Archive for December, 2011

Coke Aspires for 100% Plant-based Bottle by 2020

Friday, December 30th, 2011

The Coca-Cola Co. just recently announced that they signed a multi-million dollar contract with three leading biotechnology companies in an effort to accelerate the developments of a 100% plant-based bottle. The partnership includes agreements with Virent, Gevo, and Avantium all combining their efforts to create the first commercial solution for next-generation PlantBottle™ packaging made 100% from plant-based materials. The partnership with the biotechnology could lead to practical results of a 100% plant-based PlantBottle available by 2017. Coca-Cola is expecting that all of its PET packaging will be replaced by the year 2020.

Coca-Cola’s current PlantBottle™, which was launched in 2009, is made from only 30% plant-based material. The remaining 70% of the bottle is made out of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), which Coca-Cola hopes to replace with plant-based materials. Since the current bottle was first introduced in 2009, Coca Cola states that they it has already distributed more than 10 billion PlantBottle™ packages in 20 different countries worldwide. Coca-Cola estimates that it has helped save the equivalent emissions of more than 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

According to Coca-Cola, agreements with these three companies (Virent, Gevo and Avantium) will help support the companies long-term commitments through sustainable practices in sourcing and in packaging supply.

“While the technology to make bio-based materials in a lab has been available for years, we believe Virent, Gevo and Avantium are companies that possess technologies that have high potential for creating them on a global commercial scale within the next few years,” said Rick Frazier, vice president of commercial product supply for The Coca-Cola Company. “This is a significant R&D investment in packaging innovation and is the next step toward our vision of creating all of our plastic packaging from responsibly sourced plant-based materials.”

As leaders in sustainable packaging, Coca-Cola also looks to innovate and advance opportunities to other companies throughout the industry and recently announced an industry first partnership with H.J. Heinz Company. This partnership will allow Heinz ketchup to use PlantBottle™ technology in its production.

Source: www.thecoca-colacompany.com/

Globe Guard Introduces Reusable Box Sealer

Monday, December 26th, 2011

In the packaging world, efforts are constantly being made to create packaging that will benefit consumers as well as the environment. By reusing packaging, there is a great stride in creating an environment that is more geared towards sustainable packing. In an effort to encourage companies to reduce waste and reuse more, eco-friendly packaging company, Globe Guard, invented Globe Guard® Reusable Box Sealer™. The patent-pending reusable box sealer “Makes Every Box a Reusable Box.”

The product is designed to help companies reduce packaging waste during testing, product development, shipping preparation and other applications. The sealer does not require any sort of wasteful packaging materials such as packaging tape or glues. Instead, the product allows a box to be sealed and reopened many times until it is ready to be shipped. The reusable seal also allows you to open and reopen a box without any knives or scissors. In turn, this allows for a considerable amount of reduction in the amount of corrugated waste that companies produce.

As described by Globe Guard themselves, there are two very common scenarios in which the Globe Guard Reusable Box Sealer is particularly important:

  1. “The box is going to be handled or shipped internally (closed loop) and not shipped via UPS, FedEx, or USPS.”
  2. “Immediate or repeated access to the contents is advantageous or necessary.”

The sealer works very easily and quite simply. It works by slipping the reusable sealer between the top major flaps of any box and holding them closed until the box is to be reopened again.

Quite simply, the Globe Guard® Reusable Box Sealer™ is a great new product and a great way to motivate companies to create a more eco-friendly work environment by promoting reusable packaging.

Kraft Foods Announces Carbon Footprint after Multi-year Study

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

On December 14th, Kraft Foods shared their results of a multi-year study of the company’s total footprint on climate change, land, and water use. Kraft Foods, in partnership with Quantis Inc, was reviewed and analyzed by World Wildlife Fund and the University of Minnesota’s Institute of the Environment. The results, although not surprising, validated that Kraft Foods needs to  focus on working towards sustainable agriculture.

The results found that over 90 percent of Kraft’s carbon footprint comes from outside of their plants and offices – nearly 60 percent is from farm commodities, more than 80 percent of its land impact is from agriculture, and 70 percent of its water footprint comes from growing raw materials.

“Having the ‘big picture’ of our total footprint—from farm to fork—validates the focus of our sustainability efforts, particularly advancing sustainable agriculture,” says Roger Zellner, Kraft’s sustainability director for Research, Development & Quality. “Experts say climate change, land and water use may be among the biggest challenges in feeding a world of 9 billion people in 2050. As we continue our sustainability journey, we now have more insight into where we can make the greatest difference.” 

“This study shows that to make meaningful change and conserve nature’s valuable resources, companies need to work with their suppliers to reduce the impact of producing raw materials,” says Dave McLaughlin, VP of Agriculture at World Wildlife Fund. “This means forging long term partnerships based on shared objectives, creating a transformational supply chain, a key strategy of WWF’s market transformation initiative.”

Kraft, which is the largest packaged food company in the country, said, “while the company does not own farms, the survey supports the work of its sustainable agriculture efforts on key commodities to improve crop yields, reduce environmental impacts and improve the lives of many of the farm workers and their families.”

