Monday, September 10, 2007

Packaging "Greenwash" - Saving the Environment

Packaging News You Can Use
Tip Of The Week Issue #1281 - September 7, 2007
Publisher: JoAnn Hines

Launching any day

I have been so busy setting up my packaging network on Linked In this week that I decided to reprise one of my most requested articles "Packaging Greenwash - Saving The Environment" instead of writing a new one.

If you want to be added to my packaging network 200 and counting sign on to Linked In and send me an invitation. Make sure and mention the Diva so I know the connection.

From Kate at Paxonix: I am doing some research and am looking for some info about what a recall might do to packaging costs for a company, particularly a pharmaceutical company. Can you direct me to a resource or maybe someone who might have this sort of data?

Remember to respond back to me and I'll compile the answers.

Packaging "Greenwash" - Saving the Environment by JoAnn Hines Packaging DivaWow, have I been flooded with a host of new "green" packaging innovations. Everyone is jumping on the environmentalist’s green band wagon. I am constantly asked if environmental sustainability is a flash in the pan. If this is any indication, the recent Sustainable Packaging Forum was sold out with attendees looking for the latest packaging news in saving the environment.

I have joked before that packaging is the true cause of "global warming." But seriously, what is the reality? What is the real truth behind companies touting green packaging for the benefit of society? Environmental issues are a hot topic right now, so people are climbing aboard. Global warming topics are on the news daily and people are looking for scapegoats as to its cause. Companies such as Wal-Mart are driving manufacturers to consider more environmentally friendly options in their packaging materials. In fact, they just unveiled their packaging scorecard to continue their commitment of reducing packaging across its global supply chain by 5 percent by 2013.

The packaging industry is often chastised for having unfriendly environmental policies. I'm not here to debate this point, but I do want to talk about using environmental issues in a positive and realistic manner.
Let's take the word "green" as an example. Obviously, we think of the color first. But what about the variations of the definition that relate to packaging?
How green is your packaging world?
• Green could mean less damage to the environment.
• Green could imply producing packaging from renewable resources.
• Green could entail designing products for environmental sustainability.
• Green could connote the use of less material and recyclable and degradable materials.

So "green" can be maximized for branding purposes in a host of different ways. If you have a "green" packaging product what ways are you capitalizing on the current media exposure? (In addition to sending out a press announcement.)

Here are a few points to consider:
• Did you support or promote participation in any Earth Day activities?
• Do you belong to one of the many organizations that support "green" and the environment?
• Did you orchestrate your new packaging introduction to coincide with Earth Day or other environmental events?
• Have you submitted your green product to the numerous packaging associations that offer opportunities for environmental awards?
• Have you submitted your package to any of the non packaging related organizations that have "environmental" awards?
• Do you have a plan in place for your staff to understand and utilize in order to build your "green" brand?
• Do your employees believe in being "green?" (This is a very important buy in.)
• Have you looked at any websites such as (great site with lots about packaging) to see what they are doing?

Sure it seems a bit far fetched but Treehugger lives in the blogosphere world and we all know how important blogging is to the media. Try a quick GOOGLE search for "green packaging." Yes, there are a few products listed but what is more important is what is NOT there. A huge area of untapped marketing potential is available for increasing the visibility for your packaging products.

No matter how unusual or "out there" the opportunity seems do not under estimate who will see and read about your "green" brand. The branding hot spots I want you to think about are:

(1) Is your "green" packaging product is a flash in the pan?

(2) Has there been serious brand integration of the "green" message throughout your company?

(3) Are you using your "green" message in all the promotion, literature and media exposure? The reality begs this question.

Are you packaging "greenwash" to capitalize on a current media trend or are you saving the environment with "true" environmentally friendly packaging?

The Bosch XEO is the latest must have gadget for eco-conscious - Ashton-in-Makerfield,Wigan,UKCutting cardboard boxes down to recycling size in no time at all and powering through plastic packaging, so that the kitchen can stay tidy and free of ...

Steps to Implement Green RecruitingHuman Resource Executive Online (subscription) - Horsham,PA,USAThis means putting pressure on product advertising and marketing to include in your product ads and packaging the fact that your products are eco-friendly. ...

Vino Goes Green From Grapes to PackagingPR Newswire (press release) - New York,NY,USAThe packaging strategy is part of a growing idealism in which people, manufacturers, businesses, organizations and the government are participating to ...

The Cycle of Packaging Evolution (COPE)PR Leap (press release) - Chula Vista,CA,USACOM) Paragon Print and Packaging have created a portfolio of packaging products to compliment the cycle of packaging evolution (COPE). ...


I found this amusing....
The Neosporin travel tote: Tracking down the human behind the crap ...San Francisco Chronicle - CA, USA"And essentially it's just more packaging, which puts it against a growing trend: Companies are really starting to go in the other direction with packaging, ...

Mussels can get new packaging too...
Canadian mussel processor granted packaging patentFish Update - Edinburgh,UKThe company employs more than 150 people and ships its "Canadian Cove" products around Canada, to the US and Europe. is published by ...

Remeber the question of the week about products packaged in China?
China Steps Up Efforts to Cleanse ReputationNew York Times - United StatesLast week, for instance, China blocked imports of American wood packaging material after finding them contaminated with what inspectors said were "worms and ...

This is interesting...
Applied DNA Sciences To Present at The Future of Ink On Packaging ...Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USAThe development of inexpensive, high-quality printing equipment has facilitated the mass production of counterfeit packaging, which can often be difficult ...

JoAnnPackaging Diva
All Packaging All The Time
JoAnn Hines (The Packaging Diva) work is featured in Package Design magazine, Shelf Impact, Webpackaging and many other packaging portals and magazines. In the month of July her packaging commentary was used in Ad Age, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, and The Wall Street Journal. She is recognized as one 50 most influential packaging leaders in the 20th Century and is the founder of Women In Packaging

Hear her commentary on packaging and manufacturing at

See her special report on "Packaging Your Invention To Sell" at

Purchase her workbook, Do It Yourself Packaging at
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