Noteworthy items gleaned from the world news

On September 4 and 5, the Michigan State University School of Packaging will present an update on the current issues in reusable packaging for supply chains. This update will explore the costs, benefits, and relationships involved in a successful reusable container system.

  • Topics will include:
  • The Business Value of Supply Chains
  • Costs and Value of Reusable versus Expendable Shipping Containers
  • Return on Investment of Reusable Packaging
  • The Sustainability Argument for Reusable Packaging
  • The Contribution of Reusable Shipping Containers to Sustainable Communities
  • Reverse Logistics Options

An Exhibit Center will provide an opportunity to meet with suppliers of a range of products and services for reusable packaging applications. Read more...

  • The first meeting for the Future for Sustainable Packaging: 2008-2018 Consortium was recently held at DuPont in Wilmington, DE. Senior leaders across the value chain participated in the day long session. The next meeting will take place late July and will focus on transforming insights into actions, including new scenario development, key sustainable packaging drivers, global thought leader survey insights, and more. The final meeting will be held in November and will include three-, five-, and 10-year sustainable packaging strategies and roadmaps across the value chain. This program still has room for a few additional sponsor companies; contact Todd at Todd@pti-solutions.com or 800/875-0912 for additional information.
  • In June, leaders in the dairy industry announced a commitment and action plan to reduce fluid milk's carbon footprint while increasing business value from farm to consumer. One recommendation was to stimulate development of low-cost, low-carbon, consumer-acceptable packaging.
  • At PACK EXPO in November, Betsy Cohen, vice president of sustainability at Nestlé, will deliver a keynote address entitled, "More Safety versus Less Material? Where Does Packaging Go?" Cohen will discuss the challenges, conflicts, and competing values packaging professionals must balance every day. Glenn A. Wright, commercial vice president, North American Basic Plastics at The Dow Chemical Company, will deliver a keynote presentation entitled "Packaging—Elemental to a Sustainable Future."
  • Netherlands-based PaperFoam will be supplying trays made of foamed paper and potato starch for packing the new Apple iPhone 3G. The company claims a carbon footprint reduction of 90% compared to plastic trays. The PaperFoam product consists of 100% renewable and recyclable materials and can replace plastic in such applications as DVD and CD jewel cases. Read more...
  • Cosmetics firm Mary Kay announced in June its Mary Kay Compact Recycling Drive to coincide with the launch of its new eco-friendly Mary Kay Compact, featuring an innovative refill system that may eliminate 60 million units of packaging. The company estimates the program also has the potential to cut more than 60,000 tons of carbon emissions. For every compact returned, Mary Kay will plant a tree in the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana and Idaho through a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and under the direction of the U.S. Forest Service.
  • Cereplast, Inc., a manufacturer of proprietary bio-based, sustainable plastics, announced that products made from Cereplast Compostable resins meet new federal procurement guidelines for bio-based content enacted June 13 by the United States Department of Agriculture. Companies using these resins can be listed on the USDA "BioPreferred" website. "BioPreferred" products are given preference by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the purchasing agent responsible for buying products supplied to various federal agencies.
  • Olympic Wire and Equipment is now offering a polystyrene densifier. This machine compacts expanded polystyrene (EPS) into high-density bales for efficient shipping and resale. The polystyrene densifier compresses EPS material, expelling inert gas and resulting in a product compacted to 1/50th of its original size. The machine can process approximately 440 lb of EPS/hr into blocks of 14.5 inch by 14.5 inch. The dense material weighs 19 lb/cu ft. Read more...
  • Closed Loop Recycling (CLR) announced it has opened a plant in London that recycles plastic soft drink and milk bottles back into useful packaging. CLR will take 35,000 tons of recovered plastic bottles, including milk and soft drink bottles, and turn them back into recycled raw material for new food and drink packaging. Early customers for recycled food grade plastic from the plant include Coca-Cola Enterprises, Marks & Spencer, Nampak Plastics Europe, and Solo Cup (Europe). Read more...
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