Sustainable Products

04 May 2010 Short or Single Run Packaging Solution – Think Digital Printing

We are very fortunate to work with many new companies or companies with new products requiring green packaging. In many cases however the initial run is relatively short and when or if the job will ever run again is unknown. We also have a number of clients who do promotional type work who know their job is never going to repeat. Biggest packaging hurdles and expenses – Plates, dies and set up costs It is not unusual for a tooling and plate cost to run into thousands of dollars depending on the type of print, number of colors and the design of the package being run. That makes it cost prohibitive for many companies, so they resort to labels or other ways of branding their products. The end result often times puts them at a competitive disadvantage in terms of package appearance when consumers are comparing their product to others on the retail shelf or over the internet. The other factor that comes into play is set up costs and that is what usually makes short runs so expensive. It is the combination of expensive plates, tooling and long set up times being amortized over smaller quantities. Keep in mind the set up time for two thousand printed shipping or retail display boxes is virtually the same as for a two million piece job. Unfortunately the end result is that the highest per unit prices are being paid by the companies who can least afford them. Digital printing on almost any packaging substrate Almost any grade or type of plastic or paper material can be digitally printed with virtually any copy and number of colors. Plastic substrates can include polyethylene, polypropylene and even foam board. Paper substrates can be any grade of paperboard or corrugated and they can be printed on white for sharper colors or on natural brown for a more muted effect and a greener end result. The image below shows the difference. While the poster version on the left is brighter, the softer tones on the right are very popular and desirable today for green products and consumers. [caption id="attachment_1423" align="alignnone" width="425" caption="Left: Printing on white board. Right: Printing on brown board."][/caption]
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29 Apr 2010 The Many Faces of Reusable Shipping Containers

It is great to see a surge of interest in reusable packaging in many different forms and faces; some very familiar and others, brand new. A few of the traditional containers include everything from drums, bins, trays and totes made from metal, plastic and even heavy wall corrugated configurations. At Salazar Packaging and Globe Guard® Products, we offer some of the newest reusable packaging solutions that are available in the sustainable packaging market. These include: [caption id="attachment_1410" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Globe Guard 100% PCW Shipping Boxes"][/caption]

Custom Globe Guard Corrugated Boxes

Many people have a difficult time thinking of corrugated boxes, especially 100% PCW boxes, as reusable but we are now engineering boxes for multiple use. Increasing the board weight from a standard 32 ECT to a single wall 44 ECT typically adds less that 10% to the cost but may enable the box to be reused many times depending on the application. We are also able to apply different eco friendly coatings to the inside and outside of the container to help it extend its useful life by increasing its resistance to oils, moisture, etc. These same coatings also help the box to hold up better cosmetically, improving the possibility it will be reused without negatively impacting its biodegradability, compostability or recyclability. [caption id="attachment_1411" align="alignnone" width="360" caption="Globe Guard Reusable Boxes"][/caption]

Custom Globe Guard Reusable Boxes

If you have not seen the new patent pending Globe Guard® Reusable Box, it offers all of the above flexibility and advantages with one, additional, very unique feature of being able to easily provide two distinct looks with different printing on the inside and outside. When the box is inverted inside-out it not only provides a new life, the new look makes it easy to communicate a customized message with instructions, bar codes or other data, as well as routing or status information.
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21 Apr 2010 Custom Printed Water Activated Tape – Sustainability and Branding Made Easy

[caption id="attachment_1385" align="alignnone" width="425" caption="Communicate Your Brand with Green Packaging"][/caption] It is increasingly difficult today to make a lasting positive impression on a customer considering all of the competition and options that are available. Companies spend a lot of money creating and image and brand and...

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08 Apr 2010 Reverse Logistics and the Globe Guard Reusable Box

Whether your company calls it closed loop recycling or reverse logistics, the fact is that some way, somehow, the task is to get a valuable resource back to where it can be reused. It is green, and it saves money.

The Globe Guard Reusable Box is a Tool to Make that Easier

Parts, components and a wide of variety of products are sent out into the world and in many cases are there for exchange, replacement or on loan. Think about cell phones, lap tops, electronic components, replacement parts and other items that are swapped out or returned for credit, etc. The Globe Guard Reusable Box is constructed and designed to make the return trip at minimal material and labor cost. It also has the ability to eliminate the need for special marking and labeling because when the box is inverted inside-out, it can easily be pre-printed with any and all critical information, on both sides of the box. It’s great when the GGRB can be used to return a valuable resource back to where it is needed.
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23 Mar 2010 The Plastic Bag is Exorcized and Recycled

People involved in the green movement love to demonize things and let’s face it, in many cases it is so darn easy. Favorite targets are packaging, plastic water bottles, vehicles like SUV’s, and even companies such as Nestlé’s, and Wal-Mart. And of course, the product everyone loves to hate, plastic bags.

