void fill Tag

25 Jan 2011 Globe Guard “Packaging 101” Lesson: Don’t Let Under Filled Boxes Create Overwhelming Problems (Part 2)

[caption id="attachment_2305" align="alignright" width="300" caption="A 3-POUND BRICK EASILY SEPARATES TAPE FROM A SEALED BOX."]3-lb. brick easily seperates tape from box[/caption] Now that we’ve covered what usually causes under filled boxes and what mistakes are made in an effort to solve the problem, let’s get into the solutions The #1 Most Common, Correct Solution Please note that the list of ineffective solutions for under filled boxes provided in part one of this post does not include the item that is most frequently the problem, which is the void fill product being used. Most packing operations have been using the same void fill and packing method for years, and in many cases it is the wrong material and/or it is incorrectly being used. New void fill products are constantly being created or improved, so what may have been the best and least expensive product just a few years ago is rarely still the best answer. Another common mistake people make in regard to void fill is focusing on the price rather than the cost. If the box is sized properly, the correct void fill is used and it is applied correctly, the void fill cost should decrease, not increase.
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20 Jan 2011 Globe Guard “Packaging 101” Lesson: Don’t Let Under Filled Boxes Create Overwhelming Problems (Part 1)

[caption id="attachment_2290" align="alignright" width="281" caption="LOOSE FILL SETTLES CREATING UNDER FILLED BOXES."]Loose fill settles creating underfilled boxes[/caption] This year our plan is to continue being one of the best sources for practical sustainable packaging information on the Internet. We have also decided to at least monthly provide basic solutions that can benefit packagers whether they are green minded or not. In other words, providing answers to the problems we most commonly encounter in the field. One of the most frequent problems I have seen over the course of a career measured in decades rather than years (boy do I suddenly feel old) is the classic problem of under filled boxes. What are the reasons boxes are under filled?
  • Using the wrong size (too big) box
  • Packers attempting to be economical with void fill or trying to avoid over stuffing
  • Packers rushing or simply not doing a good job (poorly trained)
  • Using the wrong void fill for the application
  • Product or void fill “settling” after the box is sealed. (This is a common problem with flowable loose fill products.)
  • Air escaping from the product after the box is filled. (Soft goods and paper products are great examples of this.)
  • Using the wrong box sealing tape
  • Applying the tape incorrectly
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15 Oct 2009 Sustainable Packaging and Staples – Still Not Easy!

[caption id="attachment_926" align="alignnone" width="350" caption="Staples Packaging Leaves Much to Be Desired"]Staples Packaging Leaves Much to Be Desired[/caption] Earlier this year, January 13th to be exact, I posted an article complaining about some very eco unfriendly secondary packaging I had received from one of our favorite suppliers, Staples. Large retailers often appear to be leading the green charge so the interest level they create is usually high and this was no exception. The post was soon picked up by Green Biz and other eco focused blogs and I even contacted them on at least two occasions and offered my services at no cost so I could help them determine where Staples' in house fulfillment “eco system” is obviously broken. I was told they were “working on it,” so as a loyal customer concerned about their secondary packaging as well as the environment, I waited, and waited until this week when we received delivery of an order we placed for two boxes of ink cartridges.

Staples Green Update – More Green Packaging Problems

The photo above show the two boxes of Canon ink cartridges which shipped from two different Staples facilities. I appreciate the fact that the order was split-shipped to be filled quickly but I find I hard to believe that neither facility had both items. I am not sure what type of carbon footprint that creates but the worse news is that each facility used a different way of packaging the product and neither passed the green test as far as we are concerned. The term one step forward and two steps backwards comes to mind when we compare it to the packaging described in our January blog post.

Package #1 Shipping from Beloit, WI

At this Staples distribution center the packer opted to use a plastic mailer envelope. Even though I don’t like flexible mailers for crushable product, I am generally a big proponent of mailer envelopes, plastic and paper. I like them because they are light weight, can be made of recycled content and in most areas may be recycled for creating more packaging or other plastic products. However, the mailer that Beloit used did not indicate any recycled content, and did not even offer a recycle code for handling the waste after use. This is a real shame considering some of the new plastic mailers that are available. We offer several that would be better eco options than what was used on this shipment.

Package #2 Shipping from Carol Stream, IL

At this facility they used a 13” long X 10” wide X 5” box (650 cubic inches) to ship a 4” X 2.25” X 2.75” product, or about 25 cubic inches, which is obviously much more box than was necessary.
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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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28 Aug 2008 How to Select an Eco Friendly Void Fill, Part 1

"Inner packing void fill materials"
The best thing about void fill is there are so many options. The worst thing about void fill is ... there are so many options. Selecting the right void fill material is difficult -- keeping a few things in mind will help you make the right decision. Void fill can be broken down into several categories. Loose fill materials, commonly called "packing peanuts", are made from a variety of eco friendly and not so eco friendly materials, including polystyrene, corn starch, and paper. The weight of loose fill varies depending on the material, but generally speaking, loose fill is inexpensive per application, but messy and not very effective for cushioning. Industrial papers include kraft paper, newsprint, and tissue paper. Most papers used for void fill have high PCW content, are fairly inexpensive per application, and are easier and cleaner to use than loose fill. Industrial papers are available in sheeted or roll form, making them easy to integrate into most packing operations. Multi-layered papers have become more popular in recent years, mainly due to shippers looking for alternatives to plastic-based packing materials. Multi-layer papers, which are typically made on-site, provide excellent cushioning, but are significantly heavier than plastic alternatives.
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07 Aug 2008 Ecoblivious Packaging – Polystyrene Loose Fill

"polystyrene peanuts"
Some types of secondary packaging material are far worse for the environment than others. One of the worst, in our opinion, is the old standby for void fill, polystyrene loose fill. Folks who use this material because of its (perceived) low cost and (real) speed, are, well ... ecoblivious. Polystyrene is recyclable, but not easily so. The material is extremely lightweight and therefore expensive to ship to recycling centers, which are often a long distance away. While associated transportation costs have always been high, the economics are now even worse due to the rapid run up in fuel costs.
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