Posts Tagged ‘eco-friendly’

Partnership to Develop Bio-based Adhesives for the Packaging Industry

Wednesday, 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

Wednesday, 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

Sustainable Packaging curriculum gives insight to decision makers

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

The Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a project of GreenBlue offers a comprehensive curriculum introducing sustainability considerations for packaging called the Essentials of Sustainable Packaging. The program offers insight into the entire packaging life cycle: material sourcing, packaging design, manufacturing, transportation and the final disposal of the product. Corporate decision makers that attend will learn how a holistic view of sustainability can apply to all of their daily operations. Attendees will learn about the following categories: sustainability and balancing tradeoffs, tools for measuring and reporting sustainability, sourcing and recovering materials, communicating initiatives for sustainability, and finally understanding environmental and human health impacts. The Essentials of Sustainable Packaging have been attended by hundreds of professionals  from leading companies, government agencies, non-profit organizations and educational institutions.

Read more about the Sustainable Packaging Coalition

Living Green: Is it worth it?

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

In theory, living green is an ideal situation for everyone and the environment. However, as we research and look into “green” solutions, we realize that the greener we live, the less green there will be in our wallets. The price of renewable energy systems has been debated many times leaving us wondering- is it really worth it? While renewable energy systems have changed and come a long way in the past decade, the prices are still fairly steep. Another drawback to renewable energy solutions is the toll it actually takes on the environment. For example, animal rights organizations claiming that wind turbines are damaging to bird populations. Another example is corn-based ethanol farms, that are not only spendy but we may be missing out on income from crop that could be growing in that area instead. While we strive to be more eco-conscious in our business and production endeavors, the installation of these solutions currently use huge amounts of finite resources. The irony of using enormous amounts of energy in order to save energy in the long run is a barrier that is increasingly difficult to cross. Only in the future will we see a return on our eco-investment.

A Creative Way to Reuse DVD Cases

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

The cheapest and most beneficial way to be more sustainable and eco-friendly is by reusing products and their packaging for things other than their intended use. Just like the young couple that used jewel CD cases as simple picture frames, one 4th grade teacher writes in her blog about a simple way to reuse DVD cases. Not only did this purpose extend the life of a once wasted product, but it saved her a lot of money in her first year of teaching. This first year 4th grade teacher wanted to use individual dry-erase boards for activities in class, but couldn’t afford to purchase one for every student. That’s when her sister gave her the idea to reuse old DVD cases as white boards by turning the printed insert inside out. The clear overlay allows for any dry erase marker to be easily wiped away. The teacher asked all of her students to each bring in an old DVD case which, let’s be honest, we all have a DVD case we don’t use anymore. Each student was able to choose their favorite colored construction paper insert to make the board more colorful and fun. The end result; a cheap (practically free) dry erase board for each of her students, and since they were DVD cases, the students were able to store whatever papers or extra inserts they needed for class activities.

 

read more of this teacher’s blog

GreenBlue Appoints Nina Goodrich Executive Director

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

GreenBlue is a nonprofit that equips businesses with the science and resources to make their products and packaging more sustainable. The organization is excited to announce that the GreenBlue Board of Directors has appointed Nina Goodrich as the Executive Director. Along with the newfound responsibilities, Goodrich will continue in her current role as the Program Director for the GreenBlue flagship project, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. The Board is thrilled that Goodrich is taking on this role and looking forward to the expertise and innovation she has to bring to the table. Nina Goodrich is an internationally recognized leader who has specialized in sustainability, innovation, and organizational development. She was previously Program Director for PAC NEXT inTorontowhich is an initiative of the Packaging Association that strives toward a “world without packaging waste”. Goodrich is working towards a world where business leaders are environmentally conscious- where products are design with sustainability in mind from the get-go. GreenBlue has earned a scientifically credible reputation through successful projects such as SPC, CleanGredients, the Forest Products Working Group, and Advisory Services. Nina Goodrich sees the new position as an opportunity to work towards the GreenBlue vision of making products more sustainable and share the vision of developing sustainable strategies in the production process.

Source: GreenBlue

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

Fast Food Gets Eco-Friendly

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

In the late 1980s, McDonald’s, the iconic American restaurant chain, was facing mounting pressure for their ubiquitous Polystyrene packaging that housed the fast food giant’s burgers and sandwiches. Seeing an opportunity to do right, McDonald’s partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund to clean up their packaging act. Today, McDonald’s continues to work with EDF to find ways to lighten the packaging load. The report (pdf), “Greening Fast Food Packaging: A Roadmap to Best Practices,” published by North Carolina-based environmental group, the Dogwood Alliance, identifies a framework for evaluating packaging sustainability, highlights examples of industry best practices and offers guidelines for improving sustainability in packaging. The report highlights several positive steps fast food restaurants have taken to improve sustainability in packaging, from Quizos’ embracing of recycled materials to Subway’s unprecedented national in-store recycling program.

 

Source: Earth &Industry

Herman Miller Awarded for Sustainable Solutions

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

At PACK EXPO in Chicago, Herman Miller was announced the first winner of the Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award. They won this award with their use of reusable packaging for their shipping and handling of a component of a chair for and assembly line. This adaptation saved the company $46,000 annually in material and labor. Herman Miller has been utilizing sustainable packaging solutions within the company for over 20 years and is actively exploring these eco-friendly alternatives that saves them money and more importantly, the environment. The part was being shipped into Herman Miller Greenhouse in corrugated boxes that would be re-used several times before being recycled.

 

 

 

By switching to the reusable solution, the company has gained the following measurable outcomes:
• Saved 63 minutes per day in handling of the parts; this equates yearly to 266 hours
• Using 4,300 fewer boxes saving 24,645 pounds of corrugated per year
• Achieved a combined material and labor saving of $46,000
• Eliminated the need for two warehouse skid locations
• Eliminated movement of heavy boxes from skid to roller conveyor by a material handler, and eliminated need to cut them open with a knife
• Eliminated handling of boxes by part supplier

Paperboard Packaging Awards 2012

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

143 entries from 34 Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) members were honored in a special awards ceremony at PPC’s Fall Meeting and Leadership Conference on October 18, 2012 in Las Vegas. All entries in the General category were first evaluated by considering the package’s development objectives and the types of materials used. The judges then considered the success of each entry’s structural design and how well the printing and converting processes helped achieve the stated objectives. The judges also measured the package’s impact on production, manufacturing, distribution, storage, and warehousing; economics, brand enhancement, and marketing. Finally the package’s impact on the retail store shelf was carefully considered. For 2012, the top Paperboard Package of the Year award was presented to Graphic Packaging International for their new package design for the ten count CapriSun carton for Kraft Foods. The Eco Award went to Beresford Box Co., Inc. for their “Lids-in-Motion” cup for Cup Techniques Ltd. This eco-friendly disposable cup features a paperboard lid that for the first time eliminates the need for plastic lids.

 

 

 

Learn more at PackagingDigest