Scotch Magic Tape Turns Eco-Friendly

Founded in 1902, 3M has grown into a billion dollar company by producing countless successful products. Their imaginative and innovative ideas has allowed them to give the world products we know and love. 3M is also committed to managing their environmental footprint by developing solutions that address environmental challenges and creating an overall sustainable company. They have recently turned one of their classic inventions green in an effort to produce more eco-friendly products.

Scotch Magic tape was created in 1961 and still continues to make its mark in offices, homes, and schools. Now the magic in Scotch Magic Tape is its new eco-friendly qualities. The new tape is made from more than 75% renewable and recycled materials. Its packaging is also made from more than 65% renewable and recycled materials. 3M knows its users are looking for ways to lessen their impact on the environment, which is why they were excited by the launch of this new eco-friendly product. They also have other projects in the works to transform their products into more sustainable versions.

Hello My Name is…..

Identification tags are no longer the well known, generic “hello my name is” sticker. Instead, ID tags are taking on a new look and identity. Now they come in a variety of shapes and styles to suit each individual business need. Tags can be plain or creative, colorful or standard. The options are endless. They can also be customized to fit the needs of the business in a price range they can afford.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when considering to purchase identification tags for your business:

1. Create custom ID tags: Custom ID tags allows a business to be unique and express themselves. Whether the tags are used for a business expo or for general business purposes, creating a custom design will allow a business to add their personality to the tags.

2. Buy eco-friendly ID tags: Identification tag products can be made of recycled materials. This is a great way to promote environmental awareness and sustainability in a business. Identification tags are normally petroleum based, but by using tags that are made from recycled materials, there is less reliance on oil. Tags also have the option of being printed with soy-based inks, which bio-degrades easier than standard inks. Recycled tags also provide increased card durability, so they will last longer.

3. Use security ID tags: Security ID tags help protect your business, employees, and even customers. They range from holographic to magnetic stripe. Normally the size of credit cards, these tags can be carried in a wallet or on a strap clip. They can also be personalized with an ID photo.

Efficient Packaging Saves Money

We all know slimmer packaging equals less packaging waste and an effective way to reduce your carbon footprint.  But did you know that efficient packaging can also save money?

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer saved $3.5 million in transportation costs last holiday season because of efficent packaging for toys.  The company used slimmer packaging by reducing one-inch in the cardboard for individual toys going from Asian countries to the United States.  The reduction resulted in 727 fewer ocean containers, which also saved 1,300 barrels of oil.

What can we learn from Wal-Mart’s packaging solutions? As we take a step  in improving our environment through packaging, we can also recognize other benefits.  You can follow Wal-Mart’s lead with your own sustainable packaging.  There are many solutions to save money with efficient packaging apart from size.  Packaging materials can be reused for other packaging needs or used for creative innovations.  Instead of buying more packaging, save your money and use what you have.

For more ideas and tips about efficient packaging visit Sunrise Packaging’s green center!

Do RFID Tags on Products/Packaging Affect Recycling?

radio-frequency-identification-RFID-tags-harm-recyclingRadio-Frequency Identification, or RFID tags, are very helpful for automatic store checkout, simplifying warehousing, and preventing theft.  Some say RFID tags may even completely replace the barcode, which is most commonly used today.  They are able to store more information on minimal space and can be read quickly by readers.  Although RFID tags are very helpful for these purposes, The Blog of Packaging pointed out that RFID tags could interfere with recycling.

The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) performed a study that showed when melting waste glass, it could become less shatterproof or discolored if the recycled glass contains trace amounts of aluminum and silicon from RFID tags.

Something needs to be done to make RFID tags more eco-friendly, such as making them metal-free, easily removable, or stuck to the bottle labels instead of the glass.  Otherwise many losses will be seen from not being able to recycle these materials, which would increase the input of extraneous materials needed.

Added Value From Packaging

Packaging can create value for consumers. Yes, the box a product comes in is designed to keep the product clean and prevent it from getting broken during transportation from where the product is made to the place it is finally removed from its packaging.

However, a box can do so much more:

  • It can be designed to enhance the consumer’s first experience of the product. (Like wrapping presents in pretty paper during the Holidays)
  • The packaging can (and should) show off the product and demonstrate how it benefits the consumer.
  • The packaging can be designed to be used over again after the product has been removed either for the product itself or for another use.
  • The material that makes the box can do something special like be impregnated with flower or grass seeds so that it beautifies the environment after disposal.

