eco friendly packaging Tag

14 Apr 2009 A Book Review of “Packaging Sustainability”, by Wendy Jedlicka

packaging-sustainability-by-wendy-jedlickaIn the interest of full disclosure I have to tell you I consider Wendy a personal friend and ally in our efforts to help make the world greener through packaging. Even though the book includes a photograph of my incredibly cute granddaughter (intro, page VI) and a reprint of something I recently wrote (page 14), I have absolutely no problem being straightforward with my comments on her book. In fact I would dare to say our relationship and friendship would suffer if I was less than honest in my appraisal of Wendy’s work. “Sustainability isn’t hard: it’s just not simple” That is the opening thought Wendy shares with us in her introduction, and I will admit that my initial concern was that any book about sustainability authored by a designer, especially an accomplished, talented designer like Wendy, would be technical and therefore somewhat boring for the average, non-designer reader like yours truly. I am very pleased to say Wendy wrote a book that can and should be read by anyone and everyone interested in sustainability from a buyer or seller, user or provider perspective. In other words, almost anyone with even a passing interest in green or in packaging can and will enjoy and learn something from reading Packaging Sustainability. No magic solutions or secret ingredients provided Wendy offers no easy answers because there rarely are any. For the person interested in a quick solution or an easy way out, there is none to be had in this book or any other book that is truthful and well informed. On the plus side, this book does not read like a designer’s text book and is filled with excellent case studies, examples and of course Wendy’s well informed insight and very obvious experience. If you too have strong feelings about sustainability, you may not always fully agree with everything Wendy has written but you undoubtedly will conclude it is well thought out and well presented.
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09 Apr 2009 Sustainable Packaging – When Brown and White Make Green

kundorwahun-1One of the best parts of doing what we do is the opportunity to meet some really neat people doing some terrific things for the world we all share. We were recently contacted by Mark Simmons, one of the co-founders of www.Useless.org a unique company selling very useful products for a very good cause. They donate 10% of their profits to fund water and sanitation projects worldwide. Did someone say “eco-consistency”? Regular readers know that eco-consistency is my mantra, but when I spoke to Mark that was exactly what he was trying to accomplish. He was committed to buying packaging materials that communicated and confirmed his company’s very deep and sincere values of protecting the earth and “using less”. It sounded like a perfect application for Globe Guard 100% recycled PCW content corrugated boxes and it was. Eco friendly corrugated boxes – to print or not to print Even though we heavily promote our stock box unprinted program, we also understand the need for customization and branding. Today, well over half of our Globe Guard box business is custom grade, custom print or custom size. Realizing the importance of branding, especially at this early stage of his company’s development, Mark decided he wanted their logo printed on the box, in white - a most unusual color for box printing. I was not sure how white ink would turn out on a brown box, but the end result is a marvelous shade of green (packaging).
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02 Apr 2009 Sustainable Packaging Update 4 – Packaging Papers – 60 lb Indented Kraft

packingpaper_6922webOur eco friendly packaging store www.GlobeGuardProducts.com shows just a small sampling of the most popular types of packaging papers, in the most popular width – 24”. The truth is that we offer many more sizes, weights and grades than we can possible show on a web store. Virgin and recycled Kraft, bogus, and newsprint for interleaving, surface protection, cushioning and especially for void fill. They are all excellent materials when used for the correct application but we have found a new favorite and so have our customers. – indented recycled Kraft paper. What is indented Kraft paper? Indented is Kraft paper that has been run through a secondary process giving it a raised, bumpy finish which makes it softer to the touch while making it tougher and better for certain applications. For example, it does a better job of filling a void within a box being shipped because the indenting makes it more voluminous and bulkier. Hence you wind up using less of it to fill the same size void and it is more effective in protecting the product, especially if it is heavier, has sharper edges or is more likely to be damaged in shipment. Packaging paper that does not hurt economically or physically Since the indented Kraft paper we sell is 100% recycled content, it is considered eco friendly and because you use far less of it, it is green from that aspect as well. Let’s not forget using less also results in a lower unit cost which is good for the pocket book, especially in these tough economic times. We recently showed 60# indented Kraft to a lady who packs boxes all day and with an immediate large smile on her face, she proclaimed, “no more paper cuts”. As soon as she touched it she immediately realized our paper was softer and would not result in the skin on her fingers and hands being painfully slit on an almost daily basis. Yet she could also see that it was stronger and would do an excellent job of satisfying her void fill needs.
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26 Mar 2009 How to Avoid a Sustainable Packaging Dead End

