Biodegradable Plastics Made from Natural Resources

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed a new plastic capable of being thermoformed. The material is biodegradable and because of this, is best for disposable food packaging. To accomplish this development, the Agricultural Research Service incorporated biodegradable sugar beet pulp- the leftover residue from sugar extraction. They took this substance and incorporated it with a biodegradable polymer. The combination resulted in thermoplastic composites that retain mechanical properties similar to polystyrene and polypropylene which are extremely common plastics for thermoforming products. Processors of the sugar beet pulp produce tons of the substance annually, making it a viable, long-term product of agricultural business.

Source: Packaging Digest

Packaging Design Impacted by Increased Online Sales

With the rise in popularity of online shopping/purchasing, product packaging for retail and other items plays a whole new role for the consumer. Not only does the responsibility to catch the eye decrease, but there are newfound responsibilities that a shipped product’s packaging needs to uphold. Now, the post-purchase brand experience is much more critical in sustaining repeat business. A new study “Packaging in an online world” conducted by aTorontobased branding and design firm sought to understand how the development of online sales is making an impact on packaging design and construction. The study pointed out that once the purchase is completed, the role of packaging is drastically different. Now, the main purpose is not presentation but protection. The shipping package needs to ensure the safety of the product during shipping as well as be made of recyclable material. Making this package easy to open for the consumer is a huge bonus. Since the product is not on a shelf awaiting purchase, primary packaging no longer holds as much value. For shipped goods, reduce primary packaging to save costs; customers did not and will not rely on graphics to judge the value of the product. Instead of flashy graphics and catch phrases, use packaging approaches that create a strong link to the brand in meaningful ways that will make an impact post-purchase.

Source: PackWorld


The hands on a clock (hour, minute, and second).

Fully Compostable Coffee Packaging

A Canadian Coffee roasting company, Pistol & Burnes has released a new fully compostable packaging solution for its product. The package incorporates cellulose-based NatureFlex from Innovia Films. Most coffees are packaged in foils or paper bags with plastic liners that usually just end up in the land fill. The bag for the Farmer First brand by Pistol & Burnes is fully compostable in a home composting system. As a packaging solution, NatureFlex was the most eco-friendly choice as it is made from natural wood. Not only does this type of packaging withstand the wear and tear of manufacturing and transport, it also lives up to the brand identity of Fair Trade and their Farmer First organic brand name.


Source: Packaging Digest

3 Packaging Design Trends for 2012

What are some packaging design trends for 2012?

Look for 3 packaging design trends from 2011 to carryover into 2012 and become more prevalent.

Number 1:  Keep it simple. Industry specialists are moving towards packaging designs that are unambiguous, concise, and much more simplified, thereby providing consumers with greater clarity regarding product information. This trend is not new but is expected to become more and more prevalent in 2012.


Number 2:  Open innovation. This trend of mutual collaboration between supplier and designer is becoming key to packaging design success. It guarantees that the supplier has a clear understanding of what’s required from both parties, while exposing designers to new technologies – resulting in an improved end-product for client. Custom packaging can be a complicated process when communication isn’t open and the vision of the packaging isn’t shared by all parties. But when the supplier, designer, and client work together, custom packaging can become magical.


Number 3: Sustainable packaging. When ethics and ecological concerns are translated into green packaging, consumers associate a sense of well-being and security with the product and brand at hand. Biodegradability and nanotechnology are becoming hot trends in packaging designs in all industries. Look for that to accelerate during the 2012 calendar year.

Skincare Company Uses Bamboo for Eco-Friendly Packaging

One industry that has been slower to adapt to green packaging has been the cosmetic industry. Many cosmetic companies put the emphasis of elegance first when it comes to packaging. This posts focuses on a company who combines elegance with green packaging.

TAY’s Natural Skincare Products have a great eco-friendly packaging strategy using bamboo! Eight of their affordable skincare products are organically made and packaged in 100% bamboo and recycled PET plastic containers. The bamboo packaging really emphasizes the organic nature of this skincare line and communicates its importance to consumers. Because bamboo is used, the packaging is long-lasting and can be reused over and over again.

Mattel Shifts to Greener Packaging

Responding to a campaign by Greenpeace, toy giant Mattel announced Wednesday that it will stop buying paper and packaging from Asia Pulp and Paper. The environmental group has linked Asia Pulp and Paper to rain forest deforestation in Indonesia.

