Sustainable Packaging

Ford uses sustainable packaging materials in vehicles.Crop-based bioplastics are becoming more and more common in the packaging industry, with plastic packaging such as beverage bottles, shampoo bottles and cell phone packages being sourced from renewable resources like bamboo, sugar cane and soy. In addition to packaging, soy-based foam has found its way into Ford's North American-built vehicles in the form of head restraints.

The new head restraints are made with 25% soy-based materials, replacing the traditional petroleum-based foam commonly used in vehicle seat cushioning. Ford first used soy-based foam in its seats in the 2008 Mustang, and applied the bioplastic again in the headliners of the 2010 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner. Now, all of Ford's American-built cars have soy-based foam in their seat cushions, backs and head restraints.

By using bio-based foam, Ford is able to reduce its use of oil by more than 3 million pounds per year. The company has also achieved a 15 million pound reduction in its carbon dioxide emissions. Other renewable sources for foam that Ford is researching include rapeseed, sunflower and palm oil.

Post-consumer plastic materials are also used in the production of vehicles, in parts including carpets, fan shrouds, replacement bumpers, roof linings, instrument panels, seat fabrics and more. In 2008, according to the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, 9% of all recycled laundry detergent bottles, recycled milk jugs and other high-density polyethylene plastic products wound up in cars.

Heritage Pioneer provides up-to-date news on the latest in the sustainable packaging industry. For more information on sustainable packaging solutions, contact us today!

Picture of two Navy Chairs with the Coca-Cola bottles.Coca-Cola and Emeco recently teamed up to create a product that really shows the value of recycling those old plastic Coke bottles. Below are the basics of the Emeco 111 Navy Chair.

  • Who: In 2006, beverage giant Coca-Cola approached Emeco, a company known for manufacturing the iconic aluminum Navy chair designed in 1944 for the U.S. Navy.
  • What: Coca-Cola asked Emeco to create a chair made out of recycled PET plastic materials, which are produced from recycled plastic bottles. The result is the 111 Navy Chair, made from 111 recycled plastic Coca-Cola bottles and designed to match the look and feel of the classic aluminum Navy chair. The new chair is available in six different colors (Red, Snow, Flint Gray, Grass Green, Persimmon and Charcoal), with a "velvet" finish and the Navy chair's original structural brace that ensures strength and durability.
  • Why: The 111 Navy project's goal was to raise environmental awareness and show consumers how recycling their plastic Coke bottles could create something valuable that truly lasts. Providing useful items out of upcycled plastic materials encourages people to recycle more and embrace the innovative products that help make our future greener, safer and friendlier.


The United States currently only recycles about 20% of our plastic bottles, while the rest of the world recycles about 80%. The 111 Navy project has the potential to reuse approximately 3 million PET bottles per year - significantly reducing the amount of waste that ends up in the earth's landfills.

In addition to the 111 Navy Chair, Coca-Cola's green initiatives include the Coca-Cola PlantBottle, which replaces traditional 100% virgin plastic bottles with a combination of PET plastic and 30% plant-based materials.

At Heritage Pioneer, we provide our customers with the latest in sustainable packaging news, as well as innovative sustainable packaging materials and solutions that contribute to an eco-friendly world.

Rugby balls made from used plastic bags.With the 2011 Rugby World Cup in full swing, seamstresses in South Africa are providing for their families by sewing rugby balls made out of discarded plastic packaging. The production of these balls is part of a program started by a marketing company with no official link to the tournament. The company, Win-Win Group, trained the seamstresses to create the rugby balls out of old vinyl billboards and stuff them with used plastic bags. The seamstresses receive $3 per ball.

In addition, unemployed young people can receive $35 a day for collecting the plastic bags, while an advertising company donates the billboards. The balls are then sold at a lower cost than regulation balls at a sporting goods store, making them more accessible to young children who are interested in the sport. Although the balls may not be durable enough for serious rugby games, they are ideal for training young people and encouraging teamwork, exercise and fun through the game.

Not only is the program creating employment and recreation throughout South Africa, but the use of plastic bags also helps to reduce waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

Heritage Pioneer is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest in sustainable packaging news, in addition to providing a wide range of sustainable packaging solutions. Contact us today to learn more about our sustainable packaging products and services.

Recycled Plastic CD PackagingMusic has come a long way since the vinyl record. The constantly evolving digital age has today's consumers skipping the trip to the record store and buying digital versions of albums that go straight to their hard drive or mp3 player. But what about all of those CDs that people have collected over the years? Most of them are likely collecting dust on a shelf in the basement, or tucked away in boxes, still in their original plastic packaging.

Murfie is a new online music store that helps people digitize their music collection, save money on new and used music, and recycle the plastic packaging that would otherwise end up in a landfill. The Madison, Wisconsin based company takes customers' old CDs and their packaging, stores them in their warehouse, and then provides a digital version of the CD. Customers can get digitized versions of their own music, or browse the online store for other people's music.

The plastic CD packages, which are made from No. 6 polystyrene plastic materials, are then recycled. Most consumers don't recycle the packages themselves, as many curbside recycling programs don't accept them because such small quantities aren't worthwhile. Twelve thousand CDs are estimated to produce about a ton of recyclable plastics, and Murfie's goal is to recycle 100 tons of plastic in its first year to reduce plastic waste, reduce the production of virgin plastic materials, and help create a greener future.

At Heritage Pioneer, we provide the latest news in sustainable packaging, in addition to a wide range of sustainable packaging products, services and solutions. Contact us today for more information on our sustainable packaging.

Solar Bottle Light BulbOld plastic bottles that would otherwise find their way to landfills, dumps and oceans, are creating new light and a better life in many low-income homes in the Philippine city of Manila. The "Solar Bottle Bulb" is a simple, affordable and sustainable solution for many families living in poor Filipino communities who live without electricity or light.

What Is the Solar Bottle Bulb?

The Solar Bottle Bulb is made out of a used plastic soda bottle or water bottle, which is filled with water and liquid bleach. The bottle is then fixed into a hole in the roof. While light streaming through just the hole would come in through a single, straight, narrow light beam, the water in the Solar Bottle Bulb refracts the light so that it can illuminate a larger space, 360 degrees around. The bleach keeps the water clean by preventing algae from forming.

The Solar Bottle Bulb gives off 55 to 60 watts of clear light, and lasts up to 10 months.

Benefits of the Solar Bottle Bulb

This innovative light bulb provides low-income Manila households with light - while traditional windows can easily crack or leak during typhoon season or other severe weather, the Solar Bottle Bulb brings even more light in and helps save money and energy. Not only do the bulbs improve the lives of families, but they also improve the future and health of the environment by significantly reducing plastic waste.

A Liter of Light

The light bulbs were introduced to the Philippines by Illac Diaz, who established the MyShelter Foundation to develop a system of sustainability through projects that also create new skills and employment opportunities. His new project, "A Liter of Light," has already helped light 10,000 homes in the Philippines with the Solar Bottle Bulb. Diaz was inspired by MIT engineer Amy Smith, who used similar technology during her work in Haiti.

Heritage Pioneer offers a wide range of sustainable packaging solutions. Check back for news and updates from the sustainable packaging industry, or contact us for more information on our services and products.