Archive for January, 2012

A Guide to Creating an Eco-Friendly Beauty Package

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

This week’s GreenPackaging365 blog post comes to us via The Dieline. The article, titled “6 Steps for an Eco-Friendly Beauty Package,” written by Norman Kay, CEO of IBC Shell Packaging. His post leaves us with a better understanding of the importance of becoming a more sustainable, eco-friendly producer of packaging products while providing us with the proper steps for doing so. Check out the article below to see what you can do!


Brands needn’t go to market naked in support of our planet’s deteriorating eco-system; they just have to be packaged more appropriately.

Sustainability is equally compatible with ultra premium, upscale or modest product offerings. You want a commanding environment enveloping your product. You want the brand to look brilliant, to quickly engage your shopper, and outshine your competition to the right and left while conveying “take me home!”

No problem; do it, trim down, lose weight, look svelte and reduce that footprint. And, yes, size does matter. You may no longer oversize. You’re a brand new Brand. The terms green, sustainable, and ecologically friendly are bantered about, often misused, and frequently misleading.

Sustainable packaging is manufactured using substrates that have a neutral effect on the planet’s ecological system; acting to preserve our environment and without consequence to individual health. Ideally an environmentally safe packaging life cycle would encompass material sourcing, manufacturing, transportation, consumer use, and reprocessing.  The object is to utilize materials that have been recycled, are recyclable, biodegradable, or possibly compostable. These materials are then converted and produced with environmentally clean processes, using minimal energy resources and transport volume.

Brand owners are experiencing enormous rewards for becoming environmentally responsible. By implementing an intelligent ecological strategy corporations have achieved stunning results; a measurable contribution to a sustainable environment, a ‘greener’ bottom line attained through material reduction and process refinement, consumers’ awareness that the company is aligned with socially responsible actions, and a positive acknowledgment from the corporate board of directors as well as shareholders. Brands like, Aveda and Toms have diligently embraced sustainable accountability.

6 Steps To Initiate a Sustainability Beauty Package:

1. Analysis of existing structures, footprint, decorative/print specifications, and materials to realize a net reduction in environmental impact and cradle-to-cradle resource recovery.

2. Assessment of all packaging substrates to establish which materials represent the key targets in minimizing packaging impact.

3. Evaluating alternative materials with higher recyclate content.

4. Examining the manufacturing consequences of new package designs on clean converting methods, energy sources, transport fuels, and eventual disposal of materials.

5. Initiating the re-design, alternate material selection, package component and composite testing, revised specifications, and quality management.

6. Strategic sourcing, procurement and tracking verification.

Ecologically Prudent Materials and Benchmarks:

– Paperboard with up to 100% recycled fiber.

– APET thermoforming plastics containing up to 90% recycled material.

– PLA (Polyactic acid) 100% biodegradable corn derivative plastic for injection molded parts, thermoformed inserts, and clear folding cartons.

– Agri-Soy Inks containing zero petroleum additives and releasing minimal VOCs (volatile organic compounds.)

– Hybrid UV and Aqueous coatings that exhibit up to a 46% reduction in VOCs.

– Synthetic reflective emulsions utilizing 90% less metallic than traditional reflective foils.

– 100% recyclable and biodegradable molded pulp from discarded newsprint.

– 100% biodegradable and compostable film, principally from wood pulp and sourced from 100% managed forestry.

Ultimately zero packaging would end up as trash. The package would function to display, sell and protect the product; have secondary value, and finally re-cycle into a renewed source. Right now it’s about corporate responsibility, adhering to current and ever more stringent regulations, and being open to informed consumer scrutiny. “We didn’t inherit the land from our fathers. We are borrowing it from our children.”  Amish saying

How AT&T is Making Strides to Be More Green Through Packaging

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

In late 2011, a new material to encase AT&T branded phone accessories were beginning to hit the shelves. The accessories are now in a clamshell, thermoformed case made out of TerraPET® which is supplied by Klöckner Pentaplast. The new the new material is composed of 30% renewable-resource content. Klöckner says that TerraPET is sourced from ethanol harvested from natural sugarcane. The packaging replaces fossil fuel-based material with an alternative without sacrificing high-performance qualities such as the clarity.

This is not to say that AT&T wasn’t “green” before the use of TerraPET. The thermoformed material before the use of TerraPET was made from recycled PET (RPET), which was approximately 30 to 60% recycled pre-consumer content. But in early 2011, AT&T’s distributor, TESSCO, wanted to use a packaging material that was even greener.

“AT&T wanted increased content of recyclable or plant-based material,” says Kate Varner, category manager for packaging at TESSCO.

Michael Cowan, AT&T’s accessories business director, adds, “For the past three or four years, we have done different things to become more sustainable and minimize the company’s environmental impact. We are always asking, ‘What can we do next?’”

In October 2, 2011, the company began to make its transformation to the TerraPET film. TerraPET is produced from ethanol that is harvested from natural sugarcane. One planting will produce about two to four harvest, which makes it a very renewable crop, which is why it is an attractive alternative to fossil-based material.

The use of TerraPET instead of RPET allows for the replacement of a third of the fossil fuels that are traditionally used in AT&T’s accessory packaging. As the first U.S. telecom company to use plastic in its packaging, TerraPET is a great example of offerings that Klöckner has in helping customers attain sustainable packaging goals.

