Posted on April 29, 2010 by Dennis Salazar

The Many Faces of Reusable Shipping Containers

It is great to see a surge of interest in reusable packaging in many different forms and faces; some very familiar and others, brand new. A few of the traditional containers include everything from drums, bins, trays and totes made from metal, plastic and even heavy wall corrugated configurations.

At Salazar Packaging and Globe Guard® Products, we offer some of the newest reusable packaging solutions that are available in the sustainable packaging market. These include:

Globe Guard 100% PCW Shipping Boxes

Custom Globe Guard Corrugated Boxes

Many people have a difficult time thinking of corrugated boxes, especially 100% PCW boxes, as reusable but we are now engineering boxes for multiple use. Increasing the board weight from a standard 32 ECT to a single wall 44 ECT typically adds less that 10% to the cost but may enable the box to be reused many times depending on the application.

We are also able to apply different eco friendly coatings to the inside and outside of the container to help it extend its useful life by increasing its resistance to oils, moisture, etc. These same coatings also help the box to hold up better cosmetically, improving the possibility it will be reused without negatively impacting its biodegradability, compostability or recyclability.

Globe Guard Reusable Boxes

Custom Globe Guard Reusable Boxes

If you have not seen the new patent pending Globe Guard® Reusable Box, it offers all of the above flexibility and advantages with one, additional, very unique feature of being able to easily provide two distinct looks with different printing on the inside and outside. When the box is inverted inside-out it not only provides a new life, the new look makes it easy to communicate a customized message with instructions, bar codes or other data, as well as routing or status information.

Globe Guard® Reusable Boxes are also custom designed for each application with varying board weights and constructions to satisfy each unique customer’s requirements. In terms of cost there are many variables including size and order quantity, but they are usually 20 to 30% less expensive when compared to two single use boxes. With heavy duty construction it is not unusual to get several uses out of both inside and outside surfaces, resulting in an even lower “cost per use”.

Plastic Box with Tuck Fold Closure

Custom Plastic Boxes

Not to be confused with totes, these containers are made of a relatively new material that looks like corrugated board. It includes a layer of rippled “flutes” sandwiched between two plastic sheets. This makes it relatively easy to design a box lighter or heavier for applications requiring a stronger shipping container. Its similarity to corrugated board also enables it to be die cut and configured into almost any style, just like a corrugated paper box except for the fact that it is washable and can potentially be reused many times.

How “green” are plastic boxes? There is no doubt that they can save trees and reduce the use of new paper/corrugated boxes but they are of course made of plastic resin which is a big problem for some environmentalists. We tend to work with high recycled content material up to 100%, for specific applications and designs, because we believe it encourages recycling and minimizes the negatives of plastic use.

Much like our other two reusable container solutions above, plastic boxes are highly customized in their size and design including their closure method as well as their “board” grade. This combined with the tooling (die) cost makes it a good solution for higher volume, scenarios involving fewer sizes.

Sustainable Has to Be Effective as Well

It is nice when packaging challenges can be easily met with our large variety of stock products but that is not always the case, especially with new products designed for even newer applications. Knowing what product to use and how to use it is the key and with our long, positive track record of cost reducing innovation, we should be able to help you identify the best solution at the lowest possible cost.

Call us today for an application review or to answer any questions you may have.