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Microsoft pack wins EPA design challenge

A new shipping package that looks like an envelope and protects like a box won the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cradle-to-Cradle E-Commerce Package Design Challenge, announced at the recent Pack Expo Las Vegas show in October.

Pw 13756 We Bevelope

Called the Bevelope, the patented package was developed by the Allen Schluger Co. and has been tested over the last few months by Microsoft for direct-to-consumer e-commerce orders containing software CDs and DVDs.

The Bevelope is a chipboard envelope with a series of scores that produce ‘bevels’ that expand just enough to accommodate products of different thicknesses, such as books, DVD cases, or videotapes.

The judges felt the Bevelope, made of 100% post-consumer-recycled content, is more recyclable because there is no internal packaging or voidfill as in a padded envelope that would introduce commingled materials. The Bevelope is also made with environmentally friendly glues and inks, according to Scott Ballantine who is a member of Microsoft’s packaging engineering management team.

The package is manufactured for Microsoft by Shorewood Packaging under license from Allen Schluger Co. All three parties worked together to perfect the package for Microsoft’s application.

As for cost, Ballantine says, "We’re not paying more," compared to standard padded mailers. He says that Microsoft plans to expand its use of the package globally.

McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC), which co-sponsored the design challenge, posted all the winners on its Web site at www.mdbc.com/challenge.

For more on cradle-to-cradle package design, see: packworld.com/go/w096

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