Take the new “green” pizza box company that launched in October. ECO Inc., a maker of environmentally friendly and multifunctional packaging, introduced its product Greenbox. The Greenbox is a pizza box made from 100 percent recycled material that also breaks down into serving plates and a storage container for leftover pizza.

The Greenbox promotes less waste and reusable packaging material, while serving as a convenient product for consumers.

Like the Greenbox, when a new product comes to market, the packaging it comes in will influence its success. A great product in a plain brown paper bag will be overlooked every time.

Be sure to work with a packaging company that can help you create custom packaging that stands out, makes consumers feel good about their purchases when they open the box, and is environmentally friendly or reusable. Check out our green packaging options at Sunrise Packaging.

2009 Greener Package Awards

With the growing concern for sustainable packaging, Greener Package decided to recognize the green efforts of companies moving in the right direction with environmentally-friendly innovations.  The winners come from a range of different industries, including food, pharmaceutical, personal care, and household care.  Here is the list they came up with:

Greener Package Award

  • sustainable-packaging-awards-greener-2009Entropy Solutions–Greenbox thermal management (Winner of Innovator of the Year)
  • Estee Lauder–Aveda Vintage Clove Shampoo & cap collection program
  • Bryce Corporation–SunChips bag from 33% PLA
  • Robbie Mfg.–Hot N Handy Bio-Pouch
  • ConAgra-rPET in CPET trays for Healthy Choice
  • Ampac–Patch Perfect
  • Rexam PLC–rPET in APET drug ovals
  • Unisource Worldwide–recycled toys with 100% recyclable packaging

sustainable-packaging-awards-greener-winners-2009

Retail Leadership Award

Clean Manufacturing Award

All of these companies are setting the mark for their competition.  If they want to stay in the game, they must follow suit with their green efforts, or go above and beyond, because eco-friendly packaging is here to stay.

Set Goals and Measure Your Environmental Progress

If you’re like most people, you keep hearing about companies going green to both please customers and help the environment.  It can be overwhelming to try to manage your company’s green efforts if you don’t have much experience, but even small steps towards becoming more environmentally-friendly can help.  That is why it is important to set goals for yourself and your company that you can achieve.

I found some tips and goals to benchmark your environmental progress from the marketing magazine, Deliver, that can help your company in its start to become more eco-friendly:

Paper Procurement & Use

think-green-environmental-progress-goals

  • Increase wood/paper purchases from recognized forest certification programs (by X percent by X year).
  • Indicate use of suppliers affiliated with sustainable forestry practices that protect forest ecosystems and biodiversity as well as provide the wood and paper products our company needs.
  • Increase purchase of environmentally preferable paper used for marketing pieces, product packaging, and/or internal consumption (by X percent by X year).
List Hygiene & Data Management
  • Reduce unwanted and duplicate mailings and provide greater choice regarding opt out and/or subject matter of mailings to customers (by X year).
Mail Design & Production
  • Reduce waste allowances and in-process waste when designing and printing (by X percent by X year).
  • Calculate total waste reduction occurred through a lowering of waste allowances.
Packaging
  • Increase purchases of environmentally preferable packaging (by X percent by X year).
  • Use recyclable packaging in (X percent/the majority of/all) shipments, imprinted with recycling information for customers (by X year).
Recycling & Pollution Reduction

recycle-environmental-progress-goals

  • Increase purchases of office papers, packing and packaging materials made from recycled materials with post-consumer content wherever feasible (by X percent by X year).
  • Use (X percent) post-consumer content recycled materials in all production (by X year).
  • Collect and recycle (X percent) of all discarded office paper (by X year).
  • Calculate your organization’s total carbon footprint (incorporating suppliers and customer as well as internal operations).
  • Reduce unnecessary/excess paper use for external and internal communications (by X percent by X year).

Zero Waste Week 2009

I recently came across a site for Zero Waste Week, which started on Monday and concludes this Sunday. All week long, people across the world have been making small changes in their lives to eliminate or reduce their amount of waste. By coming together and taking these small steps, we can reduce the amount of waste thrown into the landfills and become more environmentally-responsible.Going-Green-Zero-Waste-Week-Environmentally-Friendly

Last year, they offered prizes and incentives for people who participated, but this year, they wanted to try something different. There are no incentives, because they want people to want to help the environment by reducing the amount of waste generated and sent to the landfills. This way, they hope for people to continue in their efforts long after Zero Waste Week is over, rather than just doing it now for a prize.

