Posts Tagged ‘biodegradable’

Possible Restrictions of Polystyrene Foam Products in NYC

Wednesday, 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

Recycling Rates Rise Overseas

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

For the first time inEngland, local authorities report a substantial reaction to recycling efforts. Recycling has overtaken the landfill with 10.7 tons of waste recycled, composted or reused compared to the usual 9.6 tons being sent to general waste. Household recycling bins are collected every two weeks. The Runnymede Borough Council of Surrey has seen a tremendous response increasing from 29% to 47% recycling rate. West Oxfordshire District Council’s rate has risen to over 60%.

Source: UK Packaging News

Ecovative “Breaks it Down” with Mushrooms

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

The majority of packaging materials are made from polystyrene and other synthetics. These materials are made from petroleum and also use up a lot of energy in the production process. Although many Americans do not take this into consideration, Ecovative Designs is a company that takes this issue quite seriously. Ecovative is currently working to develop a line of environmentally friendly packaging materials. These materials are made from mushrooms and other agricultural byproducts. The company was founded by a pair of engineers. They are not only trying to replace the traditional styrofoam packaging “peanuts” but also home insulation and kitchen counters. Sue Van Hook, Ecovative’s resident mycologist, shows that mushrooms and other fungi that grow in the wild can be adapted to grow into packaging materials. In nature, fungi’s primary role is decomposition. Break down fallen leaves and twigs so they do not overrun the forest. Ecovative is working to capture this natural process. They need less than one square centimeter of organic material to jumpstart this process. Therefore, they clone the material so it can continue to multiply as needed. Ecovative also demonstrates their value to the packaging industry by comparing a piece of plastic trash to their mushroom-based materials. The plastic takes decades to decompose while Ecovative material will vanish in 3-4 months.

Read More- Watch The Video here

Biodegradable Foam Used in Packaging

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Companies have been using biodegradable foam to protect their electronics while being shipped. Northern custom packaging has made this possible.

“Plexus presented us with the challenge and opportunity to develop packaging that would not only protect the sensitive digital equipment but also do so in a cost-effective manner and with a positive environmental footprint,” says Great Northern Custom Packaging sales manager Dan Stubing.

Great Northern has taken this companies packaging needs and developed an outstanding solution. A custom package that combines the recyclability of Green Cell Foam® cornstarch-based protective packaging also meets all of the companies packaging requirements.

“Developing green packaging is something that is becoming desired in today’s packaging industry, but doing so in a cost-effective manner and without sacrificing high performance takes expertise,” says Stubing. “The packaging we developed for Echo360 shows Great Northern’s ability to meet all three requirements: price, planet, and performance.”

 

Source: packworld.com

 

Paper Wine Bottles Get Their Chance in the UK

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Soon, the first paper wine bottle will be released in the UK. That’s right, a paper wine bottle. The carbon footprint of a paper wine bottle is only 10% of a glass wine bottle, hence the appeal.

With the UK poised to run out of space for landfill within seven years, the bottle’s makers claim biodegradable packaging will become a paramount issue for both consumers and manufacturers. The paper wine bottle is compostable and decomposes in weeks. The wine bottles feature a similar bag to that found in wine boxes so the wine can keep longer.

Transportation costs of the paper wine bottle will also be greatly reduced. The paper wine bottle weighs only 55g compared with 500g for a glass wine bottle.

While paper wine bottles sound great in theory, there will be huge challenges. Venturing into the wine market is more adventurous. “How wine looks is incredibly important; it’s such an arcane business,” said Adam Lechmere, news editor at Decanter magazine. “Consumers don’t care so much about whether wine is green or not.”

Stay tuned to see if this form of wine packaging catches on.

More Evidence of Green Packaging Growth

Friday, August 26th, 2011

World demand for green packaging is expected to rise 5.7% per year to $212 billion in 2015. We’ve been tracking these projections for a couple of years now. Without becoming redundant, it should be noted that these growth numbers have been consistent. A lot of speculation rose over the green packaging market a few years ago that is was a passing fad. But surviving a terrible world economy is a tell tale sign that the demand is real.