We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us

I may be paraphrasing that famous quote but I think you understand my point. I have always claimed, even in mixed green audiences, that only a small part of the problem is the plastic bag. The real problem is what we all choose to do or not do with the plastic bags when we are done with them. [caption id="attachment_1294" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="What's Happening to Your Plastic Bags?"]Photo of a suburban cornfield strewn with litter, mainly plastic bags.[/caption] We live and work in southwest suburban Chicago which has become an unusual mix of farm fields and retail and industrial development. Around the corner from us is the first sign of civilization, a McDonald’s and across the street is another sure indicator of suburban sprawl, a Wal-Mart store. However in all directions, there are also farm fields that in a few months will be filled with corn, soy beans and other crops but for now they are littered with garbage. Most of that litter is plastic bags that were carelessly thrown out of car windows or improperly discarded in one of the many retail store parking lots in the immediate area. It is a terrible shame because the eyesore and waste could have been so easily avoided.

My Green Brother Is My Green Keeper

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11 Mar 2010 A Plastic Bag by Any Other Name

[caption id="attachment_1272" align="alignnone" width="425" caption="How Green Are These Reusable Shopping Bags?"][/caption] First let me say I love Kohl’s retail stores. If you are looking for almost any brand name product ranging from clothing and bedding to luggage and small kitchen appliances, Kohls’ makes it difficult to pay “full retail price” with their never ending sales and promotions. They are terrific but when they stretch the green truth, I feel a strong obligation to call them out on it.

The Ready to Reuse Shopping Bag

At first glance it looked like a great idea. A reusable shopping bag that thanks to a unique design and a well placed snap, neatly folds up into a compact little package. I am sure we all mostly agree the use of reusable shopping bags is probably a good idea so anything that will make them easier to carry and use can only be a plus. Add some green graphics, some cool green buzz words and voila, you have a ... plastic bag. “The Devil Is in the Details” Was one of my grandfather’s favorite sayings and an eternal, indisputable truth. No matter what the subject or when it is being said, the small unobvious details are often where the truth or lack of it can be found. A close look at the small tag, I found deep inside of the bag told me so much more than the colorful bag or the outer tag so prominently displayed. The bag is 100% polypropylene, which of course is nothing more than plastic. This particular bag, like most that are used to help “save the earth”, is imported from China. I think most of our readers know how I feel about importing products like this from the other side of the world, especially when over 10% of our own population is unemployed. Putting that carbon footprint and exporting jobs issues aside, here are some other things that are likely to go unnoticed by the average reusable bag buyer.
  • There is no indication of recycled content. That is not good.
  • There are no instructions for the ultimate disposal of the bag. It will eventually have to be discarded, but how?
  • The tag clearly indicates it is not for use with food but can’t we assume people shop for groceries more often than they do for sox and underwear? Shouldn’t that important information be somewhere where people are more likely to see it?
  • Since it is likely to be used for grocery shopping, wouldn’t it be great if it was washable? Google “reusable bag germs” and get ready to be shocked.
Am I Anti Reusable Bag?
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09 Feb 2010 Helping Green Packaging Customers Find Green Packaging Solutions

[caption id="attachment_1187" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="New Recycled Packaging Website!"]Screen shot of Recycled Packaging website, with stairs leading up to a doorway.[/caption] The world of the internet is a complicated one and it is relatively easy to wind up lost among the incredible amount of information that is now available to anyone with a PC, laptop or cell phone. Of course the objective is to be found by people looking for what you do and offer, but you also have to help them quickly or it is off to the next name resulting from their Google or other search.

A Sustainable Packaging “Fork in the Road”

We have launched a new web site,, and its purpose is really quite simple. It serves only to help visitors determine which of our business web sites ( or is mostly likely to offer the solutions to their packaging challenges. Potential customers can easily determine if stock eco friendly packaging products are what they need or if their application demands a custom solution. We certainly appreciate and welcome all new visitors to both of our sites but for new potential customers in a hurry, we think this option will enable them to more quickly find what they are looking for.

Stock versus Custom Eco Friendly Packaging

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