Peter Gianniny, business manager for thermoforming films, states: “Before advancing TerraPET film, we did a great deal of research. We reviewed the full spectrum of options,” says TESSCO’s Varner. “We saw a lot of clamshell samples made from alternative materials. We narrowed it down to the three or four best for presentation to AT&T. Whereas the other samples displayed such negatives as being cloudy or brittle—tending to crack, break, scratch, or discolor—TerraPET film had no such cons.”  Varner lists the following as “pros” sought:  performance, dependability, and clarity.

“Our main packaging objectives,” says AT&T’s Cowan, “are to sell the product, keep costs reasonable, and use sustainable materials.” The latter is the reason why AT&T, in the 2010 redesign, switched from 35% recycled paperboard to 100%, as well as using soy- and/or vegetable-based ink. Display Pack’s redesign was chosen from the field, according TESSCO’s Varner, because they came up with the cleanest, easiest approach to assembly and conversion.

Toy Packaging Goes Green

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012











Although we haven’t seen much green packaging for toys, it looks like one company is ready to make that change. For one Canadian company, Battant Inc., toys and their packaging are now beginning to take on an eco-friendly twist in an effort to teach children as they grow up to be more environmentally friendly and socially responsible for one.

Battant Inc., out of Mont-Royal,QC,Canada, recently launched B. Toys in an effort to inspire children to “B” curious, smart, creative, caring, socially responsible, and much more. The company is all about celebrating differences and promoting the planet, in addition, 10 cents of every purchase made goes to the charity Free the Children, whose mission “believes in a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest potential as agents of change.”

Upon entering the B. Toys “Just B. Just You. B You” website, it is apparent that this is no ordinary toy website, and it is complete different from any toy website that I’ve ever seen, in a good way. From the colors, the natural look, and the quotes, it is clear that this company really cares about making a difference and a commitment to the environment and in every child’s life.

The principal and creative director of DoodleDo Design & Development Environment, Gisela Voss, designed the toys and built the brand’s marketing and brand teaming for Battant Inc., the company that launched B. toys. Voss knew that she wanted to create and eco-friendly product all around. The idea behind it was that Voss wanted to use as little packaging material as possible. The packaging the product does have is made from recycled – and recyclable – materials and is printed with soy inks and water varnishes. The die-cut display boxes transform themselves into colorful trays that hold the product; bags and ties are made of recycled polypropylene and feel like fabric, are reusable, and biodegradable. Even the clear plastic used in the toys and the packaging is recycled #1 PET.

What else is pretty cool is that after the toy is removed from the packaging, the box can then be reused as a storage container and is encouraged and a message is with suggested with uses on the box.  Instead of featuring pictures of children playing with the toys on the box, the packaging features richer hues such as those of Indian textiles

The B. toy brand hopes to expand out of just toys and “Perhaps B. books, B. greeting cards, B. children’s clothing, B. room décor,” states Voss. Hopefully in the future we will be seeing more from B. toys and their efforts to create a more eco-friendly generation.

“At the end of the day, our goal is to be bigger than a toy company”
– B. Toys




Upcycling: Turning Old CD Cases into a Photo Cube

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

With some of us still hoarding CDs from the pre-digital era, we found this neat do it yourself project that involves “upcycling.” This DIY project gives new life to your old jewel CD cases that you thought you would never use again.

Blogger Kelly Wilkinson at Make Grow Gather recently came up with a unique idea for a photo cube. Although photo cubes have been around for awhile, this one can double as a candleholder (probably best to use a battery operated tea light) and allows you to use those old jewel CD cases you thought you no longer had use for. The overall product is a modern, unique, sophisticated way to present your photos.

A step-by-step flickr  instruction guide (looks like you’ll need a Yahoo! account to see this!) can be very helpful and shows just how she took apart old jewel cases and glued them back together into a cube. She then printed her images onto vellum so that the light from the candle (or battery tea light) would give off a soft glow. Using the CD label as a template, she cut her images and inserted them on all sides of the CD cases. To finish it off, she used a grosgrain ribbon that allowed her to hide the edges of the CD case.

And voila! You have a homemade photo cube!

*Tip – it is probably safer to use battery operated tea light as opposed to a real candle


Bridgestone Creates Version of the Air-free Tire

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012


About a month ago, Bridestone introduced it’s 100 percent recyclable, air-free tire! This product looks like a great start to 2012 and creating a more sustainable and eco-friendly environment. Although the product is still in its development stages for a more widespread use, it is still pretty cool to think about the implications that wide spread use of this 100 percent recyclable and air-free product could have.  

Around 2007, Michelin introduced the first airless tire, which they called the Tweel. The Tweel was the first of its kind, it used no air, therefore it could not burst or become flat. The product appeared to be very promising, but was never really heard of again… until now. Riding off the coat tails of the Tweel idea, Bridgestone unveiled an airless tire of its own at the Tokyo Motor Show.

The newest version of the airless tire is supported by a mesh of spokes that are made of thermoplastic resin. Bridgestone says that the thermoplastic resin has the ability to be recycled back into new tires, which causes less waste. The material is durable and flexible, and the best part of all, it’s 100 percent recyclable! Because the tire is air-free, the risks punctures and flat tires is eliminated making the tire more safe and less wasteful. 

The company is still innovating for the future uses of the product and hopes to continue develop the technology with the aim of practical implementation. The airless tire concept created by Bridgestone was presented at the Tokyo Motor Show. The wheel is nine inches in diameter, and each wheel is strong enough to support 150kg (about 330lbs), according to the company.

As of now, the company has only been testing the airless wheel on a small, one-seated electric vehicles, but is making plans to continue developing the new technology for wider commercial use.

Check out the video link below to see the wheels in action!