Packaging Tag

13 Jan 2011 The Globe Guard “Light Rate” Box is Better Than Free

[caption id="attachment_2285" align="alignright" width="297"]Globe Guard Light Rate Box Globe Guard Light Rate Box[/caption] Recently, we’ve had several opportunities to help customers disprove the old adage that “the best things in life are free.” The fact is that for many shippers a free item may NOT be a good deal, for example when it is a USPS flat rate shipping box. The USPS Flat Rate Deal The USPS flat rate program is a marvelous idea, and they do a beautiful job of promoting it. Is there anyone who doesn’t love the TV commercial with the clown doll and the frightened family that is eager to return it? However, what is truly scary is how much that free box can actually wind up costing depending on the weight of the item being shipped. Their program is fairly simple: “If it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for one low flat rate.” The rate for their smallest 8-1/2” long x 5-3/16” wide x 1-9/16″ high box (actual inside dimensions) has recently increased from $4.95 per box to $5.20 per box. That's still a heck of a deal for many customers considering they can ship unlimited weight via USPS priority mail, which is typically a three day service. And don’t forget, the box is free.
Read More

06 Jan 2011 7 Ways to Reduce Sustainable Packaging Costs When Market Prices are Rising

Reduce Sustainable Packaging CostsSustainable packaging is probably more available, affordable and competitive than ever before but it is not exempt from what can best be called annual or seasonal price increases. This is the time of year when almost every manufacturer of packaging products passes through an increase to cover material, labor, operational and transportation increases they have incurred in the previous year or anticipate in the coming year.
Read More

21 Dec 2010 Sustainable Packaging Question – Why are my brown boxes wrapped in green, plastic film?

Bundles of Globe Guard boxes wrapped in bio filmEvery bundle or pallet load of Globe Guard boxes we ship out is wrapped in our Globe Guard stretch film. Occasionally, we receive an email or call asking us how we can possibly wrap and ship a product as green as our Globe Guard 100% PCW, recycled content boxes in an un-green material like plastic. For the benefit of those who wonder but don’t ask us, here are a few reasons why we do what we do. Globe Guard Stretch Film is Oxo-Biodegradable In other words, it is not a typical or average plastic product. We usually attach a note to each bundle or pallet load reminding customers that the film is above all else recyclable. That is not always the case with bio plastics, but our formulation does not prevent the film from being recycled after use. If it does unfortunately end up in a land fill, the film is formulated to breakdown in a fraction of the time other, standard plastics will degrade.
Read More

17 Dec 2010 Green Packaging Group Welcomes Excellent Packaging & Supply

Green Packaging Group We are very pleased to be able to now include the terrific, biodegradable food service products Excellent Packaging offers on our www.greenpackaginggroup.com web site. The B2B product directory we are building is far from complete but we feel like we have taken a giant step forward by adding a quality supplier in this crucial area of disposable food service packaging. Excellent Packaging is a full member, so their president Allen King will now also be a featured author on the expert blog we provide our visitors. His first post is up and I encourage you to visit the site and learn more about Allen, his company and their products. You can also learn more about our new sustainable teammate on this press release.
Read More

16 Nov 2010 Green Packaging Solutions for Fast Rising Plastics Prices

A few months ago, we warned you that the corrugated industry was attempting to push through their third price increase of this calendar year. The market softened, and enough customers complained that the third increase planned for 2010 was “postponed indefinitely.” Now we have a similar situation developing on most plastic packaging products. The “Plastics Are Made From Foreign Oil” Myth According to industry experts, more than 70% of plastic packaging products are made of resin that is made from domestic, natural gas, and NOT from foreign oil as many believe. Having said that, a little surge in winter resin pricing is considered normal, but this has been a steady, year-long climb. What is happening here is not related to the seasonal fluctuations of the same natural gas product used for heating many of our businesses and homes during the winter. To the contrary, in 2010 we have seen several increases on almost every plastic packaging product with no price downturn at all. The several increases we have seen this year appear to be related to “high feedstock prices, strong resin exports and unplanned outages.”  Translated into simple English, much like the paper and other industries, there is too little raw/base material manufacturing competition, creating an environment where price can be controlled by a handful of very large corporations. There is nothing illegal or perhaps even unethical about that; it is basic business 101 – control the supply and you control the price.
Read More

