Sustainable Perspective

09 Jul 2008 What is Secondary Packaging?

I am often asked what secondary packaging is and why I spend so much time writing and talking about it. Before I try to define it, let me say that the reasons I choose to focus on it are because I believe secondary packaging is a major contributor to our waste problem, because it tends to fly below the eco conscious radar, and quite frankly, because no one else is talking about it. Primary packaging products are the ones designed for retail applications and usually make direct contact with the product being sold. It may be a paperboard carton, a glass jar or a plastic bottle. Even though we do some basic primary package design in select areas such as shrink over wrap or bagging, there are scores of excellent eco focused blogs, magazines and packaging designers that are almost 100% focused on the primary packaging you see on the retail shelf. Perhaps it is this high consumer visibility as well as volume, that makes it deserving of all the attention it receives.
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30 Jun 2008 Five Reasons Why Green is Here to Stay

Reason #1 -This environmental interest is generational. We baby boomers generally have some mild eco interest; the Gen X population is much more involved and concerned, while the Gen Y age group is downright passionate about it. Combined this fact with the green initiatives by big business and the corporate world, and understand we are witnessing a dramatic, decisive and irreversible trend, not a passing fad.
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26 Jun 2008 What Happens to Our Recycled Stuff?

Ever wonder what happens to your aluminum cans, food containers, corrugated boxes, and other recyclables after they are picked up at the curb? We did, and not long ago got a tour of Waste Management's recylcing facility on Chicago's South Side. This facility happens to be one of the largest in the country. Here's an inside look. Recycled materials are delivered in a transfer trailer --
recycled materials transfer trailer
Unsorted materials are dumped into a big pile, which looks surprisingly neat --
incoming recycled materials
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17 Jun 2008 Pitfalls of Hand Me Down Packaging

I have never been shy about speaking my mind and my interest and concern for the environment and how it relates to the packaging industry is no exception. While I sincerely try not to bore friends who may not be like minded, I rarely turn down an opportunity to speak before a welcoming audience and recently I was invited to make a presentation for the green business people attending the Earth Now Expo in Las Vegas. Even though I am usually expected to teach during this type of presentation, I enjoy participating for many reasons but mostly because of what I learn through the experience. This particular audience consisted mostly of new and small e-commerce businesses, some of which did not even have their green store websites in operation yet. Many of these people have sincere and pure eco motives, as well as great business plans but very little experience in the packaging industry where I have literally grown up in, and some would say, grown old in. What I learned is that many of these new entrepreneurs place very little value on one of their most precious resources – their own time and talent.
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