Archive for December, 2010

Pooh Bear Loses Some Baggage

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Disney has cut packaging waste by 80% for its 12 inch Winnie the Pooh Plush. In designing this new package, Disney’s goal was to create less waste, cut costs, and reduce carbon emissions. The packaging is designed to use less material by taking Pooh out of the open box and sit him in a saddle instead. The saddle allows for Pooh to maintain the sitting position on shelves. The branding information is moved from the original packaging design and is placed on a small paper label that attaches to Pooh’s hand. This new label reduces the amount of ink used in this new package. The use of the new packaging has saved 8 metric tons of cardboard and translates into nearly 10 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions avoided.

Moving Ahead With Greener Packaging

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Companies are jumping on the green packaging bandwagon and are focusing on eco-friendly options. Green packaging is a win-win situation for these companies because it’s environmentally friendly and it provides cost savings by tossing out wasteful and outdated materials and techniques. Going green is about trying new things to help save the environment and that is exactly what companies are doing. They are experimenting and finding ways to reduce waste and harm on the environment by producing more sustainable packaging.

Walmart has been a leader in searching for greener packaging alternatives. Last year they pledged to eliminate all waste at its stores in 2025 by reducing, reusing, or recycling all materials.

Dell has been taking efforts to provide more eco-friendly packaging by trying out packaging materials made from bamboo. Bamboo replenishes itself quickly, making it a great resource for packaging.

Amazon has been thinking of ways to rethink traditional packaging. Colorful packaging was originally used for display boxes, with the intention to maximize the visual appeal, which is not necessary for online shopping. So Amazon started offering “frustration free packaging”, a program aimed at reducing shipping waste and difficult to open packaging. They work directly with manufacturers to ship products in hassle free boxes.

Other companies such as FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service offer shipping boxes made from recycled materials.

Companies are becoming more environmentally friendly when it comes to packaging and have taken different approaches to doing so. The world is full with ways to reduce waste and produce greener packaging.

Going Green is Going Healthy

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Many companies are taking unique and innovative approaches to reducing the usage of plastics in their packaging. As strange as it may sound these companies have found ways to use potatoes, milk, mushrooms, and sugar cane to make their packaging more environmentally friendly.

PepsiCo’s UK brand of potato chips, Walkers, is innovating their packaging by looking for ways to use starch from unused potato peels. Starch is very sticky and when made into a large mass can become stabilized into layers. These bags will be naturally compostable and plan to hit store shelves in the U.K. in the next 18 to 24 months.

Ecovative Design has created a new packaging material that is made out of mushrooms. This new design is called Mycobond, and is heat and fire resistant. It has the ability to absorb energy and can biodegrade even in conditions that are lacking oxygen. The hope is for this material to replace petroleum based foam that is currently being used.

Got milk? Well just ask clay. Milk and clay have partnered together to be used as an alternative to Styrofoam. Scientists at Case Western Reserve University have designed a way to use clay and milk protein and make an eco-friendly packaging material. This process started by taking the cow milk protein called casein and strengthening it with some clay. The material is said to be strong enough for commercial use and a third of it biodegrades over time.

Proctor and Gamble have taken a “sweeter” approach to sustainable packaging by using sugarcane in their packaging of select Covergirl, Pantene Pro-V, and Max Factor products. The Polyethylene from sugarcane will be used in the plastic of those select products, making them easily recyclable.

New Study: 95% of Consumer Products are Greenwashing

Monday, December 6th, 2010

A new study that was recently released by TerraChoice states that 95% of consumer products claiming to be eco-friendly are committing at least one sin of greenwashing. The report highlighted the 7 sins of greenwashing– described as the act of misleading consumers about the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service. The sin of “No proof” was the most persistent of all greenwashing sins in 2010.

TerraChoice examined 5,296 products for the study while visiting 19 retail stores in Canada and 15 in the US.

The news is not all bad though. Considering that 98% of consumer products were guilty of greenwashing in 2009, the number has decreased in 2010. Further, the number of green products on the market was up 73% this year from 2009.

It’s going to be very interesting to keep an eye on this study. With government regulations and consumers being more privy to the ‘green scene’, one would assume that the percentage will continue to decrease into the future!