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This article was originally published on DC Velocity on August 19th, 2013. Now that sustainability has entered the mainstream, more companies are looking at whether their operations might be a good fit for reusable packaging. Indeed, according to Jerry Welcome of the Reusable Packaging Association (RPA), the industry has seen annual growth of 10 percent over the past few years. According to RPA, reusable packaging includes reusable pallets, racks, bulk containers, handheld containers, and dunnage made of durable materials such as metal, plastic, or wood. (A cardboard box, although it could be used more than once, would not be considered reusable packaging.) The benefits of using reusables are manifold, experts say. They can reduce a shipment’s impact on the environment. They are more cost-effective than buying one-way or nonreturnable packaging. They are typically stronger and easier to clean than their single-use counterparts. Finally, there’s the aesthetic appeal. Reusable packaging usually looks better and often takes up less warehouse space because it is…
There are many types of laminates in the returnable packaging market. If you are packaging parts with Class-A surfaces, or parts can’t have any scratching or marring, you will need some kind of laminate on your dividers. Some of the most used laminates are Spuntex, Tyvek, and Evolon. Some of the new laminates that hit the market recently are Suede Microfiber, and Brushed Nylon. These new laminates give an even higher level of protection for the parts being shipped, however there is one big problem that arises – the top edge of the dividers. You can have the best laminate inside the dividers but the potential of scratching the parts during the load/unloading process is high. When plastic is cut to make the divider panels, it can leave a very sharp edge. Not only can this damage the parts but can also scratch the hand of the packaging associate – it can be a real “cuticle killer” when you reach…
To go along with the holiday season, The American Institute for Packaging and the Environment recently published a brochure aimed at improving the environmental sustainability e-commerce packaging. The brochure, titled Packaging: At the Forefront of E-Commerce Growth & Sustainability, explains the roles of e-commerce packaging, strategies that packaging manufacturers, product marketers and retailers use to minimize product damage, and ways in which the packaging industry continues to find innovative solutions to do more with less. The brochure offers the following “Four Rs” to readers: Reduce and consolidate orders delivering more products in fewer packaging. Reuse packaging, especially boxes and cushioning materials. Return packaging to local shipping store, especially cushioning materials. Recycle corrugated and other materials, including polyethylene films. According to Ameripen, US retail e-commerce sales are set to exceed $300 billion in 2014, with much of the volume occurring during the last two months of the year.Donna Dempsey of Ameripen says it is important that people are aware of the…

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