Recycling Thermoformed Packaging

For good reason, retailers and companies are increasingly concerned with the re-usability of packaging. Using materials that can be recycled and reused is not only good for the environment, but a selling point to eco-conscious customers. Recycling thermoformed packaging is one reason Sunrise Packaging loves promoting our thermoforming processes, but not the only one.

We turned to the current industry analysis and trends on industrial thermoform packaging material market to find out why this style of customized inserts and packaging is rapidly increasing in popularity.

Reasons to Love Recycling Thermoformed Packaging

It’s good for the globe.

Recycling plastic leads to a robust second life for a variety of products (see what kinds of plastics can be recycled). With the majority of thermoformed materials meeting the requirements for recycling initiatives, it allows consumers to buy with confidence. On a grander scale, it reduces greenhouse gasses and pollution, as well as the waste filling up dumps and natural environments. 

It’s good for the consumer.

And in more ways than you might think. It takes less energy to make products from recycled plastic than it does using virgin materials. It saves on oil, which in turn makes more oil available for heating homes and other uses. That’s just one example of how recycling thermoformed packaging helps the collective and not just individuals.

It’s good for your organization.

Thermoforming has a lot of advantages. It’s ligthweight but solid. It’s environmentally-friendly while providing stiff storage for products. Additionally, more and more products require the versatility offered by custom plastic packaging. Wood and glass can’t promise a moisture-free, odor-free environment that also blocks light. Oh, and while keeping weight and shipping costs down. 

Upcycling For The Greater Good

Upcycling‘ is becoming an increasingly popular term to further clarify recycling. It means taking a product and reusing it for a new purpose. But in such a way that creates a product of higher quality or value. It’s not exactly a new idea–there must have been some inventive upcycling going on through the Great Depression, right?–but it’s gained traction in our eco-friendly society. 

Choosing packaging that can be re-purposed is more than just a fiscal decision. As people become more educated about making choices, trends show that the demand for recyclable packaging will grow. Get ahead of the game by working with Sunrise Packaging to create recyclable thermoformed packaging!

Retail Ready Packaging (RRP) and the Five Easies

plastic retail packaging, retail ready packaging, shelf ready packaging, customized thermoformed product packaging

 

It almost sounds like a rock band, doesn’t it? “RRP and the Five Easies.” In actuality, RRP stands for Retail Ready Packaging and it’s only about the biggest growing development in custom packaging marketing–and it’s still growing. Projections put RRP demand to increase by 70% in 2016. But RRP isn’t the new kid on the block: Smithers Pira Research reported a total market volume of 27 million tons–$54 billion worth–back in 2011 alone.

 

So what is Retail Ready Packaging?

 

Retail Ready Packaging (or Shelf Ready Packaging, SRP) is difficult to define. The ECR generalizes it as a “term used for mechanisms to merchandise product on shelf, on display, on retail store floor on its own base, or at aisle end.”

 

RRP and SRP might be more clearly defined by their guidelines, their motivating factors. Which is where the 5 Easies come in.

 

retail ready packaging, five easies, rrp guidelines

Image: Retail Ready Packaging Toolkit

 

Easy to Identify

 

Clear-cut, straightforward packaging is good for both consumer and staff alike. If your staff can tell what it is right from the box, they’ll be able to get it on the shelf faster while stocking. On the flip side, your customer will be able to get it off the shelf that much faster too.

 

Easy to Open

 

Ever struggle with a package or envelope? Seems like the more you want it, the harder it is to open. A corrugated box with perforations is one of the simplest solutions, able to tear open with ease. Even better if the overall packaging for the product can tear open into the display itself. Again, easy for the stocker as well as the consumer.

 

Easy to Shelf

 

Shelf Ready Packaging means the product is ready to be put on the shelf. Thus, your package design needs to ride the line between marketable and eye-catching, but also sturdy and secure. The right custom packaging can solve both of those issues and get your product to your buyer much quicker.

 

Easy to Shop

 

This relates back to “Easy to Identify”–the easier it is for a customer to know what they’re getting, the more likely they are to choose your product. Transparency in product via the packaging print. Making sure there are no roadblocks between the product and the hands of you potential customer.

 

Easy to Dispose

 

It’s the cold hard facts–eventually your Retail Ready Packaging will have served its purpose. At which point, it needs to “go on to a better place.” This plays a factor in deciding what material to use. Something easily recyclable is the best case scenario. However, this guideline isn’t just preaching an eco-friendly song, it also relates to easily identifying the recycling information. Is it recyclable? Is it made from recycled paper? What type of plastic is it? All of this should be taken into consideration in today’s market.

 

Bottom Line

 

When choosing your custom packaging, RRP needs to be at the forefront. There are a lot of hands on your product between you and your customers. The more confusing–or crushable–your Retail Ready Packaging, the longer the time is before they actually purchase it. And that lost time can mean lost dollars.
So remember: Easier for your stockers. Easier for your buyers. Easier for your wallet.

