A group of MIT researchers has developed a interior lining for bottles which allows the contents to simply glide out. The product is called Liqui-Glide. There are many food product applications. Check out their website for more videos.
This whole debate about the future of the US Postal Service has me confused and I thought it was relevant to address on SISG because so much of what we talk about here passes through either the USPS, UPS or FedEX.
These days its seems like everyone from Congress to talking heads has a plan to fix the Post Office but I have to say most of the ideas and options I keep hearing seem insane.
A core part of plans is to eliminate Saturday mail delivery. This option makes very little sense to me and eliminates one of the USPS's primary competitive advantages over its competition. The USPS is the only carrier who will deliver letters and packages on Saturday as part of its normal non-surcharge service. To be fair FedEX Ground also does normal Saturday delivery but its mostly packages.
To me eliminating Saturday mail service would be a body blow to the USPS. One that they may not recover from.
Another point I don't see raised often enough is the relationship people have with the USPS. Personally I prefer the USPS over all other options unless I'm shipping something very large. I find their service to be much more customer friendly - because they care about residential deliveries.
I avoid UPS at all cost however sometimes its not possible. I find their service to be terrible and they have an attitude that they can care less about residential deliveries. This is one thing USPS should be emphasising - that relationship they have with people in this country - that day to day interaction via mail delivery and post office locations.
The question should be why isn't USPS the primary mail delivery outlet for online businesses like Amazon? I'm guessing Amazon chose the carrier who could give them the best delivery network and price? I know USPS does some of their deliveries but its a small number of the overall business.
In the piece in the New York Times ran yesterday regarding the Post Office crisis - it was suggested the USPS is considering closing hundreds of distribution centers. Again I just don't get this. The infrastructure is already here and built - why not make it work?
Another area where the USPS has been a leader is on environmental issues and trying to make the process of shipping packages through its system as environmentally responsible as possible. I've covered the USPS's process of seeking and obtaining Cradle to Cradle certification for many of its mailers here on SISG. I think this is an area where the USPS can work with companies like EBAY - whose users heavily use the USPS to develop mutually beneficial and green shipping and business practices all the while encouraging EBAY users to ship via USPS.
I'm sure there are serious fiscal and organizational issues within the USPS - no question about it. I just don't think the solution is the make their service less available. I think the solution is to look at what they do well and where they have advantages in terms of service and existing infrasturcture and where they've already been leaders and focus on those areas and services.
Earlier this year eBay announced Green Team, a new initiative focused on helping both buyers and sellers use eBay more effectively in terms of sustainability. The initiative included a strong PR component pointing out what a great resource eBay is for the selling of used and re-purposed goods. It also provided sellers with useful information on how to save resources and improve the sustainability of the shipment of goods.
eBay is currently heavily promoting Green Team offering sellers 5 free listings a month and the access to support and discussion groups focused on sustainability.
As a longtime eBay member myself I have to say I think the concept is a good one.
The eBay Green Team initiative grew out of a grassroots effort begun in 2007 by a small group of eBay employees who wanted to put their environmental values to work.
Today the Green Team site offers sellers useful information on what packaging materials to use to improve the greenness of shipments. eBay has also worked with UPS and the USPS on improving efficiency and offering their customers discounts and more sustainable shipping supplies at no cost.
Hopefully the efforts of the eBay Green Team will only continue to expand. The venue eBay provides is such an excellent resource for the trade of used and re-purposed items. I think the Green Team will help more and more people realize this fact and improve the environmental consciousness of those already using eBay.
Kimberly-Clark makers of Kleenex, Scott towels, Viva, Cottonelle and other iconic brands made from paper have reached an agreement with Greenpeace to better protect Canada's Boreal Forest.
The agreement sets in place a number of standards to significantly reduce the use of virgin wood pulp from the Boreal Forest. Prior to the agreement Greenpeace waged a five year campaign, Kleercut to draw attention to the fact Kimberly-Clark was cutting down Canada's Boreal Forest at an alarming rate to make its products.
