13 Oct 2009 The Sustainably Confused and Marketing Challenged
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.
Dispelling the 100% PCW Price Myth
If competitors do not make inaccurate quality claims, they often hinge their defensive hopes on product price to discourage potential customers. “Recycled corrugated is 20 to 30% more expensive” they often claim.
That may have been true two or three years ago but we have helped to make 100% PCW board and boxes affordable, even to the smallest volume users. There is no longer a premium to be paid for the use of the greenest corrugated product available today.
Back to Corrugated Confusion in California
The lady I spoke to indicated her sales rep initially said his boxes were 70 to 80 % PCW, which if you read my April 2009 post on corrugated board construction you would know is quite unlikely. Later, when pressed the sales rep said his boxes were 30 to 40% PCW, which is probable, but the seeds of distrust had already been planted.
I asked our potential customer what her supplier had provided in writing either on a brochure, proposal or even on their web site and she indicated there was nothing available, anywhere, about the PCW content of their boxes. The only information she could even remotely related to sustainability is a “100% recyclable” stamp on the bottom of the box itself, which we all know means absolutely nothing about the PCW content.
That is usually the first indication that something is wrong. Believe what a supplier company is willing to put in writing, not what a sales rep offers in defense of his product. The other thing to keep in mind is that in today’s green minded market, any company truly offering a 100% PCW product as we do, will likely make it a focal point of their marketing efforts and have it printed everywhere possible, including on their boxes.
Globe Guard boxes were among the first product to carry that 100% PCW copy and make it “eco obvious” to you and our customers.
Please contact us today for pricing and/or samples.