Inside Sustainable and Branded Packaging

Industry News and Perspectives

26 Feb 2009 Teaming Up with Your Vendor to Reduce Your Corrugated Costs

sustainable corrugated boxes Everyone is feeling the pinch of the economy, which makes it a great time to reevaluate your vendor/customer relations and together determine if there are any ways to creatively reduce the price you are paying for corrugated and other packaging products. Trouble “Trickles Down” Too As we all look for ways to reduce costs, it is easy to become focused solely on our own individual needs but we are all in this together whether we like it or not. A good “win/win” scenario is not taking advantage of the other person twice, and good vendor relationships and alliances can and should work to the benefit of both parties. Creative Cost Reductions We all tend to get comfortable with the status quo and are busy enough to not have time to fix something that does not require fixing. Current economic circumstances suggest that we revisit some of those long existing relationships and buying habits to determine if there are changes that can be mutually beneficial to customer and vendor alike. It may help to begin the process by examining three critical areas: Order Quantity – there are many situations on many products including corrugated where a lower price is available if you are able to buy in a slightly larger quantity. Material prices tend to rise and fall but set up costs typically and consistently escalate. Amortizing these set up costs over a larger quantity and minimizing their impact is a great way for sellers and buyers to both gain and potentially reduce costs.
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19 Feb 2009 Organizational Eco-Consistency

Image by tomsaint11 via FlickrWe 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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12 Feb 2009 Take Box Sealing Tape to Extremes for Sustainable Packaging

paper box sealing tapesThe standard width of pressure sensitive box sealing tape is 48 mm (2"). The standard width of paper box sealing tape is 72 mm (3").  These standards are both compromises, and as a result, they lead to an unnecessarily high amount of packaging material entering the waste stream.

Extreme Pressure Sensitive Tape Solutions

1. For machine applied PST applications, use 36 mm (1-3/4") wide tape. Unless the box is particularly heavy and/or subject to rough shipping conditions, the reduced width will not compromise box integrity. When in doubt, test. It is worth the time to test, though - the payoff is a 12% reduction in the amount of material entering the waste stream.

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10 Feb 2009 The 1982 Tylenol Murders and the Packaging Industry’s Response

Tylenol and tamper evident packaging

Some of our readers may be too young to remember but seeing the Tylenol poisonings back in the news has brought back some very profound, mixed feelings.

The Tragedy

For those who may not be aware, in September of 1982, seven people in the Chicago area were poisoned and died after ingesting tainted Tylenol. This horrible event literally hit close to home since several of the deaths occurred within miles of where my family and I lived at the time. Investigators quickly determined the product was being tainted and then placed on the retail shelf for innocent people to buy and take home. There was of course an immediate recall and this product was quickly removed from the shelf. From that moment on food and drug safety, and packaging would never be the same.

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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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27 Jan 2009 Sustainable Packaging Update – Inflatable Void Fill Solutions

inflatable void fill The above photo from one of our best vendors, Automated Packaging Systems, is a personal favorite because so rarely does a picture truly demonstrate a product benefit as well as this one. The message of course is that the box of inflatable void fill is the equivalent to the bags of packing peanuts behind the model. Translate that into shipping cost and effectiveness, as well as carbon footprint and you have an overwhelmingly positive advantage for inflatable void fill. Sustainable Packaging Must Be Application Driven Readers, customers and vendors know we offer a wide variety of void fill products because the great range and diversity of applications demands it. What you ship, how you ship, where you ship, and how much you ship are all important factors to consider. I believe however that from a green packaging perspective, the majority of people would agree the most eco friendly void fill solution is probably any form of paper. What’s not to like? It is relatively low cost, dense for shipping and storage purposes, compostable, recyclable, and typically made from recycled materials. There are only three reasons why some customers avoid paper:
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22 Jan 2009 The Sustainable Case for Plastic Box Sealing Tapes

globe guard plastic box sealing tapesCan Plastic Box Sealing Tapes Be Eco-Friendly? From a sustainable packaging perspective, when you manufacture a packaging product made from plastic, you come to market with two - or maybe three - strikes against you. Still, polypropylene box sealing tapes continue to be popular, even if shippers are buying them reluctantly. Here's and article from the Pressure Sensitive Tape Council that makes the environmental case for its products. Some key points - Source reduction - It takes less plastic tape material than paper tape material to seal a box, reducing shipping and disposal/recycling costs.
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