AT&T Announces Plant-based Plastic Packaging

Just two days ago, we wrote about Coca-Cola switching to plant-based packaging for their 500ml plastic bottles. The change was part of their green initiative to recover the equivalent of 100% of their packaging by 2020.

Now, AT&T has announced that they will be using plant-based packaging for their accessories. The new packaging will contain 30% plant-based materials sourced from sugarcane ethanol. This will make AT&T the first U.S.telecom to use sugarcane-based plastic for packaging. This integration will not completely eliminate plastic but will cut their fossil fuel use by a third compared to the old accessory packaging.

Already, AT&T has been making strides to reduce their environmental impact. In March of 2010, they slimmed down their accessory packaging which cut the use of 500+ tons of paper and plastic from packaging in 2010 and 2011. AT&T also uses soy and vegetable inks in packaging. The new plant-based accessory packaging will be available by October 2, 2011.

Coca-Cola Releases New Plant Bottle

Coca-Cola has made their vision clear of making all of their plastic bottles from plant-based materials and recycled plastic by 2020. Their latest development is rolling out new packaging for their 500ml drinks. The new PlantBottle packaging is made from 22.5% renewable plant-based PET and 25% recycled plastic. The reason these new bottles are more eco-frlendly is that they’ll reduce the company’s dependency on fossil fuels. They are being released today in the UK and can be identified with a PlantBottle logo.  More than 5 billion of Coke’s PlantBottles will be available in 20 countries by the end of 2011.

Coca-Cola is not new to the green movement. In fact, last year they won the Best Sponsor Activation award at the UK Festival Awards for their recycling program. Coke is committed to recover the equivalent of 100% of their packaging by 2020.

PepsiCo: Recyclable and Compostable

PepsiCo is at it once again to fulfill their overall environmental goal of becoming an eco-friendly company. PepsiCo has realized something very important, their beverages are not just packaged in cans and bottles, cups are another way that Pepsi products get distributed. Places like colleges, stadiums, theme parks, and eateries use cups to serve Pepsi beverages. Although cans are fully recyclable and they have created the Plant Bottle, PepsiCo now has another task to tackle.

So how did PepsiCo solve this problem? They realized the need for sustainable beverage packaging and used some innovation and creativity to create 5 different eco-friendly, compostable, and recyclable cups that they will issue to their U.S. food-service customers. They designed 100% recyclable clear plastic cups, compostable paper cups, and wax cups that are made from plant-based materials from sustainably managed forests.

PepsiCo has done a fantastic job at going green and meeting their sustainability goals. They work hard to come up with innovative ways to green their packaging. PepsiCo has taken initiative to realize that consumers want to be more eco-friendly and they want their packaging to be eco-friendly as well. They hope that other companies will realize this and come up with their own ways to be more sustainable companies and produce eco-friendly packaging.

PepsiCo’s Eco-Friendly Packaging

After seeing all the success Coca-Cola has had with their PlantBottle, PepsiCo has stepped up to the plate and has developed eco-friendly packaging for their pop. The green bottle they created is made entirely from fully renewable resources and significantly reduces its carbon footprint. The bottle is made from a combination of some materials you would never think could be put together to make a form of packaging. The raw materials include: switch grass, pine bark, and corn husks. Orange peels, potato peels, and oat hulls are on deck for materials to be used in the future.

This innovation from PepsiCo puts recycling up at a whole new level. The materials they are using to make the packaging are actually byproducts from its food business. So if you never believed that things could be recycled and reused to produce something else, there is now proof. The brilliance behind PepsiCo’s eco bottle is that they have combined biological and chemical processes to create a molecular structure that has the same look and feel of the standard bottle PepsiCo uses. The only difference is that the new bottle is fully recyclable and is made from environmentally friendly materials.

A pilot version of PepsiCo’s new packaging will be available in 2012. If successful, they will move directly into full production.

Moving Ahead With Greener Packaging

Companies are jumping on the green packaging bandwagon and are focusing on eco-friendly options. Green packaging is a win-win situation for these companies because it’s environmentally friendly and it provides cost savings by tossing out wasteful and outdated materials and techniques. Going green is about trying new things to help save the environment and that is exactly what companies are doing. They are experimenting and finding ways to reduce waste and harm on the environment by producing more sustainable packaging.

Walmart has been a leader in searching for greener packaging alternatives. Last year they pledged to eliminate all waste at its stores in 2025 by reducing, reusing, or recycling all materials.

Dell has been taking efforts to provide more eco-friendly packaging by trying out packaging materials made from bamboo. Bamboo replenishes itself quickly, making it a great resource for packaging.

Amazon has been thinking of ways to rethink traditional packaging. Colorful packaging was originally used for display boxes, with the intention to maximize the visual appeal, which is not necessary for online shopping. So Amazon started offering “frustration free packaging”, a program aimed at reducing shipping waste and difficult to open packaging. They work directly with manufacturers to ship products in hassle free boxes.

Other companies such as FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service offer shipping boxes made from recycled materials.

Companies are becoming more environmentally friendly when it comes to packaging and have taken different approaches to doing so. The world is full with ways to reduce waste and produce greener packaging.

Coconuts find a Second Life

Waco-based Whole Tree has been researching uses for coconut husks for wo years, and recently partnered with packaging firm Compadre to design and test different uses for coconut-based materials. In addition to creating packaging from the husks, the companies are also working to improve the lives of coconut farmers by providing more income for farmers by using the husks.

The company has developed a nonwoven process for combining coconut fiber with thermoplastic to create a strong, durable material that can be formed for packaging.