Going forward, Mattel will increase the amount of recycled and sustainable fiber used in its packaging and products. The move will focus on using post-consumer recycled content whenever possible and avoiding virgin fiber from controversial sources. The toy maker also said it intends to increase the amount of recycled paper it uses, and to increase the use of wood products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

By the end of 2011, 70 percent of Mattel’s paper packaging will be made from recycled material or sustainable fiber. It aims to raise that to 85 percent by the end of 2015.

Mattel’s earlier environmental changes included eliminating plastic-coated wire ties that used to be used to secure Barbie dolls and other goods to their boxes. That effort was spearheaded by Wal-Mart.

Indonesia has one of the fastest rates of forest destruction in the world. Indonesia’s rain forest, the largest in the world after those in the Amazon and the Congo, is home to orangutans, tigers, elephants, clouded leopards and scores of other endangered plants and animals. The Indonesian government estimates that nearly 2.5 million acres of rain forest is being lost every year, according to Greenpeace.

What Does the Future Hold for Paper and Packaging?

By 2015, paper use in magazines, newspapers, and books is expected to fall between 12 and 20 percent from 2010 levels. With the increased use of tablets nationwide, there is no surprise at this report. In 2010, tablets exploded onto the market where by the end of their first year, 15 million tablet computers were in use. North America alone accounted for 10 million and by 2015, that number is expected to grow to 200 million.

Some people out there thought that the newspaper industry would be a thing of the past by now. Where will it be in 2015- just three short years away?

As paper use falls, the packaging market will also see big changes. Environmentally friendly packaging growth is expected to really take off with degradable packaging experiencing the most demand growth. As manufacturing technology continues refine degradable packaging to expand its uses, the sky will be the limit. The development of degradable packaging has been slow as researchers are testing materials such as mushrooms, banana leaves, and coconuts.

Right now, recycled content packaging is the largest green packaging sector by far because it is far more developed. What will packaging look like in 2015?

More Evidence of Green Packaging Growth

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.

Pacific Perfumes Fuses Culture and Sustainability in Packaging

Pacific Perfumes of New Zealand creates solid perfumes that capture the essence of the South Pacific. Their perfumery takes special skill blending botanical essences of flower, wood, fruits and resin, producing unique fragrances. Perfumes from Pacific Perfumes have never been tested on animals and ingredients are all from the plant world.

Elegant perfume needs elegant packaging, sustainable packaging in this case. Pacific Perfumes went with a design by Mike Peters that ended up winning the HBA’s International Package Design Award (IPDA). Lets explore….

The perfume itself is packaged in a simple wooden pot that is compact and beautiful to touch. A clever snap-to-system carved in the wood keeps the lid secure. The wood is made from sustainable Beech sourced from certified sustainable New Zealand forests. For every tree that is logged, another one is planted in its place.

Another piece of sustainable Beech is used to hold the wooden pot of perfume inside of a recyclable paperboard box. It is also a little gift. The shape of a Nikau tree (Palm tree that is native to New Zealand only) pops out, as pictured, of the Beech perfume holder to further symbolize the culture of New Zealand.

The First Green Android Phone- Samsung Replenish

Introducing the first green Android phone- the Samsung Replenish from Sprint. Sprint has been in the forefront in recent years on establishing their eco-friendly corporate identity by offering green phones that feature green packaging as well as launching their Sprint Sustainability website.

34% of Samsung Replenish is made out of recycled material, even the packaging is green- made of recycled material. The Samsung Replenish comes in Artic blue, Onyx black and raspberry pink color and will cost you $49.99 after a $100 instant rebate, which you should be able to get without much trouble. There is a 2 year contract that comes along with the purchase of the eco friendly android phone.

The phone has a Micro USB charging port at the bottom, a power button and a headset jack at the top, volume rocker button on the left and has voice command plus camera shutter button to its right. The phone has a 2 Mega Pixel camera and a micro SD slot is located behind the back cover. Samsung replenish supports memory up to 32GB and is powered by Android 2.2 OS.

If you are someone who is eco conscious, you could by the optional back cover that has solar panels on it. With qwerty keyboard, packed with the power of android 2.2 and many other unique eco friendly features incorporated in the phone, the Samsung replenish is one of the cheapest and best eco friendly Sprint phones available in the market.