Environmental advocates have been trying to get Kimberly-Clark to use recycled pulp and sustainably harvested wood pulp for years.
Under the agreement Kimberly-Clark has set a goal of ensuring that 100 percent of the fiber used in its products will be from environmentally
It will greatly increase its use of recycled fiber
and fiber from forest certified to Forest Stewardship Council
standards. By 2011, it will also increase the use of recycled and FSC fiber [from North America sources] to 40 per cent from 29.7 percent in
By 2012, the company will no longer use pulp from the Boreal
Forest unless is it certified to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council.
A spectacular 50m artwork made solely from used aluminum cans has been unveiled on top of the chalk cliffs of the Sussex coastline to mark the beginning of Recycle Week June 22-28.
Transforming thousands of used aluminum collected from around Great Britain into the world’s largest recycled artwork – dubbed Precious Metal - has taken a team of artists a week to complete and can only be fully viewed from the air.
The artwork - inspired by a classic 1949 summer poster from The Coca-Cola Company archives of a swimsuit-clad lady relaxing in the sun - is designed to inspire consumers to recycle more this summer through reminding them of the inherent value of empty cans and bottles.
Recycling aluminum is 20 times more energy-efficient than making it from scratch. At the end of Recycle Week each of the 200,000 cans will be recycled saving enough energy to keep a television running for seventy years.
Liz Lowe, Citizenship Manager at Coca-Cola Great Britain, said: “Old cans aren’t just waste, they’re precious metal. They can live forever through recycling, to be used time and time again to make a whole number of new things saving huge amounts of energy and raw materials.
“With this simple message want to inspire people to think twice about binning their empty bottles and cans…an empty drinks can that you recycle today could be back on the shelf as a brand new one in just six weeks.”
Coca-Cola is working with WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) to install Recycle Zones around the UK to help make it easier for people to recycle their cans and bottles when they’re out and about – in places like shopping centers, theme parks, airports, university campuses and at outdoor events. Launched a year ago, there are now 20 active Recycle Zones with another 60 on the way before 2011. Already over 20 tonnes of recycled materials have been collected through Recycle Zones’ bins.
Coca-Cola has teamed up with WRAP’s Recycle Now campaign to encourage people to do a little more to recycle this week.
To pledge to do more go to www.cokezone.co.uk/recyclenow where you also have the chance to win a bespoke recycled sculpture from Robert Bradford, the lead artist behind this unique project.
Check Henri Bendel on Fifth Avenue in NYC for an interesting "pop-up" exhibit, Living Perfume: the Natural Alchemy of Mandy Aftel. The exhibit features the perfume, craft, and collections of Aftel who is often considered the world’s leading natural perfumer. Aftel has also launched her latest perfume, Lumiere at the three week event.
The exhibit, dedicated to the sense of smell, aromatics and the art of natural perfume, features Aftel’s body of work - her perfumes and oils, research and writings and personal library of rare books, graphics, and artifacts.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring perfumer Mandy Aftel’s art, and collection to the world. The exhibit will be a rare window into her creative process, an important educational opportunity and an unparalleled aesthetic experience,” said Julie Anixter, organizer of the event and Chief Marketing Officer of Brandimage, Desgrippes & Laga.
“This experiential in-store exhibition is as multi-layered - literally and figuratively - as Aftel’s fine all-natural perfumes.”
Sculptural forms made from smooth, silhouetted layers of white sustainable eco-board suggest the sensuality of natural elements - trees, stone formations, a forest path - while paralleling the layers of perfume and invoking the mystery and beauty of scent. The space is designed to “impose” itself into the store environment in the way that a tree would grow on a busy urban street.
“Henri Bendel is such a vibrant and ‘complete’ environment that the challenge we faced was how to ‘disrupt’ the environment in a way that would draw people to the third floor and into the exhibit from that glorious atrium, and then enthrall them with Mandy’s art and the journey inside,” says Jeremy Dawkins, Executive Creative Director of Brandimage, Desgrippes & Laga.
