Sustainability News Digest

-Noteworthy Items Gleaned From World News-

The Wharton School published a thoughtful article in February on the impact of going green to an organization’s bottom line. One of the conclusions: “While many top executives may be focused on the big picture of improving a corporation’s environmental record, front-line managers need new incentives to take actions because they are usually judged on their quarterly results.”

Check out the information on he Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership Webpage. The agency encourages organizations to purchase green power as a way to reduce environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. You might spark a few green ideas from a visit to the site.

WEA Corporation, the U.S. sales and distribution company of Warner Music Group, announced that all of its standard CD and DVD products in the U.S. will use ecologically-enhanced paper packaging by the end of March. Some of the important requirements for the new paper include the use of post-consumer recycled fibers, no virgin fibers harvested from any endangered forest, and a prohibition against paper manufactured with pulping caustic that contains mercury, a neurotoxin. Stora Enso provides the coated paper stock.

The French plastics packaging and film industries trade association CSEMP announced an increase of 2.4% in sales in 2006 to €5.375bn and slightly greater volume growth of 2.6% to 2.047m tons in 2006. Bioplastics play an increasingly important role, but CSEMP says that margins must improve so that both large and small companies can continue to invest in developing these new technologies.

Curtis Packaging, and Schawk, Inc., will share ideas and gain insights from some of the top corporate leaders in sustainable practices — Kraft Foods, Starbucks, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Nike, and others — as new members of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. Details on membership can be found at

The Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City,, offers a new course to introduce the next generation of packaging designers to the environmental and social issues relating to sustainable packaging. Write Marianne Klimchuk for information on the program.

Product Digest

Avery Packaging offers the “first sustainable reusable transport package.” The structured technology is temperature, liquid, stain, scratch, and bacteria resistant, resulting in “better sanitation and safety programs.” The three year amortized savings is “up to 50 percent compared to corrugated shippers.” Video of a fruit and vegetable application and system specifications are available on the company’s website.

Roplast Industries Inc. sells a compostable, biodegradable, and reusable plastic grocery bag. The new development is in response to San Francisco’s Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance, requiring grocery stores to offer only compostable plastic bags or recyclable paper bags to its customers at checkout.

One hundred percent bio-degradable, compostable, and recyclable tableware and food packaging — plates, boxes, bowls, and trays — are available from StalkMarket. The tableware is made from sugar cane fiber.

Amcor Flexibles was granted the exclusive sales license from Rockwell Solutions Limited to market Rockwell’s Sustainable Peelable PLA film for the global fresh produce market.

Wine in a box — or an ePod — is a new packaging idea similar to the boxes of soy milk from Tetra Pak. The packaging is sustainable and able to retain the wine’s quality.

UK-based Vernique Biotect says a natural oil from Ethiopia's Vernonia plant provides food and drink processors with a safe and sustainable substitute for petrochemical based epoxy resins.

Excel-Aire offers Bio-Bubble, a “100 percent degradable bubble packaging that turns to water, CO2, and harmless biomass through an oxo-biodegradable additive process.”

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