Sustainable Packaging

Picture of bottles of Diageo products.Diageo, a world leader in premium drinks with popular brands including Guinness, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray, Baileys, Smirnoff and Jose Cuervo, has recently published its first sustainable packaging guidelines. The company's main goals for improving the sustainability of its packaging involve minimizing packaging materials and enhancing design for a better opportunity to reduce, reuse and recycle.

  • Reduce: The company will use advanced design techniques to reduce packaging materials and weights, and has already shown how it can reduce packaging through its Smirnoff Ice bottles introduced in Brazil. The design eliminated 2,500 metric tonnes of glass. Diageo is working to cut its product packaging's average unit weight by 10% by 2015.
  • Reuse: Most of Diageo's products are packaged in glass, aluminum and steel packaging. By 2015, the company hopes to make 100% of its packaging designs reusable, recyclable or qualified for individual countries' waste management practices.
  • Recycle: Today, about one-third of the glass used in Diageo beverage bottles are from recycled sources. Paperboards and aluminum cans are also made from recycled materials. Diageo is working to increase its use of recycled content by 20% by 2015, so that more than 40% of its packaging is made with recycled materials.

Diageo's Sustainable Packaging Guidelines comes as consumers and retailers demand more eco-friendly packaging options. Even just the smallest change in packaging design can have a huge impact on the environment.

As a leading provider of sustainable packaging solutions and custom packaging design, we applaud Diageo and all other companies, large and small, for their efforts to reduce waste. Contact us today for more information on our packaging services.

Picture in support of the USDA BioPreferred Program.Bioplastics are a hot topic in the packaging industry today. Plastic materials sourced from soy, corn and agricultural waste are currently being used for a wide range of products and packaging - from car parts to shampoo bottles. These innovative materials are being developed to help reduce the use of oil-based plastics and create a safer, more sustainable environment.

About the BioPreferred Program

The USDA BioPreferred program works to promote the purchase and use of these advanced products. Not only does the promotion of bio-based products and packaging help improve the environment, but they also can help create more jobs and provide new markets for farm commodities. The BioPreferred program includes a product labeling initiative that increases consumer awareness - letting the buyer know that the USDA has approved a certain product or package, and reducing the possibility of "greenwashing" or false information.

Manufacturers and vendors with bio-based products or packaging can apply for a USDA Certified BioPreferred Label. There is a standard established by the USDA that states the minimum of bio-based content required within a product, according to category, in order to be certified.

A Closer Look at Bioplastics

Bioplastic packaging solutions can be sourced from starches, cane sugar, vegetable oil and other renewable resources. Biodegradable bioplastics can be thrown into compost bins for safe disposal, while oil-based plastics often litter the earth's landfills and oceans for many years without breaking down.

Examples of bioplastics in today's market include Coca-Cola and PepsiCo's plant-based bottles, Proctor & Gamble's sugar cane based Pantene shampoo bottles, and starch-based packing peanuts that can be dissolved in water and added to compost piles.

Heritage Pioneer is committed to providing innovative sustainable packaging solutions. For more information on sustainable packaging solutions, contact us today!

Picture of corrugated boxes on pallets.Sustainable packaging solutions go beyond the materials used for the actual product containers. Pallets, for example, are the flat transport structures used when handling large packaging loads. They help to stabilize loads for more efficient handling and storage. Stretch wrap is often applied to further unitize the palletized loads and simplify transport.

Pallets are available in various materials, including wood and plastic. Wood is a commonly used material, but can be dangerous due to splinters, heavy weight, as well as insects and mold that the pallet may be harboring. Plastic pallets are an alternative to wood pallets, and while they may reduce worker injury and product contamination, they are certainly not the safer option when it comes to the environment.

Corrugated pallets are made from corrugated paper material, most commonly known for its use in shipping containers and POP displays. Corrugated, often known simply as cardboard, is made from a natural renewable resource, and is often manufactured with fibers from old corrugated containers, kraft and old newspapers. Cardboard shipping containers are frequently reused in homes and businesses, and corrugated material is one of the most recycled on the planet. By using corrugated pallets instead of wood pallets or plastic pallets, you are increasing safety within packaging warehouses while helping to reduce the harmful impacts of plastic production and waste.

In addition to eco-friendly, corrugated pallets are lightweight and affordable.

At Heritage Sustainable, we provide a wide range of sustainable packaging solutions, including corrugated cardboard products. For more information, contact us today!

Picture of Hasbro board games stacked on top of each other.Toy manufacturing giant Hasbro Inc. recently announced its plans to eliminate polyvinyl chloride, a type of plastic better known as PVC, from its toy and game packaging beginning in 2013. Hasbro toys and games include familiar titles such as Mr. Potato head, Monopoly, Play-Doh, Candyland and Transformers. By switching to PVC packaging alternatives, Hasbro is increasing the safety and sustainability of its products.

What Is PVC?

PVC is also known as vinyl, and is a synthetic material used for packaging, toys, as well as bottles, bedding, clothing and construction materials. PVC is extremely durable, yet it is also difficult to break down and biodegrade after disposal. The production of PVC creates dangerous toxins that may affect people's health and safety. For these reasons, many manufacturers and companies are phasing out PVC materials from their production lines.

Alternatives to PVC

Safe packaging materials that can be used instead of PVC include recycled PET (RPET), corrugated cardboard and plant-based plastics.

Hasbro's commitment to eliminating PVC is part of its first corporate responsibility report. Other sustainable packaging initiatives by Hasbro include eliminating wire ties, increasing recycled content and finding new, responsible sources for paper.

Learn more about sustainable packaging options from Heritage Pioneer.

Picture of a Toyota dealership sign.We recently discussed Ford's efforts to create more eco-friendly vehicles with its use of sustainable materials, such as recycled plastic bottles and soy-based foam. Toyota is also committed to designing vehicles that have a more positive impact on the environment, increasing its use of Ecological Plastics and other renewably sourced materials for various vehicle parts.

What Are Ecological Plastics?

According to the Toyota website, Ecological Plastics refer to plastic materials that are derived completely from a plant source, or from a combination of petroleum- and plant-based materials. For example, the 2010 Prius and the new Lexus HS 250h feature seat cushions that are made out of foam sourced from castor oil instead of petroleum. The Lexus also uses Ecological Plastics in the luggage-trim upholstery, door scuff plate and tool box area, among other interior parts.

Other Toyota vehicle parts that have been developed using bio-based plastics include trunk liners, headliners and door trims.

By using plant-based materials, Toyota is on its way to reducing the production of virgin petroleum-based plastics that have a negative impact on the environment.

As a provider of sustainable packaging solutions, Heritage Pioneer is always excited to hear about ways in which companies large and small are doing their part to reduce plastic waste. For more information on sustainable packaging solutions, contact us today!