Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Packaging Sustainability

A new book hit the shelves this week called "Packaging Sustainability: Tools Systems and Strategies for Innovative Package Design." The book is from Wiley Press and is edited by Wendy Jedlicka of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Sustainable Design Certificate Program.

The classic role of packaging is to "Protect, Inform, and Sell." Today, packaging must do all that — but with minimal eco-impact. Packaging Sustainability: Tools, Systems, and Strategies for Innovative Package Design is a comprehensive guide to thinking outside the box to create practical, cost-effective, and eco-responsible packaging.

With a broad range of contributions from pioneers of sustainability, Packaging Sustainability not only describes the concepts of sustainability but reveals the logic behind them, providing you with the tools to sift through and adapt to the ever changing barrage of materials, services, regulations, and mandates. The book:

  • Enables the designer to make smart, informed decisions at all points throughout the packaging design process

  • Offers a comprehensive overview of sustainable packaging design issues from leading practitioners, designers, engineers, marketers, psychologists, and environmental practitioners

  • Describes materials and processes in current use and helps the reader understand how they interconnect
The Environmental Paper Network, publisher of the Paper Planet, is honored to have been a contributor to the book, joining the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Package Design Magazine, and many esteemed individuals.

Order a copy here.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Obama Inaugural Invitations on FSC Certified Recycled Paper

The Forest Stewardship Council – United States (FSC-US) has announced that President-elect Barack Obama’s one million inaugural invitations will be printed on FSC certified paper. The invitation envelope and a special insert will proudly bear the FSC trademark.

This FSC-certified product request represents a milestone for FSC-US, demonstrating recognition of the importance of FSC certification of at the highest levels of the U.S. government. FSC is the global consensus voice of responsible forest management, and is the only forest products certification system endorsed by the world’s leading environmental advocacy groups like the World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy and the National Wildlife Federation.

Three FSC-certified companies are helping ensure that this historic event reflects the economic, environmental and social values of the incoming administration. This FSC printing project started with post-consumer recycled paper pulp at Neenah Paper’s Whiting mill near Stevens Point, Wisconsin. The paper was purchased by merchant Lindenmeyr Munroe, a subsidiary of Central National Gottesman, Inc. of New York. The paper was drop shipped from Neenah Paper’s mill directly to Precise Continental, based in Brooklyn, New York.

Precise Continental is engraving three impressions upon the inaugural invitation. The FSC-certified invitation will be placed inside an FSC-certified envelope and accompanied by an FSC-certified insert. Both the insert and the envelope will bear the FSC label. In order to meet the January 2nd deadline, Jim Donnelly, president of Precise Continental, and his 65 employees will work around the clock.

All three companies in the supply chain are Forest Stewardship Council Chain-of-Custody certified in order to sell FSC certified products and demonstrate their commitment to responsible forest management.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Minnesota (USA) Politician Introduces Bill to Make Phone Books Optional

In another sign of a groundswell occurring in the United States to the relentless dumping of multiple, useless paper phone books by telecom companies, a state legislator in Minnesota has introduced a bill to make receiving a paper phone book optional. A recent local newscast (embedded below), brings us up to speed:

"...while some people still use phonebooks as a directory, some people, said Rep. Paul Gardner, DFL-Shoreview, use them as a doorstop.

Like many of us, Gardner has stacks of old phone books, and now has a new bill in the Minnesota House that would let us say no to more. "You're getting three, four, or five of them, and people are saying, 'That's too much,'" Gardner said.

Gardner wants publishers to let us decide: To not get phonebooks if we don't want them, or request extra copies if we do."
That sounds extremely bullet proof reasonable to me, its only giving people that will never, ever look at them the chance to save everybody the trouble.....but not if your a phone company clinging to that hustle for income. They even have a powerpoint instructing companies how to combat legislation that gives consumers choice.

There are also legislative efforts of a similar nature in Hawaii and Washington, thus far successfully squashed by the lobbyists.

I especially enjoy the end of the broadcast where the news reporters have to make 20 seconds of improvisation to fill the time, and in this instance they agree with the legislator and basically endorse his bill!

It seems that Minnesota is really hot on this issue. Here's a link to a one-minute video of a prominent local blogger dramatically returning his unwanted phone book to Verizon.

If this issues resonates with you, and you are on Facebook, check this out.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Audubon Mag: Boreal or Bust

There's an article in the new Audubon Magazine about the paper industry in Canada and impacts on birds.

The article is a bit long, bt a good read and an essential introduction to Canada's boreal forest and what NGOs are doing to protect the region.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Happy New Year and Paper Savings

Let's hope thie new year is filled with good news. Here is an article written by some IT consultants that makes a few good points on paper savings ion the office:

... WaMu now has a total of 2.7 million customers using its e-statements. The savings on paper itself as well as postage and "handling the paper," Horvath says, is approximately $18 million a year.

"We're going to continue to drive this hard," Horvath adds. "If we can take it from 2.7 million, currently, and add another 3 million this year, then our savings will be closer to $36 million in 2009."


"If we could reduce the amount of paper that we utilize, we would save enough money to then consider buying paper that was more environmentally friendly," Horvath says. "And if the paper is more expensive, it still might be a net reduction [in cost] because we've reduced our volume" of paper consumption.

WaMu's legal department, for instance, had been the company's biggest consumer of paper. IT already had reduced the legal department's use of dedicated printers and moved the group to multifaceted printer-copier-fax machines, which saved on paper-related costs. "We then asked them to go to duplex printing," she says, which is printing on both sides of a piece of paper. "And then we asked them to think twice about all the things they're printing."

In a short time, Horvath reports that the legal department had reduced its paper usage by 15%. From the legal department pilot, plans are now underway to replicate the program throughout the rest of WaMu's operations. Even just a 5% reduction in paper usage spread out across the rest of the bank's operations would make moving to more environmentally friendly paper, which can be more expensive, "quite easy to justify," Horvath notes.

We at Paper Planet Blog shouldn't endorse company activities from afar, but it seems from the article WaMu might be on to something here. These are similar messages to what we are promoting at the Shrink! project.