Inside Sustainable and Branded Packaging

Industry News and Perspectives

29 Jan 2009 How to Persuade Prospects to Buy Your Eco-Friendly Products

High speed conveyor with bar code scanner for ...

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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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20 Jan 2009 Sustainable Reasons to Use Paper Box Sealing Tape

globe guard printed paper box sealing tapes
We have been very successful recently helping customers convert from plastic to paper box sealing tape, especially custom printed paper tape. These conversions are usually quite painless after the customer invests in a good water activated tape dispenser and concludes that 3” wide paper tape is NOT necessarily more expensive because it is wider, than the obviously narrower 2” plastic tape they are accustomed to using. How to Compare Radically Different Packaging Tapes The normal tendency when comparing paper to plastic tape cost is to determine a common unit of cost for easy comparison. Since plastic tape is sold in cases of rolls that usually specify yards per roll and paper tape is typically sold in cases of rolls that are measured in feet per roll, a little math is required, but very little. It is relatively easy to arrive at a cost per foot for both tapes but that is only part of the story. The real cost is yet to be determined because the person using the products rarely uses the same amount of both products.
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13 Jan 2009 For Staples, Eco Friendly Packaging – That ‘s not easy!

I realize I am negatively paraphrasing their marketing slogan but the change is quite appropriate after reviewing the packaging of an order they just shipped to us. As a customer, I admit I love Staples but as a provider of eco-friendly packaging products, and as a citizen of the earth, they are very disappointing.  I am sorry Staples, but picking and packing an order while utilizing sustainable packaging products and procedures, quite frankly, has never been easier. Complainants Exhibit A and B Staples order overpackaged
The photo above shows the three items we ordered whose combined volume is 582 square inches. The box they used was a 16” X 10.5” X12.25” high, which provides 2,058 square inches of packing space. Because the box was almost four times larger than it had to be, 600 (un-inflated) square inches of an inflatable void fill product had to be used to fill the oversized void.  Before you think this is just another story of a packer using the wrong box to fill an order, the green “wanna be” picture gets much worse for Staples.
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06 Jan 2009 Citizen Watches Wins Prestigious 2008 Globe Guard Eco-Consistency Award

Citizen Watch Company OK, I will admit we do not yet have an official Globe Guard Eco Consistency award, but if we did, it would be darn prestigious and we would award to Citizen Watch Company. That has to be worth something, right? The fact is that we, like so many others in the green business, are quick to criticize when companies are inconsistent in their packaging. Therefore, we should also be ready, willing and able to point out when they do something positive. Making Sure the Packaging “Fits” the Product Rightsizing is a given but making sure that the package is sustainably appropriate for the product you are selling is an often overlooked detail. It seems logical doesn’t it that if a watch maker creates a watch series they decide to name “Eco-Drive” it is going to appeal to people like me who believe we all use way too many battery powered items in our daily lives. We are also almost certain to scrutinize the packaging and see if it is consistent with the product it contains.
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18 Dec 2008 Why We’re Not Crazy Telling You Not to Buy the Corrugated Boxes We’re Trying to Sell You

CurlyAs a marketing specialist, I myself find it strange that at the same time we're promoting Globe Guard 100% PCW content corrugated boxes, we're writing post upon post telling people how to use less corrugated or no corrugated at all. Well, we definitely want to sell Globe Guard boxes. Being made from 100% post-consumer waste, they are the ultimate in sustainability from a materials standpoint. But at the same time, our experience in packaging tells us this -
The biggest cost saving AND the best environmental consequences come from using less corrugated material in your operation.
That's why we openly encourage corrugated users to use less corrugated, and offer suggestions about how to do it. But the real mystery is this. Why do so many customers fixate on the purchase price of their boxes, when changing their box requirements will produce far greater savings? A couple reasons come to mind.
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16 Dec 2008 “Virgin” Corrugated Board and Other Green Myths

globe guard 100% PCW content corrugated boxes I recently had another “Madonna Experience”, with a potential customer who hesitated to make what he thought was the quantum leap from his current corrugated boxes, ALL the way to our Globe Guard 100% PCW recycled content corrugated boxes. Those conversations always make me think of the pop singer’s infamous hit, “Like a Virgin” because the customer was convinced his current supplier was delivering boxes made of pure, new tree fiber. Not likely. Not even possible. The Truth about Corrugated Board
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11 Dec 2008 Green Packaging: Paperboard versus Corrugated

corrugated flutingBoth materials can be excellent eco-friendly packaging. Paperboard packaging is what you see on a FedEx or USPS style flat mailer envelope, or a typical cereal box. By comparison corrugated board has fluting and is what a standard brown box is made of. The line used to be fairly clear – paperboard was used for primary/retail/display packaging and corrugated was used strictly for secondary packaging such as for shipping boxes simply expected to get products from point A to point B. As paperboard has become thicker, while corrugated has grown thinner, and both materials are engineered better and more visually appealing, you now see paperboard being used often for shipping purposes such as in mailers, tubes and other structures. There is also growing trend to use corrugated for retail packaging for its “greener look” (see image below).
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