09 Nov 2010 Green Solutions for Interior, Protective and Retention Packaging

Bi-fold die cut insertNo matter what you call it, it is the packaging that is inside the box being shipped. Its usual purpose is to immobilize and/or separate the product(s) being packed to prevent shipping damage. Today, we all have a wide variety of eco friendly material options including molded pulp, biodegradable air inflatable plastic products, a fast growing selection of renewable bio foams, paperboard and corrugated partitions, as well as die cut corrugated solutions. Over the course of the next few weeks I will be spotlighting some of the newest and most innovative ideas available to the green minded shipper. The Application Still Determines the Best Solution As you have probably heard me say before, in almost any possible area of packaging, it all begins with a good application review and analysis. Beware of any supplier that has only one solution to offer because they are obviously forced to make their one and only solution work, whether or not it is truly the best for your needs. An application review is typically fairly basic and usually begins with these five important questions: 1.    What is being shipped? Are we talking about one heavy retail display unit per box or a dozen glass bottles of an expensive health supplement? 2.    How is it being shipped? A case shipping individually via UPS, FedEx or USPS, or cases stacked on a wooden pallet shipping to major retailer’s DC? 3.     How many are being shipped? Is this a onetime need to pack 300 units for a promotion or are a million packages being shipped over the course of the next few months? 4.    Where and how is the product currently being damaged in shipment? Usually we are called in to fix a design that has already being proven deficient. 5.    How important is the green factor to you and your customers? Will they accept a plastic or foam solution, or do we have to work with paper based products?
Read More

29 Oct 2010 We Sell Boxes!

We Sell Boxes DisplayIt is a common sign we see almost everywhere, just like this one almost directly across the street from our office. They are usually in windows or in front of storage facilities, quick copy centers, pack and ship operations, office supply retailers, moving truck rental operations and even home improvement centers. A Google search of “boxes” produces more than ninety million results ranging from people selling boxes from their home to national companies selling millions of dollars of boxes, each and every day. Everyone has the ability to sell boxes because quite frankly it does not take a lot of expertise or knowledge if you use the “Here is the box and here is our price” approach. Selling Boxes versus Selling Packaging We reached a milestone this year. My wife and partner and I now have a combined fifty years of packaging experience. That experience is not limited just to corrugated shipping boxes; it also includes complimentary and ancillary packaging products such as case sealing tapes, protective packaging, void fill and unitizing, as well as alternatives to traditional corrugated shipping containers. We also know how to combine different products for optimum results and the lowest possible cost.
Read More

14 Jul 2009 Green Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry (for using a higher grade of packaging than necessary)

mailing-envelope-from-globe-guard-eco-friendly-packaging-productsMuch of the attention on sustainable secondary packaging is rightfully given to using too much of a given packaging material. A compounded example is using a box that is oversized for a shipment, thereby also requiring more void fill product than necessary. We have all seen the examples of bad packaging posted here on ISP and on other excellent green focused sites like Sustainable is Good. We like to scrutinize not only the quantity of packaging also the quality of the packaging being used for a specific application. Some of this is for good environmental reasons but it is important to note that it often results in a lower cost to our customers, and today, that is a very good thing. Typical Examples of Over Packaging These include some of my all time favorites that can often be found in many mail rooms and shipping areas.
  • Using cushioned mailers for products that do not require cushioning such as soft goods, textiles, paper products, etc. I have written many times on bubble and foam mailers that are destined to wind up in a land fill because the plastic and paper used to make the mailer are laminated together. Both packaging materials are recyclable in theory only, since they cannot be separated and effectively recycled.
  • The use of white corrugated and envelope mailers of almost any type and configuration. Why do customers pay more for a product that is less eco friendly, looks less eco friendly and will arrive at its destination looking worse due to its white surface?  When a client wants to be “obviously” green and reduce costs, this is usually one of the first areas we look at and change.
  • Utilizing Tyvek, Nylon reinforced and other premium or reinforced mailer envelopes.There are some marvelous materials being used for applications that do not require them. They usually have excellent specific properties such as moisture protection or puncture resistance but are also not recyclable because of the composition and structure.
Why Do Companies Over Package?
Read More

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.
Read More