Sustainable Products Tag

01 Sep 2011 Custom Printed Water Activated Tape Made Easy

Custom printed tape made easyWe have met a lot of people who have hesitated to brand their tape because of many misconceptions, including that it’s too expensive or that the minimum quantity required is too large. A very common perception is that the process is too complicated, but nothing could be further from the truth. Unlike other packaging suppliers who expect you to point and click your way through your first custom-printed tape order, we provide you with live assistance and decades of experience and suggestions to help you avoid costly mistakes.
  1. Choose your tape width, tape color (white or natural Kraft) and your tape grade. (Don’t worry, we’ll guide you through your grade options.)
  2. Submit your artwork for review. (This is where our experience can really help, and, FYI, usually a clean PDF will work.)
  3. Select your color(s) from 11 standard colors, or we can also do a PMS color match for you.
  4. Review the final proof we provide that shows copy location, repeat and colors. (This is your last look before we start printing tape.)
  5. Wait about two to three weeks for your new, custom-printed tape to arrive.
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23 Aug 2011 Mark Langan’s Corrugated Art – The Ultimate in “Upcycling”

Mark Langan SalutationUnless this is the first time you have visited our blog, you already know we are avid proponents of reusing and recycling packaging. That is especially true of our corrugated products that offer the most in recycled content, because no one has figured out how to improve on 100%. The one area of sustainability that we have yet to master is that of “upcycling,” which is recycling a product and making it even more valuable than it originally was. I sincerely appreciate and respect people who are able to take empty juice pouches and turn them into fashion handbags or use empty wine bottles to create beautiful table lamps out of what might otherwise end up in a landfill. However, Mark Langan, with a lot of talent and time, is able to take corrugated board and turn it into beautiful works of art.
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17 Aug 2011 Eco-Friendly, Custom-Printed Die Cut Mailers May Be the Right Green Packaging Solution for Your Web Customers

Custom printed stock corrugated mailersToday, there are few companies selling products wholesale or in brick-and-mortar retail outlets that are not also offering their products directly to consumers via the internet. This relatively new market provides tremendous sales opportunities as well as challenges because the packaging required for this type of customer seems to fall somewhere in between usual retail and wholesale requirements. “I want something more than just a shipping box!” That is a common request by packaging customers and design clients who understand their web customer is technically a direct retail customer who is NOT carrying his product (and packaging) home. The product is being shipped via UPS, FedEx or USPS, so the packaging needs to be more durable than what is typically found on the retail shelf level. Sellers of green products have the additional requirement of making the packaging they are shipping into their customers’ homes as minimal and green as possible. We refer to it as being “eco consistent” when our products, marketing and packaging all communicate the same green message and standards.
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10 Aug 2011 Sustainable Packaging – Niche Products and Broad-Based Solutions

Niche Products and Broad-Based Solutions for Green PackagingI have spent several decades in the packaging industry and almost five years specifically in the green packaging market. During that time, I have come to appreciate both innovations that may have limited appeal but solve a specific or unique problem, as well as products that may not be as newsworthy but provide a solution to a much wider group of customers. What Is a Broad-Based Solution? In my mind, it is a product that would have mass appeal and solve a common or very typical packaging problem. For example, when we and others began promoting 100% recycled content corrugated for shipping boxes, the concept did not win awards or grace the cover of packaging magazines, even though it could potentially benefit every single shipping box buyer and user.
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20 Jul 2011 Save Water – Use Globe Guard® 100% PCW Recycled Content Boxes

Globe Guard® 100% PCW Recycled Content Boxes Save WaterAs most of the country suffers through a record heat wave, droughts are becoming more common worldwide, including here in the USA. Those trends make it an excellent time to remind people about the environmental benefits of using shipping boxes made of recycled corrugated. Water Shortage Is for Real I admit we are a little spoiled in the Midwest, especially here in the Chicago area where we take beautiful Lake Michigan for granted as an ample source of drinking water and a summertime water park. In many other parts of the country, long before this current heat wave, water has been consistently in short supply, in some cases for several years. In other words, for some this is not a new problem and they have been dealing with water conservation efforts for some time. The problem is not just in the dry southwest or in agricultural areas; it is even impacting our largest American cities. A report last year identified cities literally running out of water, and the list included Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Orlando, Phoenix and several cities in Texas.
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09 Jul 2011 Innovation is the Key in Sustainable Packaging

