Inside Sustainable and Branded Packaging

Industry News and Perspectives

28 Oct 2008 Corrugated Partitions Are a Fine Sustainable Packaging Option

Corrugated Partitions
Somewhere along the line, corrugated (and chipboard) partitions fell out of favor as an inner packing material. A lot of it had to do with a desire to reduce corrugated usage and unit cost - both good objectives. However, corrugated partitions can sometimes reduce overall packaging usage and unit cost, while providing a number of other important sustainable benefits.
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16 Oct 2008 Eco-Friendly versus Customer Friendly

Foam peanuts.

Image via Wikipedia

It would be a beautiful and greener world if these two goals could be met as one and the same, but unfortunately life and being green are not that simple. So as a business person, serving a predominantly green customer base, which way do you go? Survey after survey indicates consumers are indeed willing to give up some degree of convenience in exchange for greener packaging but are they willing to forgo safety, security, freshness, or even product cleanliness? In most cases the answer is no, especially if there is a good option available. There is indeed a limit to how much most consumers are willing to sacrifice for the environment. At the risk of further angering packing peanut manufacturers, a perfect example of this dilemma is foam peanuts, shells, or any other shape of this controversial product. I recently met with a customer who proudly proclaimed he was using an eco-friendly foam peanut product that would degrade in water. In over thirty years I have never won an argument with a customer so there was no way I would debate the merits of the product, or the science behind it. I am sure his void fill product will indeed dissolve if exposed to water, and I have no idea on the content of the watery goo that is sure to result in the process or where it winds up in the environment.
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09 Oct 2008 Have Presentation, Will Travel

Dennis Salazar speaks at CP08 One of the sure signs that you are getting old is when you realize you unintentionally and often make references to characters and things that were popular long before younger people you may be speaking to were even born. That may be the case with the above title. When I was a kid, one of the most popular Western series on television (black and white no less) was a series called “Have Gun - Will Travel”. That incredibly cool line (for that time) was neatly printed on the lead character’s business card indicating he was a gun for hire. The lead character was known by the single name Paladin and I think he may have started the one name thing, inspiring others like Madonna, Cher or Sting. As I recall his fee was $1,000, which must have been an enormous amount of money back then, so I doubt he had steady work but always managed to find at least one client in desperate need of his services in time for each weekly, exciting episode.
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07 Oct 2008 The Difference between 200# Test and 32ECT Corrugated Boxes

Globe Guard Certification Stamp Most industries have a standard for measuring or describing the construction of a particular material. However, in the corrugated industry, there are two standards - the Mullen Test and the Edge Crush Test. This leads to quite a bit of confusion in the marketplace. The Mullen Test, which has been used for many years, tests the bursting strength of corrugated board - how much pressure is required to rupture the wall of a piece of corrugated material. Boxes conforming to the Mullen Test standard are identified as 200# Test, 275# Test, etc. The higher the number, the stronger the corrugated box. The Edge Crush Test, which was developed in the 1990's, measures the stacking strength of corrugated board - how much top to bottom pressure a box can withstand before crushing. Boxes conforming to the Edge Crush Test standard are identified as 32ECT, 44 ECT, etc. Again, the higher the number, the stronger the corrugated box.
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02 Oct 2008 The Amazing (and Amazingly Green) World of Newsprint

Auckland 2004 Yellow Pages booksImage via Wikipedia
Unprinted newsprint is (or was - keep reading) widely used for industrial void fill, surface protection, and wrapping applications. You've probably seen it at one time or another when you moved. Moving companies use newsprint extensively, mainly in sheeted form, to protect your belongings before boxing them up. Did you ever wonder where this newsprint comes from? A Good Green Story ... For the most part, industrial newsprint is trim and waste generated by paper mills as they run newspaper-grade newsprint. I was in Montreal once getting a tour of an Abitibi newsprint mill, and the tour guide took us to a building that must have been 750,000 square feet. He opened an immense sliding door and we saw that the building was packed floor to ceiling with trim newsprint rolls -- big, heavy rolls, 40" - 50" diameter, anywhere from 12" - 84" wide.
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30 Sep 2008 Can A Republican Be Green?

Not only can Republicans be green, it turns out a lot of them are. Check out Republicans for Environmental Protection, an organization with this mission statement --
Republicans for Environmental Protection was founded in 1995 to resurrect the GOP's great conservation tradition and to restore natural resource conservation and sound environmental protection as fundamental elements of the Republican Party's vision for America
Image via Wikipedia
Stereotyping Gets in the Way of Green Action One positive message coming from both sides in this year's presidential campaign is the need for change. Our Federal government isn't getting things done because of partisan politics, with each party characterizing the other by its most extreme elements -- in other words, stereotyping. This kind of communication leads people to dig in their heels, become combative, stop listening, and stop communicating. Political discourse has devolved into special interest advocates reciting a familiar litany of charges against the opposition. Not an atmosphere where things get done. Why Is Washington Stuck in the Mud?
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25 Sep 2008 Am I Re-Trainable for Sustainable?, Revisited


Image via Wikipedia

This month represents an anniversary of sorts for me because it was one year ago when I submitted my first, above titled article to Rider Thompson of Sustainable Is Good and he chose to publish it. The article was a tongue in cheek recap of my career in packaging and how it relates to sustainability. Much to my surprise, it was picked up and run by numerous other internet outlets including Reuters and GreenBiz. It seemed like a good time to share with you some observations and what we have learned about sustainability during the last year.
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23 Sep 2008 Eco Ed – Humor in Sustainable Packaging

Our marketing director, Brad Shorr, and I are very different in many ways but one thing we have in common is a good appreciation of humor. With all the confusion, contradictions and misinformation in sustainable packaging, it is not always easy to find the humor in it but we work at it. With the help of a very talented illustrator, Mark Hill, Brad and I created “Eco Ed”, a cartoon series about the guy we can all relate to, who wants to do the right thing for the environment but is often not sure what the right thing is. We showed the concept to Joe Angel of Summit Publishing and he immediately decided he wanted to make it a regular feature in their Packaging World magazine, beginning last April.
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18 Sep 2008 Our Comment Policy

At Inside Sustainable Packaging, we welcome comments and conversation about sustainable packaging products, people, and perspectives. We appreciate the fact you have taken time out of your busy day to read our blog and share your ideas. Your comments, as much as our posts, are what will make our blog a useful resource for packaging professionals, packaging users, and concerned consumers.
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16 Sep 2008 Best Advertising Deal in Town? Printed Secondary Packaging

printed box sealing tape If you are looking for an inexpensive and effective way to advertise your company - and who isn't, these days - consider printing your logo and a sales message on any or all of the following.
  • Corrugated boxes
  • Reinforced paper carton sealing tape
  • Mailing envelopes and padded shipping bags
  • Edge protectors
Depending on how your products move through the supply chain to the end user and then into the recycling stream, a lot more people than you think are seeing those plain old corrugated boxes, box sealing tapes, mailers, and edge protectors. The more your name is seen in the marketplace, the stronger your brand becomes.
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