In my opinion, there are some concepts and ideas in sustainability that are still not as well understood and accepted as they should be. Back in November, 2007 I wrote an article for Sustainable Is Good titled “The One Material Myth” . The theme of that article was that in many cases, a combination of two, easily separated and sorted materials is a much better sustainable solution compared to one material that is not as eco–friendly or as easily recycled. The key to that theory and statement is “easily separated and sorted”. Recently I have been seeing a rash of two material packaging products being sold under a green flag that are absolutely terrible in terms of sustainability. They are virtual green dead ends because the final outcome will always be a land fill. Eco Dead End Products bubble-mailersA terrific example of this is the cushioned or lined mailer envelope. The make and model is not important or whether the mailer is lined with foam or a bubble product. If the liner is fused to the paper, no one is going to separate and recycle either material so the whole mailer winds up in the trash. The mailer in the photo brags about its 100% recycled paper with 25% PCR. Don’t get me wrong.  I think it is wonderful that they are using recycled content paper. However I know the unsuspecting public is buying this product, thinking they are doing a good thing for the environment and not even realizing that since it is lined with a plastic bubble cushion inside, it cannot and will not ever be recycled.
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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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13 Nov 2008 It’s Official – Globe Guard Is Now a Registered Trademark


We are very pleased to announce that our trademark application for Globe Guard has finally been approved so in the future we will be able to use the ® rather than the temporary ™. This is an important development because it signifies that products carrying the Globe Guard name have been carefully selected for their sustainable packaging characteristics. Our vision for and commitment to the Globe Guard brand
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06 Nov 2008 What is “Eco-Consistency”?

One of our favorite blogs is Sustainable Is Good because they do an exceptional job of exposing examples of over packaging. This photo ran on SISG a couple of months ago, much to the embarrassment of Amazon. Obviously someone at Amazon made a mistake and shipped out an order for ten thin books, in ten separate boxes complete with tape and void fill. That was a plain and simple error on someone’s part and I am sure “inspector #25” or “packer #17” heard about their lapse in common sense. As bad as mistakes like that can be for the companies making them, what is even worse is deliberate lapses in basic concern regarding the importance of secondary packaging, especially when it is done by companies that should know better. I believe that now more than ever, a green company making a green product MUST be consistent throughout their entire customer serving process, including the secondary packaging they ship out. Here are some reasons why.
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30 Oct 2008 What’s Wrong with this Picture? A Green Packaging Challenge

Even if you are not a regular reader and subscriber to this blog, please accept this as sustainable challenge #1. How quickly and easily can you spot a product or package that that is, let’s call it, “less than innocent” in terms of greenness? You have an opportunity to be the CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) investigator for this possible case of packaging sustainability crime. Please click on the image below for a better view - Catalog and Box
We have blocked out the name of the company to protect the guilty but the company name is really not important. If we look around we can spot countless examples like this on a daily basis. This company is shipping their annual catalog in the box that is shown. Ironically on the catalog cover they boast about offering hundreds of “eco friendly products”. But what about the packaging that is designed to get this catalog in the hands of their eco minded customers? To a certain extent we agree that green is often in the eye of the beholder but we’ve spotted some things that are very likely wrong and some that merit further investigation. Jot down some observations and questions before you read the rest of this story.
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