green packaging Tag

19 May 2009 Sustainable Secondary Packaging and the Third Party Shipper

It may sound like the title to an unusual movie or book, but the fact is that today it is not at all uncommon for an eco conscious e-commerce company (seller) to utilize a fulfillment company, third party logistics (3PL) company, or contract packager to fill, package and ship their customers’ orders. Outsourcing the fulfillment portion of the order process is an excellent way to minimize costs and focus on sales and marketing but it does have a potential down side, especially if the fulfillment company (shipper) does not share the same green values as the seller. The Biggest Risks of Using a Third Party Shipper eco-friendly-packaging-papers-and-corrugated-boxWhat you sacrifice when you turn fulfillment over to another company is control. For example, the people filling your valuable customer’s order are not your employees -  in fact they may not even be the employee of the company you are utilizing. More and more shipping companies use temporary labor services to satisfy their customer’s packaging requirements which can vary greatly with seasonal or other volume surges,  so the phrase “here today and gone tomorrow” certainly applies. In other words, there is little or no accountability for the person actually pulling and packing the order for you and for your customer. Another potential casualty of working with a third party shipper may unfortunately be eco-consistency. The eco friendliness of the packaging materials and the techniques being used, as well as the ultimate appearance of that package shipping to the customer, are completely in someone else’s hands. As a consumer, we all have been on the receiving end of a product that is over packaged, under packaged, or one that uses an excess of packaging materials we hate. For me,  it is foam peanuts of any size, shape or color. The shipper is setting the quality AND green standard for you in the eyes of your customers but remember - while the shipper is invisible to the customer,  you are not. When things go bad, you get the blame whether you deserve it or not. Packaging Sustainability and the Third Party Vendor Can Be a Beautiful Thing scanner-for-order-fulfillmentWe have been fortunate to be the supplier of choice in several of these seller/shipper situations and can tell you that when they work, they work great. One recent situation developed because the customer/seller introduced and recommended us to their fulfillment company. Obviously we had to overcome the relationships the shipper had with their existing packaging suppliers but eventually they saw the many benefits to their customer as well as with other present or potential customers. Today, being a “green fulfillment house” has many advantages as they soon realized when they quickly picked up another, substantial “green” client.
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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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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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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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