Eco Design & Packaging
The Living Perfume exhibit was developed and installed using the responsible design principles of sustainable materials and eco-friendly sourcing. Sculptural forms made from silhouetted layers of white sustainable eco-board create natural elements — trees, stone formations, and a forest path. The exhibit is constructed of Xanita recycled post-consumer and 100% re-pulpable materials, E-Core Plus (EC+) structured light weight boards, and contains no formaldehyde, toxins or wax. After the event, most of the fixtures will remain in their current space, converting into Bendel bookstore fixtures as well as for the retailer to use for future exhibit rentals.
Packaging giant MeadWestvaco's Personal & Beauty Care team developed an exclusive gift package for the launch of Lumiere. Only 12 of the special gift sets were developed for the event each was signed by Aftel and available at the debut. MeadWestvaco designed and produced the paperboard-based packaging which hold all of the Aftelier perfumes, including the new Lumiere.
Where: Henri Bendel Fifth Avenue New York - 3rd Floor through May 11th.
Excellent news regarding recycling of #5 polypropylene - Preserve makers of a wide range of personal care and household products from recycled #5 plastic have partnered with Whole Foods Market, Stonyfield Farm and Organic Valley to create the Preserve Gimme 5 program.
Gimme 5 is an easy recycling program for #5 plastics. Whole Foods will have receptacles at numerous stores across the country to collect the plastics which will then be used by Preserve to make products.
The Gimme 5 program is great news for people struggling to find a way to recycle #5 plastics.
Most municipalities (and the entire State of Rhode Island) do not accept #5 plastic at recycling centers.
At a time when many food manufacturers are switching to the lighter more durable plastic to save resources consumers have had a very difficult time recycling the plastic. Its caused a great deal of frustration for consumers who end up throwing their yogurt or other dairy containers into the regular trash.
Preserve Gimme 5 has been in the works for a while. I was talking to Preserve's C.A. Webb back in October about the program - which was very exciting for me - as I live in Rhode Island where all recycling is handling through the RI Resource Recovery Corporation - which does not accept #5 plastic.
The program has the support of some major companies and as a result looks well on its way to succeeding. There is a Gimme 5 recycling location look up available - and there are many locations across the country where people can take the plastic. Preserve will also accept #5 plastics directly for consumers who do not have access to one of the Gimme 5 locations.
‘‘This program will save thousands of pounds of #5 plastic from being sent to landfills. We’re thrilled to join this program and to empower our customers to increase their recycling efforts,’’ says Jeremiah McElwee, senior Whole Body coordinator for Whole Foods Market.
‘‘We welcome this partnership and, thanks to a very successful pilot program at one of our Virginia stores, we know it will be popular with our shoppers as well.’’
By dropping their #5 plastic containers in a Preserve Gimme 5 bin, ‘‘shoppers are helping make brand new Preserve products that represent real change,’’ says Preserve founder and CEO Eric Hudson.
‘‘And by choosing Preserve Plastic versus virgin plastic, in the form of a toothbrush or razor, for example, we all benefit from a sizeable reduction in greenhouse gases emitted, and significantly less water, energy, oil and coal used in making the plastic.’’
U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner held a press conference Sunday to raise awareness to the issue of excessive packaging. The New York congressman represents the 9th district in Queens and introduced The Packaging Reduction Act of 2008 (HR 6325) this summer.
Congressman Weiner's press conference was designed to draw attention to excessive packaging when many people are buying gifts for the upcoming holiday season. The congressman had examples of toys and other items which had excessive plastic packaging. He showed a six-inch action figure wrapped in 72 square inches of plastic and fitted with two cardboard inserts; and a single shaving razor wrapped in plastic four times the amount needed and fitted with three cardboard inserts.
Weiner is introducing a new bill that will reduce wasteful product packaging by at least 30 percent over the next 10 years. Weiner’s legislation will direct the Environmental Protection Agency to write new packaging regulations for consumer product packaging.