The packaging is primarily used for packaging that goes inside boxes, such as packaged electronics. They are still exploring possibilities for outer packaging.

Reusable Packaging: The Packaging is the Product

When we think of being “green” and environmentally-friendly, we think of the 3 R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle.  TreeHugger showed some ways that companies are offering reusable packaging in a new way, in which the packaging is actually a part of the product itself.

With this product, lite2go by knoend, the clear packaging is actually the lampshade for the lamp:

Repurposed Packaging Lampshade

This design, created by Tom Ballhatchet, utilizes the box that the TV is packaged in as a stand for the TV with shelves for your DVD cases or Blu-Ray cases:

Repurposed Packaging TV Stand

With this laptop in a bag, HP won Wal-Mart’s Reduced Packaging Award for its Pavilion dv6929.  Instead of coming in a box with styrofoam inserts, this laptop comes in a reusable messenger bag (made from recycled fabric) with a few plastic bags inside to hold the parts.  With this design, HP was able to reduce the conventional packaging by 97 percent:

Repurposed Packaging Laptop Bag

Steve Haslip designed the HangerPak, so that the packaging that holds the product can also be used for the product; the package transforms into a hanger for the t-shirt inside:

Repurposed Packaging Cardboard Hanger

Although I’m not too keen on the idea of sitting on a cardboard chair, I do give props to David Graas for coming up with a line of flat packaging that can be put together into furniture:

Repurposed Packaging Cardboard Chair

These are all examples of how companies are encouraging customers to reduce waste by reusing the packaging of their products for other purposes.  By doing this and recycling when you are finished, you can be on your way to being more eco-friendly.

Microsoft’s Windows 7 – Reducing Packaging Waste

Microsoft is rolling out their latest window’s upgrade. So, of course we were curious about the packaging and checked out the Windows Blog to see what they had to say. One of the challenges Microsoft was facing in designing its packaging was the stigma of the Vista packaging which almost needed dynamite to open it.

A quote from Microsoft about their packaging reveals, “We approached the packaging for Windows 7 the same way we approached the product – by listening to what our customers told us they wanted: make it a simple clean design, easy to open, and reduce waste.” So, rest assured, Microsoft listened and has improved the packaging.

Their theme is: Simple, Clean and Easy To Open…

Reduced Packaging Windows 7

Simple:
The graphics are clear and bold. They text font is larger and easier to read. Each version has its own distinct color which makes it easy to identify which version of the operating system you are picking up.

Clean:
The cover graphics are simple and minimal which gives the packaging a fresh and clean feel.

Easy To Open:
The upgrade disc comes in an easy opening, recyclable, frosty clear DVD style case. The case is shaped with the iconic curve on the upper right corner. For security reasons, there will be a seal on the top of the case which is claimed to be removable with little effort.

Reduced Packaging Windows 7 CaseReducing Waste:
So how green is it? The entire package is 37% lighter than previous packaging. They accomplished this by using less material to make the case. And the case is recyclable. In fact, the entire package consists of only 3 elements:

  1. The upgrade disc
  2. A “Getting Started” manual
  3. And the recyclable case

So, we give kudos to Windows for listening to consumers and giving them the packaging they want.

Green-Minded Consumers

Environmentally-conscious Consumers AppleMore and more we are hearing about companies “going green” and offering eco-friendly products.  There is a growing concern being shown for the environment, but is that one of the main factors shoppers are looking for Environmentally-conscious Consumers Statisticswhen making purchasing decisions?

GreenBiz pointed out that consumers are becoming very eco-conscious.  According to a study by Ipsos Marketing, consumers are tending to choose healthier food products with fresh ingredients and green packaging over products with more convenient packaging and food preparation.  They even scored higher than improving the taste of the food.  But taste should not be taken out of consideration.  Taste is key to food choice and to many, taste and fresh ingredients go hand in hand.

Deloitte, along with the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), also conducted a study of over 6,000 customers on how sustainability affects purchasing decisions.  They determined that a substantial amount of consumers take social and environmental benefits into serious consideration when choosing a product.

What does this mean for you?  Clearly green packaging is deciding factor in purchasing decisions, and environmental concerns are not going away.  So if you want to stay on top of the market by paying attention to consumers’ concerns and help the environment, try using green packaging.

Wrap Without Waste

environmentally-friendly gift wrapWith growing environmental concerns, we are constantly hearing the phrase, “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” This is especially apparent with shopping bags and wasted wrapping. According to a study by the Clean Air Council, the United States generates an extra five million tons of waste in the winter holiday months, four of which come from gift wrapping, gift bags, and shopping bags. That is an enormous amount of waste that could be reduced by using reusable materials.

If you are looking to help the environment and reduce waste from gift wrapping, we found the BOBO Wrapping Scarf online, which can do both for you. Not only are these wrapping scarves classy and fashionable, but they are also good for the environment. They are reusable and typically made from already existing fabrics, rather than wasting and using raw materials. I thought this wrapping scarf was a great green alternative to gift wrapping. It is reusable, durable, and stylish. eco-friendly cloth bag

When you think about packaging any of your products, think of a reusable package that will last. At Sunrise, we make durable packaging, which you will not have to replace nearly as often, so you can help reduce waste. Many of our products are also made from recyclable, biodegradable or recycled materials, and we recycle all of our excess materials. So get out there, do your part to reduce waste, and help our environment.

Greenhouse environmental management – the green house provides businesses with tailored waste management programs to minimize their waste output and costs.