Consumers will pay more for Sustainability

March 20th, 2013

A global study reveals that consumers are willing to pay more for grocery items with value-added features that relate to sustainability. The study gave consumers from varied locations around the world a list of potential packaging features and were asked which features they would be willing to pay more for. Over half of the group said answered that they would pay more for packaging that kept the food fresh longer, and the same amount answered that they preferred packaging that is environmentally friendly. After questions concerning freshness, consumers also admitted to their willingness to pay more for packaging that is reusable and easier to use. For example, packaging that prevents a spill or mess, and enables easier on-the-go consumption. Whether for a new or existing product, packaging plays a key role in consumer packaged goods. This study has found that consumers place the most value on packaging that will preserve freshness and offer environmental benefits- marketers can use this opportunity to win over customers by emphasizing these features.

Source: PackWorld

Fishing Plastic Waste from the Seas

March 13th, 2013

In seas around theUK, fisherman are being sent to collect waste plastic for recycling. The innovative project is supported by Ecover and Closed Loop Recycling. The waste being salvaged will go towards trials of a new type of plastic that uses rHDPE, plantastic, and the waste marine plastic that is collected. Both organizations involved are supporting the Waste Free Oceans initiative by sending an important anti-litter message to consumers to help in the efforts of reducing floating marine debris and highlighting the importance of recycling and the value of used plastic as a resource. Along with supporting these efforts, Ecover has launched it ‘Message in our Bottle’ campaign, along with the use of an entirely new form of fully sustainable and recyclable plastic made from 100% sugarcane and plastic fished from the sea- the use of this plastic will start in 2014.

Source: Packaging Digest

Extended Producer Responsibility

March 6th, 2013

Extended Producer Responsibility is gaining favor among environmentally conscious brands. For example, Recycling Reinvented recently announced that is has received a pledge of support from New Belgium Brewing Co. a brewery based inFort Collins,CO that produces over 25 varieties of craft beer. The director of sustainability for New Belgium states, “I believe that if the producers were held accountable for the end of life of their packages, more efficient and effective systems would be created to promote landfill diversion.” Going along with one of the company’s core values of “honoring nature at every turn of the business.” Through Extended Producer Responsibility, brand owners and manufacturers will help communities increase access to curbside recycling and recycling away from home for all product packaging. The program is pleased to have this pledge from New Belgium, and recognizes their long standing commitment to environmentally friendly production and packaging practices.

Source: Packaging Digest

Sustainable Packaging in the Spotlight

February 27th, 2013

Sustainable Packaging takes the stage as PBS’s In Focus educational program spotlights this growing industrial trend. In this program, Martin Sheen will look at the various ways that companies save money and help the environment by reducing the amount of packaging on their products. Companies that produce anything from electronics components to automobiles, companies are using less packaging material- especially for internal use. These cut companies’ costs and lead to less waste, meaning less garbage ending up in landfills where it will take years to decompose. This show will travel across the United States and profile different companies that have taken the steps to embrace sustainable packaging efforts.

Source: Packaging Digest

Possible Restrictions of Polystyrene Foam Products in NYC

February 20th, 2013

News reports have indicated that New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is planning to propose restrictions on the use of polystyrene foam food service products. The end goal for this restriction is to increase recycling rates. In accordance with the Mayor, vice president of plastics at the American Chemistry Council (ACC), Steve Russell states, “We would welcome the opportunity to explore polystyrene foam food service recycling with the City. The technology exists to recycle polystyrene foam foodservice right now.” He goes on to explain howCaliforniais currently making this work with 22% of households in compliance. A lot of people mistakenly believe that these paper cups and plates are being recycled, but there is no commercial recycling of these products happening. Another misconception about paper product waste is that it is rapidly degrading in landfills compared to other products. While the properties of the items may allow for this, the landfills simply are not designed to comply to this process- they actually minimize the breakdown of waste by blocking out the air, water, and sunlight necessary to support the biological process. Implementing recycling efforts of these products may be sufficient to attain Bloomberg’s goal since the technology already exists, eliminating these products may not be the answer. As Russell states, “Polystyrene foam foodservice products make up less than one percent of our nation’s solid waste, according to EPA. They use significantly less energy and water to manufacture than paper alternatives and create significantly less waste by weight and comparable waste by volume.”