The press release states that based on 2010 figures, Kraft Foods has set the following goals for 2015:

  • Increase sustainable sourcing of agricultural commodities by 25 percent
  • Reduce energy use in manufacturing plants by 15 percent
  • Reduce energy-related CO2 emissions in manufacturing plants by 15 percent
  • Reduce water consumption in manufacturing plants by 15 percent
  • Reduce waste at manufacturing plants by 15 percent
  • Eliminate 50,000 metric tons (100 million lbs.) of packaging material
  • Reduce 80 million km (50 million miles) from its transportation network

Although Kraft has a lot of work to do towards becoming more sustainable these next few years, they have already made significant progress  towards reducing energy, CO2 emissions, water, waste, packaging and transportation across its global operations.

  • Energy use is down 16 percent
  • CO2 emissions are down 18 percent
  • Incoming water is down 30 percent
  • Net waste is down 42 percent
  • Packaging is down 100,000 metric tons (200 million lbs)
  • 96 million km (60 million road miles) have been removed from its transportation/distribution network 

Tips for an Eco-Friendly Holiday Season

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

With the holiday season upon us, we should all learn a few basic tips that allow us to be more eco-friendly and produce less waste!

  • Reuse old boxes for presents. Already used boxes can be be great for packaging your gift because they can be reused more than once. Bring these old cardboard boxes back to life by making them more festive by using old pieces of wrapping paper and gluing or taping the scraps to the box.
  • Use fabric as wrapping paper. This holiday season, instead of filling trash bags with ripped up wrapping paper, try using fabric as wrapping paper. This way, you will be able to stop using unsustainable rolls of wrapping paper and be more environmentally friendly. You can also be creative by wrapping presents with old maps, the comics section of a newspaper. You can also use fabric such as a scarf, dish towel, bandana, or another cloth item.
  • Buy energy saving lights for the holiday season. Swap the tradition incandescent lights for LED lights to decorate your house. LED lights use up to 90 percent less energy than conventional holiday lights. By Using LED lights, you can safe your family up to $50 on your energy bills during the holiday season!
  • Shop online to save energy and fuel that you would use to travel from one to another, this will also save you money on gas.
  • Send your greeting cards electronically. Every year about 2.6 billion greeting cards are sent. Sending a greeting card electronically is the perfect way to reduce waste. Websites like Hallmark or Photobucket offers a selection of holiday greeting cards that allow for great personalization options for you and your family. If you prefer to take the more traditional route by sending cards through the mail, look for holiday cards printed out on recycled paper.
  • Give new life to old greeting cards by recycling the cards by cutting them into your favorite images and details from the cards . You can then turn these into gift tags or use them as decoration.

Drama Mounts with Coca-Cola’s New Packaging

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Last month, we blogged about Coca-Cola changing their packaging for the first time ever in a cause marketing effort to protect the Arctic home of polar bears. Check out the blog here.

Apparently that wasn’t such a great idea for Coke. In fact, they’re pulling the plug on the new white cans and changing them back to their original red. Why you ask? Customer uproar. That’s right, customers were getting the white cans confused with the silver Diet Coke cans. We all know how traumatic that can be to think you’re buying an ice cold can of refreshing Coke only to crack it open, take a sip, and taste that dreadful fake Diet Coke flavor. Ok, I’m being facetious.

Whether you think it’s ridiculous or not, you could argue that Coca-Cola should’ve thought this one through a bit more. Knowing your customers is rule number one when changing old traditions.

Why white cans? The company claimed it had intended a “disruptive” campaign to get its conservation message across. Within a few days, Coca-Cola started receiving complaints that the white cans were too easily confused with the silver Diet Coke cans, leading some weight-conscious and diabetic customers to accidentally purchase Coke instead of Diet Coke. Ok, point taken. I could see where that could get sketchy.

Coca-Cola was no stranger to polar bears and WWF – the company has supported WWF Arctic research and conservation efforts in the past and this campaign was supposed to take its commitment to a new level. Coca-Cola has pledged $2 million to help fund the creation of a safe refuge for polar bears and agreed to match up to $1 million of consumer donations made through Arctic Home by March 15, 2012.

Coca-Cola got the message and despite the fact it planned initially to have 1.4 billion white cans available until March, the company decided to halt further production of the cans. As we speak, Coca-cola is sending millions of red cans back into shops with polar bear images on them.

 

ALL Plastic Packaging to be Recycled by 2020?

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

The European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organization (EPRO) has recently backed claims of the possibility that ALL plastic packaging could be recycled by 2020. That means no more plastic in landfills which is an incredibly ambitious hope. The number of plastic that ends up in landfills across the globe each day is astronomical.

Right now in Europe, approximately 66% of plastic packaging is recycled with one-third of plastic packaging still going to landfill.

EPRO said in a statement: “A recovery rate of 100 per cent in 2020 for both plastic packaging and all other plastic waste is still possible; it is all about willingness and working together across the plastics supply chain to set the scene and move the agenda forward.”

Could this initiative also help the economy? “A strategy of 100% recovery of plastic waste might also contribute to an economic recovery of Europe and thus more jobs.”

In EPRO’s report, the following 16 nations recycled more than 30% of its plastic packaging waste in 2010: Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Belgium, Austria, Norway, Netherlands, Slovakia, Switzerland, Italy, Latvia, Slovenia, Poland, UK and Lithuania.

At the other end of the list, countries recycling less than 22.5 per cent of their post-consumer plastic packaging were: Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Greece and Malta.