[caption id="attachment_2715" align="alignright" width="300" caption="DIE CUT BOX WITH BUILT-IN PARTITIONS"]Die cut box with built in partitions[/caption] “What makes one package greener than another?” It’s a rather simplistic question that does not permit a brief or concise answer. It was recently asked of me by an intern working for a governmental agency, and I began by telling him that my response was only my opinion, but one that would hold up in most circles. I added that when we attempt to answer that question we look at packaging in three critical areas:
  1. SOURCE - What is the packaging product and where does it comes from? For example, recycled content, PCW percentage, FSC certified, etc.
  2. LIFE CYCLE - Where is the packaging material likely to end up after its initial use? Is it reusable, recyclable, biodegradable, compostable, etc?
  3. USE- How is the packaging material used and does it eliminate or minimize the use of a different and perhaps less eco-friendly product?
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15 Jun 2011 Inside Sustainable Packaging Reaches Three Year Anniversary

Inside Sustainable Packaging blog 3 year anniversaryIt’s difficult to believe that we’ve been doing this for three years, but this week marks the third anniversary of the launch of our popular blog. In 2008, our then-marketing director Brad Shorr urged us to blog and share what we know and what we do, with the world. I reluctantly agreed, even though operating a business that openly ran contrary to my nature as well as my experience in the packaging industry, where you learn to never, ever risk educating the competition. Nearly 300 blog posts later, I am thrilled by the results of our outreach and even more grateful for the people and companies it has brought into our lives. If we have educated a competitor or two along the way, it was a small price to pay for the information we’ve been able to share with hundreds, if not thousands, of people, as well as the relationships we have made. One of the things we most appreciate is the feedback we receive from our ISP readers, which is quite often sent to us offline. To commemorate this three year milestone we’ve shared a few of the most frequently asked questions.
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07 Jun 2011 Mahamosa – Tea with a Giving Heart

Mahamosa Globe Guard® 100% PCW recycled content corrugated shipping boxI often say that one of the greatest benefits of operating a green business is all of the extraordinary people and companies we get to meet. Our new friends at Mahamosa are a perfect example. Social Responsibility and Environmental Responsibility For most green companies, it is not a choice of one or the other; the question is how best to accomplish both. We try to make the environmental part of that objective as easy as possible by providing our customers the most eco-friendly packaging available. The nice people at Mahamosa quickly agreed that our Globe Guard® 100% PCW recycled content corrugated shipping boxes were consistent with their goals and messaging.
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24 May 2011 Reducing Corrugated Use through Proper Design

Side load FOL boxMany people believe the only way to reduce corrugated usage is by buying and using fewer boxes. While that is certainly one approach, a better and more effective one is making sure you are packing and shipping the best style of container for your product and application. When RSC Boxes Are NOT the Best Design Recently, we have encountered several applications for large, relatively low profile products such as unassembled furniture and picture frames. In each case, people were shipping product in oversized, low profiled RSC style boxes with large overlapping layers of redundant corrugated board. The problem, of course, is that the four flaps on top and bottom of any RSC style box typically do little but add cost. You could almost excuse the extra cost if it delivered better protection to the product, but sadly, in most cases it does not. The two large major flaps coming together in the middle of the box essentially create a weak joint on the box, especially if they are not taped well. The large spans of unsupported corrugated also make the design very susceptible to crushing and corner damage.
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19 May 2011 Grouples (pronounced: grup’ els) Are Green Couples Making a Living While Making a Difference

1820 HouseThis past weekend, Lenora, my wife/business partner, and I attended Green America’s Chicago version of their Green Festival. As usual, we had a great time seeing a wide variety of new green products and meeting some really nice people in the process. For the very first time, we also realized how many husband and wife couples have become green entrepreneurs and are enjoying building a green business together. Some are applying their past experience and skills, or in some cases they are utilizing brand new, previously undiscovered talents. In either case, they have teamed up with their significant other and together are making an equally significant difference in the irreversible green trend we are all witnessing. Maybe it’s a sign of the economic times or a result of the continued interest and growth in sustainability that has helped to create these husband and wife green teams. Or perhaps it is simply that no one other than a loving life partner would be willing to work as long or as hard, and in many cases for little or no immediate compensation. Certainly the sacrifices of owning your own business are many, but so are the benefits when you both enjoy and are totally committed to what you are doing. The festival was filled with many wonderful “grouples” stories, and I would like to share a few with you.
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