Green Packaging is a Pain in the Ass

I thought some of you might like to read the hassles we have gone through in our struggle to avoid using EPS and PE foam in our shipping cartons:

Someday somebody is going to start a green packaging supply company (with a modern website- every single wholesale packaging company in the US used the owner’s 16 year old kid to write their website) and completely own this market. I have burned way too much time on this, with fairly dismal results.

This is pretty cool though:

Nice read Scott!

It’s unfortunate but not surprising that it’s hard to find plastic alternatives, hopefully this only improves with demand and hard work by brave souls such as yourself.

I’ve increasingly noticed my purchasing decisions influenced by packaging bulk and content. I think there is a market for a small premium for less/green packaging.

Did you see the update from September where they figured out how to nix all the plastic? Pretty useful object lesson, and the results look great:

That is the way to do molded pulp!!

Another nice molded pulp package, and from a self-producing designer:

And while I’m at it, does anyone have any good sources for low volume (a few hundred pieces a year), large (about 36" square) molded pulp? I’d like to use some as inner packaging on an upcoming project, but I’m afraid the tooling cost will make it a non-starter.

used “green” molded pulp on the 2ners in 2002…pretty simple really.

What are the 2ners? Tunas?


2ner and 2nerxmitter

The Gist: Wireless World Of Sound
$49.95, $39.95

Most portable audio players with headphones fulfill the escapist desire for private enjoyment in public places: Crank the volume to 11, and you can tune in, turn on, and drop out completely. The wireless, water-resistant 2ners radio headset takes the opposite approach.

The unit’s “pods” sit near your ears and use free-air acoustics and bone-conductance technology to deliver surprisingly clear sound, while still letting in the ambient noise of the outside world. Avoiding the block-out effect means you can carry on a conversation while listening to inflammatory talk radio, or bicycle safely as you hum along with the latest Christina Aguilera Coke commercial. Advanced digital-scanning and phase lock loop (PLL) provide automatic fine-tuning and station-seeking with minimum static.

If FM radio isn’t your thing, the 2nerxmitter accessory will transmit sound from your Walkman or MP3 player to the 2ner pods - without wires, of course. The unit runs on a couple of small, rechargeable battery packs, which play for up to 10 hours. Two pairs are graciously provided along with each purchase.

But this post-iMac-looking gizmo has its drawbacks. The visible transistors and circuit boards make it none too sturdy. Molded plastic joints can catch strands of your hair, and it comes in only one size. On my head, positioning the ear pods properly meant that the band drooped in back and would fall off if I biked without a helmet or skied without a hat. And the small plastic hooks hanging from my ears and clasping my head were a tad uncomfortable.

Still, the pods’ combination of light weight and clean sound quality - a mere 1.5 ounces and a range of 40 to 20,000 Hz - made up for these defects. Revolutionary? Not quite. But 2ners provide an inexpensive wireless alternative to the usual earbuds and clamshells.

  • Tiffany Lee Brown

engio - thank you for that post! really

PULP is good when needing to skew the perception of consumers. in fact, pulp, and paper in general, requires much more energy to create, never mind the need to cut down trees. when it come to “paper vs plastic” plastic wins in every case…

What about packaging material that doesn’t require tooling for products that aren’t purchased by the consumer but the store itself? For example displayers and store fixtures where all they do is ship it to a store with some kind of instruction sheet and the pack out does not need to impress or connect with the consumer.

We manufacture custom low volume molded pulp inserts with a low cost onetime setup and 100 piece minimum

In shipping of many products plastic may have a upper hand as far as weight goes, but plastic is rarely properly recycled by users and municipalities alike, especially in the United States. Your “wins in every case” is pretty oversimplified. I’d argue that farther down the line plastic loses its weight+strength advantage pretty quickly when you factor in the fact that most municipalities are stockpiling or burning waste plastic due to eastern countries no longer accepting our contaminated plastic+little demand domestically up against production of pulp.