Archive for September, 2010

Coconuts find a Second Life

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Waco-based Whole Tree has been researching uses for coconut husks for wo years, and recently partnered with packaging firm Compadre to design and test different uses for coconut-based materials. In addition to creating packaging from the husks, the companies are also working to improve the lives of coconut farmers by providing more income for farmers by using the husks.

The company has developed a nonwoven process for combining coconut fiber with thermoplastic to create a strong, durable material that can be formed for packaging.

The packaging is primarily used for packaging that goes inside boxes, such as packaged electronics. They are still exploring possibilities for outer packaging.

Sustainable Packaging Flourishes Despite A Weak Economy

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Most sectors of packaging have been taking a hit during these tough economic times, but not sustainable packaging. Sustainable packaging has experienced positive growth over the past two years and it’s not expected to slow down. According to “Sustainable (Green) Packaging: A Global Strategic Business Report”, the green packaging market should to be worth $142 billion by 2015.

What sectors of packaging are the key developers of sustainable packaging? Cosmetics and personal care, food and beverage, shipping, and healthcare packaging have all embraced green packaging to a large degree.

There are key driving forces that account for the growth of sustainable packaging. Growing concerns of the environment around the globe is number one. Also, stricter government regulations are making it mandatory for companies to adhere to sustainable practices and production. Other drivers include increased awareness about recycling of packaging wastes and companies cutting costs by using recycled and reusable materials in manufacturing.

The United States and Europe currently cover more than 70 percent of the global green packaging market. Recycled material is the most important packaging category in the US, accounting for 90 percent of the total demand.

The fastest growing region for green packaging is expected to be Asia-Pacific with 10 percent annual growth over the next 5 years. The fastest growing segment of the packaging industry are biodegradables with the highest demand coming from bioplastics.

eBay Promotes Green Packaging with Eco Boxes

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

eBay just launched a new set of eco-friendly reusable boxes as part of a pilot program to make packaging a little greener. Starting in October, the company is giving away 100,000 shipping boxes to eBay sellers, and encouraging reuse. According to eBay, if each box gets used five times, the program could protect nearly 4,000 trees, save 2.4 million gallons of water, and conserve enough electricity to power 49 homes for a year.

The boxes engage sellers by emphasizing potential benefits to the planet with friendly illustrations and copy. Tips for greener packing include finding “a new calling for old phone books.” A happy little bird asks, “Where to next?” And to track each box’s journey, there’s space to write a note so the next person to receive it can see just how far its come.

Each eBay Box is made with 100 percent recycled content certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), printed with water-based inks, and designed to require minimal tape. And once it reaches the end of its useful shipping life, it’s fully recyclable. From the box’s fine print: “Don’t worry, it will come back as something nice, like a birthday card or movie theater popcorn bag.”

The company will also set-up a special web page for the recipients of the boxes, on which they can register their box and give updates on its condition. The company will use the information to track the boxes and plan future replacements when a box gets too damaged.

More info on the eBay Boxes at