According to Weiner, it is estimated that New York City will create an additional 15,000 tons of garbage during the early December holiday shopping season, enough waste to fill 1,000 garbage trucks.
The plastic wrapping associated with packaging on consumer goods accounts for 3,000 tons of waste every week in the City.
"We've all seen outrageous examples of tiny products wrapped in harmful and excessive packaging. Consumers have always looked for quality products and a good deal," said Weiner. "This holiday season I urge them to also look for products with responsible packaging."
Its encouraging to see the issue of excessive packaging getting the attention of a member of congress. We'll continue to follow Congressman Weiner's efforts on this bill and the issue of excessive packaging.
Oakland-based Clorox and Massachusetts-based Preserve announced an innovative recycling partnership to recycle used Brita filters.
The new program is a major environmental step in the right direction from Clorox - way to go!
Beginning in early January 2009, consumers can recycle Brita water pitcher filters through a program with Preserve.
Preserve offers an environmentally friendly recycling infrastructure for No. 5 polypropylene plastic, a primary material in Brita pitcher filters, through its Gimme 5 recycling and reuse program.
Many communities across the country do not accept #5 plastic for recycling which has made environmentally responsible disposal difficult for many consumers.
Through the new program, Preserve will collect the filters to use in its line of eco-friendly, 100 percent recyclable personal care, tableware and kitchen products.
Preserve products made in part from Brita filters will be available at leading retailers, allowing consumers to purchase new sustainable products they helped create.
“By working with Preserve, we are able to strengthen our sustainability commitment and identify a Brita filter recycling solution that is a win for consumers, the environment and our company,” said Don Knauss, chairman and CEO of The Clorox Company, makers of Brita products.
"This initiative is one of many ways The Clorox Company is actively making its consumer product offerings more sustainable and creating positive impacts in the area of waste reduction."
Preserve will recycle 100 percent of each Brita plastic pitcher filter casing collected. The No. 5 polypropylene plastic from the casing will be used by Preserve in their line of products.
The filter ingredients – activated carbon for creating great-tasting water and additional ion-exchange resin that reduces lead, mercury, copper, cadmium and zinc that might be found in tap water – will be regenerated for alternative use or converted into energy.
“The Brita filter recycling program gives Brita pitcher filters new life as Preserve products,” stated John Lively, director of environment and material science for Preserve.
“We calculated that the benefits of keeping Brita filters out of landfills outweigh the impact of shipping them for recycling through this program.”
Beginning in January consumers can drop off their used, dry Brita pitcher filters at participating Whole Foods Market stores or mail them directly to Preserve (mailing boxes will also be recycled). Full details and instructions on both options, including a complete list of Gimme 5 stores, will be available at www.brita.com in early January 2009.
Packaging options that companies are exploring include everything from glass containers to vegetable inks and from paper and outer packaging made from recycled materials to biodegradable or recyclable packaging.
“Last year, it was all about biodegradable plastics and I feel that this year there’s been a shift to using recyclable glass,” Taya Tomasello, senior beauty analyst at market research firm Mintel told WWD.
She also said she’s seen more and more companies do away with the outer packaging.
Italy-based Leoplast Group, which uses natural vegetable-based and renewable sources such as biopolymer produced by NatureWorks LLC, said companies don’t realize the kind of impact they can have by using more eco-friendly packaging.
The company supplied Cargo Cosmetics with its VegetalPlastic for the Plant Love makeup line, which was launched early last year.
“From using PLA [polylactic acid] packaging, you can save 60 percent [of the] fossil fuel in comparison to using traditional plastics, in addition to reducing greenhouse gasses up to 90 percent,” said Graziano Reggiani, general manager of Leoplast.
Reggiani told WWD that he finds the U.S. market is more ready to understand and explore more eco-friendly alternatives in terms of packaging, in comparison to the European market, which he said still has a ways to go.