For more information about polystyrene foam food service products, visit: http://www.plasticfoodservicefacts.com/

Blog source: Packaging Digest

Thermoformed Trays: A Reusable Alternative

February 13th, 2013

The new Sell Stack from Innovative Plastech is an improvement on the conventional corrugated fiberboard packaging for bottles and cans. The thermoformed plastic alternative will improve the sustainability of the product while providing a clear view of the product for the consumer. The Sell Stack is completely customizable and is manufactured to create the correct fit and amount of support on a pallet necessary. The pallet trays provide the perfect combination of quantity per pallet and lad bearing capabilities. Along with proper function, the Sell Stack is a waterproof solution that can be reused up to five times. It is made from a combination of post consumer products and post industrial recycle PET plastic, creating a sustainable alternative to the traditional corrugated fiberboard. The Sell Stack is easy to recycle as they are accepted by any US recycling center or they can be returned directly to Innovative Plastech to be recycled for future trays.

Source: PackWorld

Increase in Carton Recycling

February 6th, 2013

The Carton Council, which is a group of carton manufacturers committed to reducing the environmental impact of cartons, has increased carton recycling by 128%. Due to their efforts, more than 47.9 million households can now recycle cartons. This is a dramatic change compared to 2009 where recycling access was only at 18%. The Carton Council has found that cartons are a fast-growing packaging solution. They are made of high value material and are very recyclable.

Read more at PackWorld.com

Recycling Program Backed by Coca-Cola

January 30th, 2013

On January 28th, Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and the Coca-Cola Foundation announced a call for applications for the 2013 Coca-Cola/KAB Recycling Bin Grant Program. Through a $300,000 grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation, the program is designed to expand and support recycling in American communities. 29,000 recycling bins have been distributed since 2010 under this program, reaching 4.3 million people. The end goal is to provide local organizations with recycling bins and increase recycling rates across the country. Grant applications can be found online through March 4, 2013. Eligible recipients include government agencies, civic organizations, schools, nonprofit groups and all colleges and universities will be eligible for a college specific grant.

Partnership to Develop Bio-based Adhesives for the Packaging Industry

January 23rd, 2013

Henkel, the adhesive supplier, and DaniMer Scientific LLC have recently partnered up for the development of hot-melt adhesives for packaging made of bio-based raw materials. At first, this application will be targeted towards the consumer packaging and labeling market. The partnership is beneficial because it will combine Henkel’s adhesive expertise with Danimer’s expertise in biopolymer science. The alliance will hopefully bring to the marketplace a technology platform that will include both bio-based adhesives and hot-melt applications supplied at a global level. The innovative technology that will result from this alliance will finally meet the needs that customers have been asking for. Not only will the partnership increase the amount of renewable materials used in manufacturing, but it will also continue to support the health and safety requirements in packaging applications. The first product results are expected for their market launch in the first half of 2013.

Source: Packaging Digest

Building a Culture of Sustainability in the Workplace

January 16th, 2013

The more aware we become of sustainability and what we can do to lessen our impact on the environment, the more organizations are looking to engage their employees in sustainable efforts in the workplace. There are 5 main steps that are extremely beneficial to ensure compliance and engagement with sustainability practices; permit, educate and engage, act, embed, and evaluate. The first step, permit, is important to establish support and permission from top leaders and management. Second, by educating employees of the newly established practices, they are more likely going to be willing and able to engage in eco-friendly practices. The most common ways to do this is to establish “green teams” among employees, volunteers to ensure compliance, social media, and awards or incentives for contributing to the effort. Next, each employee should have the knowledge and resources to be empowered to take action in the office, in their home, and elsewhere in the community. The fourth step is to embed sustainability efforts into the corporate culture. By doing this, sustainability should be mentioned in or involved in recruitment, operations, employee performance reviews, and product/service development. Finally, evaluate how you are doing. Gauge how all of your efforts are impacting the community and how well it has been integrated into the culture of the workplace. The goal of the 5 aforementioned steps is to really create a sustainable culture in a timely manner and realize the value of these efforts.

Read more at Green Business Times