Thermoformed Plastic Clamshells

Clear plastic clamshells are a huge asset to retail packaging solutions. They offer security and visibility in one compact piece. Unique clamshells that are tailored specifically to product are often custom made with inline thermoforming manufacturing. Plastic material is roll-fed in to the former and takes shape of the Teflon coated aluminum tool that is being applied. Watch the YouTube video below to see how aluminum tooling is produced:

Starting in March 2014, we will start to offer a stock option for this useful and relevant packaging solution. Easy to order online or a simple phone call, stock plastic clamshells eliminate the need to invest in tooling which can incur initial cost. If product and graphic inserts fit into any of the options we have available, then stock clamshells are your best option. Economically sound, made from recycled material, and easy to open functionality make these clamshells a win-win packaging solution.

 

 

How2Recycle Label to Increase Recycling Awareness

The How2Recycle label you see on many products was developed to reduce consumer confusion around recycling in the U.S. To achieve this goal, The Sustainable Packaging Coalition created a clear and consistent recycling label that provided a corresponding informational website (how2recycle.info). This provided companies with an easy solution to conform to the Federal Trade Commission’s “Green Guides”. There are many other recycling labels and symbols that exist, but the How2Recycle label is the only one that communicates effectively across all material types giving explicit directions to consumers to influence their recycling behavior. If consumers are uncertain, the label also specifies when a component of the packaging in not recyclable. Watch out, because this label will be appearing on more and more brands. The How2Recycle Label will be appearing on products like Minute Maid, Clorox, and products from Best Buy. The soft launch of this label will run the first quarter of 2013 followed by full implementation taking into consideration feedback form the soft launch. It is expected that 20 additional participants will be added after the soft launch and the label will appear on the majority of consumer product packaging in the next three years.

Read more at Packaging Digest

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.


After Centuries, Bananas Finally Get Packaging

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?

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.

Mold Turns Eco-Friendly

Dell has become a company that is dedicated to finding green alternatives for their packaging. They have announced that they will be using mushrooms as part of their cushioning for their server packaging. The brilliance behind using mushrooms is they are grown, not manufactured. This allows less energy to be used to produce the packaging. Mushrooms are also more dense, meaning they can support the weight of Dell’s servers and they can be grown quickly. The end result is an eco-friendly alternative for packaging that consumers can compost. Dell has already experimented with bamboo packaging in 2009 and will combine it with the new mushroom based packaging.

The process of conducting such a sustainable creation for packaging is very interesting. It is a fairly short process, lasting between 5 and 10 days. It starts out using agricultural waste products, mainly cotton. The cotton hulls are placed in mold and then implanted with mushroom spawn. It then develops into a root structure of a mushroom. They have tested and retested this new development in sustainable packaging and will pilot run it with its PowerEdge 710 server. If this test is proven to be a success, they will expand the mushroom packaging to their other servers.

Dell has many goals in becoming a more sustainable company. They plan to eliminate 20 million pounds of packaging material by 2012 and make sure packaging is recyclable. They have made an extraordinary accomplishment by finding a green alternative for their packaging. Dell also keeps working hard everyday, looking for other ways to reduce their carbon footprint and be a more environmentally friendly company.

Compostable Packaging

Watch out Sun Chips, there is another chip manufacturer that is introducing compostable packaging. Boulder Canyon Natural Foods, a Colorado based snack food company, has put on their thinking caps and launched compostable packaging for its All Natural Kettle Cooked Potato Chips. The packaging contains more than 90% renewable material and has the same feel and sound of their standard packaging. When producing this new packaging, Boulder Canyon used a high barrier metalized film that is made from wood pulp. The printing on the chip packaging eliminates the need for spot colors, making this packaging compostable and recyclable.

Consumer interests are climbing in regards to eco-friendly options in packaging. This trend prompted Boulder Canyon to create compostable packaging and meet the needs of their consumers as well and fulfill their company values. They have goals in mind to expand the compostable packaging to other snacks and expand their brand.

Heinz Ketchup is Going Green

Heinz ketchup is stepping out of their shell and is making a change to their packaging. This will be their first change since 1983 when they began using plastic. The new change Heinz will be making is converting its packaging into the eco-friendly PlantBottle. This new packaging is a recyclable plastic bottle that is made from a combination of petroleum based and plant based materials. This was first introduced by Coca-Cola two years ago and they have announced their partnership with Heinz in hope it will revolutionize the entire food industry. This collaboration between Coco-Cola and Heinz shows how companies can work together and help each other become more eco-friendly.

Heinz Ketchup’s new eco-friendly packaging with be released in the United States this year, with the potential of expanding globally. Over 120 million of the new Heinz ketchup bottles will be released with a label saying “Guess What My Bottle Is Made Of?” They also have goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, solid waste, water consumption, and energy usage by at least 20%.