This new growth projection for green packaging comes from a new study by the Freedonia Group. The study shows recycled-content packaging as being the largest product type by far. However, recycled-content packaging will see the slowest increases due to the maturity of products such as metal cans and glass containers. Reusable and degradable packaging will experience above-average growth with degradable packaging in particular seeing double digit annual growth rates. Though degradable packaging’s demand will increase significantly, it will only make up approximately 1% of the overall green packaging market by 2015.

The largest regional green packaging market in the world will remain Asia/Pacific at $79 billion because of its large food and beverage industries. Asia will see some of the fastest growth in India, China, and Indonesia. Other countries such as Russia, Turkey, Brazil, and Mexico will see healthy gains as well.

Accounting for 23% of the green packaging market in 2010, the US has the largest market share by a long shot. Other mature markets can be found in Germany as well as Japan though Japan’s growth is expected to slow down quite a bit.

Stay tuned…..although at this point we can predict the same type of story in the next study.

After Centuries, Bananas Finally Get Packaging

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

The history of the banana goes back centuries but the fruit has never had its own packaging. Maybe it’s because a banana doesn’t need packaging? The banana skin itself is strong and biodegradable but has now, after all these years, been deemed insufficient.

Del Monte has come up with their individual plastic wrappers as packaging for bananas. Many people think it’s completely unnecessary because bananas don’t need packaging and adding the plastic wrapper is wasteful. Del Monte however, says the plastic banana package features “Controlled ripening technology” which extends the shelf life of the fruit. Further, this technology could actually reduce the carbon footprint by cutting back the frequency of deliveries. Plus, it’s recyclable.

It’s a very interesting argument. Tell us what you think. Is this banana wrapper necessary or completely preposterous?

Organic Tea and Eco-Friendly Packaging

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Rishi Tea has introduced a new organic and caffeine-free herbal tea line that is using eco-friendly packaging. What makes this new line unique is that the new package design has a label that can be peeled off which will allow consumers to reuse and recycle the tins. Rishi Tea also promotes saving the environment through daily operations by reducing their waste, conserving energy, and reducing their ecological footprint. Some examples of how they do this include: printing all marketing materials on 100% post-consumer waste paper, composting used tealeaves, and using soy ink for labels.

Tea Forte is an award winning specialty tea company that is enjoyed worldwide. Recently they have also launched a new line of organic herbal teas. They decided to package their different kinds of teas in recyclable, air-tight EnviroTins. Each tins contains biodegradable full-leaf sachets made from GMO-free corn silk. They hope their new eco-friendly packaging will re-define the tea experience.

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.

Just Add Water

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Replenish, the creator of the patented, Reusable Bottle System, has designed a way to transform how cleaning products are packaged. This new invention consists of two components. The first one is the pod. The pod is full of a non toxic, safe for the environment liquid that is readily biodegradable and has a PH balance of neutral. The second component is the bottle. The bottle comes empty and the only requirement is that it gets filled with water.

How it works: First you attach the pod to the base of the bottle. It screws on like a garden hose. Then you flip it upside down and squeeze it. A built in measuring cup allows you to squeeze the right amount. Water is then added and the two mix together, resulting in your very own household cleaner. Every pod contains enough cleaner to make four full bottles of cleaning solution. Pods are sold separately, so when the pod runs out, simply replace it with a new one, without having to buy a whole new bottle.

60 billion pounds of plastic is discarded annually and only 7% is recycled. Replenish wants to cut back on that amount by creating packaging that can be reused and recycled. By mixing the Replenish pods at home, 90% less plastic and oil are being used. The bottle’s spray head is 100% recyclable and contains no metal springs and has been tested to last more than 10,000 trigger pulls. The plastic bottle is also eco-friendly and is made with 100% PET recyclable materials. The cleaner is also environmentally friendly in that the ingredients are 98% plant derived.