You can reduce waste by using durable, reusable packaging or by making sure that it is recyclable and made from recycled materials. We can all work on doing our part to reduce waste and help the environment. Have any ideas to reduce waste even more? Let us know!

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

It seems like now, more than ever, people are paying attention to the environment, and they are showing this by recycling and choosing more eco-friendly options.  Reduce, reuse, and recycle.  This is what some artists are doing by making a living selling art that they made out of waste.

Anouk Zijlma showed off some great pieces of recycled art she purchased while visiting Cape Town, South Africa.  There were a variety of different objects made from soda cans, plastic bottles, barbed wire, chip bags, bottle caps, metal scraps, etc.  These pieces of art make great souvenirs, and they all work, even the radio and the pen!

Radio with casing made from beer cans, bottle caps, and wire. © Michael Daecher

Radio with casing made from beer cans, bottle caps, and wire. © Michael Daecher

Flower pen made from soda cans. © Michael Daecher

Flower pen made from soda cans. © Michael Daecher

Toy guitar made from soda cans and wire. © Michael Daecher

Toy guitar made from soda cans and wire. © Michael Daecher

Angel made from soda cans, steel wool, and wire. © Michael Daecher

Angel made from soda cans, steel wool, and wire. © Michael Daecher

Car made from soda cans, plastic bottles, bottle tops, and wire. © Michael Daecher

Car made from soda cans, plastic bottles, bottle tops, and wire. © Michael Daecher

Cow made from plastic can and bottle tops. © Michael Daecher

Cow made from plastic can and bottle tops. © Michael Daecher

Toy motorbike made from soda cans, barbed wire, spray can tops (wheels), and plastic tubing. © Michael Daecher

Toy motorbike made from soda cans, barbed wire, spray can tops (wheels), and plastic tubing. © Michael Daecher

Crocodile made from insect repellent can. © Michael Daecher

Crocodile made from insect repellent can. © Michael Daecher

Placemat made from chip bags, sticks, and black thread. © Michael Daecher

Placemat made from chip bags, sticks, and black thread. © Michael Daecher

Flower made from soda cans and barbed wire. © Michael Daecher

Flower made from soda cans and barbed wire. © Michael Daecher

Not only do these pieces of art help reduce waste, but they make great souvenirs.  Since she bought these in South Africa, the waste used can remind her of her trip and the brands of food and drinks that were available there.  By reusing and recycling these materials, less waste is being generated, which is better for the environment.  Give one as a creative gift and show that you know what it means to recycle.

Like you need another reason to go green…

We decided to continue on our “green” theme, since today is Arbor Day.  This time, with reasons to go green.  The environmental, social and political reasons to go green are very real and valid. By making environmentally friendly choices you can reduce carbon emissions, reduce energy waste, make more efficient use of resources and reducegreen environmentally-friendly recycling earth the amount of waste and pollution that is damaging our environment. This is the most important reason to go green and this is the information that proliferates in the media landscape. With all the focus on the environmental reasons to go green, you may have missed the business-savvy reasons to go green, a complimentary perk to environmentally-savvy intentions. The following are the top three reasons for small businesses (or any business for that matter) to go green:

  1. “Save on costs”: Through buying fewer materials, creating lighter products and utilizing other green business methods you retain more savings for you and your business by cutting down on purchasing, energy, and transportation costs.
  2. “Establish a reputation for ethical business practices”: Going green is good PR. Polishing your image through green business practices can improve your reputation in the eyes of stakeholders, including current and potential customers.
  3. “Take advantage of green marketing benefits”: If you haven’t noticed, “green” has been a marketing buzzword and a powerful message and trend that your business can capitalize on if you are truly participating in “green” business practices. Going green can help you to truly grow your business.*

Going green may be intimidating at first,eco-friendly binders cardboard but there are a lot of small things that you can do to get started and changing the way that products are packaged can be a great first step because results can easily be seen and measured.

Lighter packaging reduces the amount of space that is necessary for transportation and also reduced weight, creating fewer emissions, and less money spent on gas and shipping. Packaging can also be created with biodegradable, recyclable or recycled materials, making it easy to go green without changing your packaging too dramatically.

*These top three reasons for businesses to go green were inspired by http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/entdev/article.php/11070_3753086_2