Green Packaging Round-Up

Packaging companies are jumping on the green bandwagon with new eco-friendly products that are priced competitively against traditional packaging products. What follows is just a sampling of some of the green offerings out there:

Conformer makes envelopes from milk jugs

Conformer Expansion Products, which makes eco-friendly marketing and mailing products, announced in June that its Conformer plastic expansion envelope is now available in a new version made with 75% post-consumer material — specifically, recycled milk jugs. The expandable envelopes are good for shipping large catalogs or bundles of other marketing materials, such as sales or media kits.

The manufacturing plant which makes the plastic expansion envelopes re-uses 90% of post-industrial materials for other jobs, and sells the remaining 10% for re-use in other plastic applications.

For an example of pricing, 300 of the 9 3/4″ x 12 1/4″ size plastic expansion envelopes cost $5.97 each. But the price drops when you buy in bulk: to $2.93 each when ordering 1,000, and $1.23 each when ordering 10,000. Adding one color adds about $1.00 to $2.00 to the cost of each piece, depending on the quantity ordered, while adding two colors is in the range of $2.00 to $3.00 extra per piece.

In the past few months, Conformer has introduced several new green products, including Forest Stewardship Council or FSC-certified paper envelopes, presentation folders and mailers, as well as paperboard mailers made from 85% post-consumer content.

Sealed Air’s new eco-friendly mailer

Sealed Air last month introduced The Yesterday’s News padded mailer, an “environmentally responsible” padded mailer that is part of the company’s Jiffy brand line of products.

The recyclable mailer, which is for shipping small parcels, gets its name from the recycled newspaper used to create its inner protective batting. The outer and inner kraft material is made from 100-percent recycled content. Sealed Air says it creates the traditional gold color used for most mailers without using dye.

The Yesterday’s News mailer can be recycled along with mixed paper such as magazines, directories and junk mail. The company says it allows for a decrease in bag weight and carton size compared to the traditional Jiffy padded mailer while still offering product protection.

A case of the mailers costs anywhere from $30 to $70, depending on the mailer size and quantity.

Pregis intros green bubble wrap

Protective packaging vendor Pregis Corp. has come out with Astro-Bubble Green, which it claims is the first bubble wrap to contain up to 40% recycled content (but no less than 30% recycled content).

Astro-Bubble Green is made from up to 20% post-consumer recycled content and up to 20% industrial scrap. The bubble wrap is dyed green to create visual cue that is an environmentally-conscious alternative.

The 1/2″ large economy bubble sells at about $50 per bundle at the wholesale level and at about $67 at the end-user level.

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