square inches of an inflatable void fill product had to be used to fill the oversized void.  Before you think this is just another story of a packer using the wrong box to fill an order, the green “wanna be” picture gets much worse for Staples.
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09 Oct 2008 Have Presentation, Will Travel

Dennis Salazar speaks at CP08 One of the sure signs that you are getting old is when you realize you unintentionally and often make references to characters and things that were popular long before younger people you may be speaking to were even born. That may be the case with the above title. When I was a kid, one of the most popular Western series on television (black and white no less) was a series called “Have Gun - Will Travel”. That incredibly cool line (for that time) was neatly printed on the lead character’s business card indicating he was a gun for hire. The lead character was known by the single name Paladin and I think he may have started the one name thing, inspiring others like Madonna, Cher or Sting. As I recall his fee was $1,000, which must have been an enormous amount of money back then, so I doubt he had steady work but always managed to find at least one client in desperate need of his services in time for each weekly, exciting episode.
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