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Packaging goes green.


More and more packaging suppliers are producing recycled products that protect the environment and their costs. Today, many products are described as being either manufactured from recycled material or are themselves biodegradable. This trend has not been lost on producers of packaging products.

"It is becoming a mandate from everyone from large corporations to small companies, to use environmentally friendly packaging," said Jim Lee, marketing and sales manager of Western Pulp Products.

Western Pulp, based in Corvallis, Ore. has been using recycled paper to produce its package protection products since its inception in 1957. Only then, the company did not use recycled paper to save the planet, said Lee. It did so because it was economical and it produced a tough product.

"If you can provide the packaging at a low cost and it happens to be pro-Earth, that's a plus," said Lee.

But, Western Pulp is not the only "green" packaging supplier. Many companies promote this fact heavily as is evident in the product roundup at the end of this story.

In January, Dow and Sealed Air Corp. announced a national program to recover polyethylene cushion materials. The two companies have been purchasing the scrap cushion packaging from their respective customers. In time they say they hope to expand the program and involve other companies. The two companies set a goal of recycling 5 million pounds over the next two years. Since the beginning of the year 1.3 million pounds have been recovered.

The material collected will be converted into a polyethylene resin to be shared by both companies to produce products with a recycled content. Dow Plastics will be using this resin to make ETHAFOAM products. Sealed Air is recycling the resin into Poly Cap R, which is a recycled bubble cushioning material.

"This program is intended to accomplish a number of things for both Sealed Air and Dow," said Ken Harman, business director for Resource Conservation Division of Dow. "First, it will divert waste polyethylene from the solid waste stream and return it to useful products. Second, it will provide both companies with an ongoing source of consistent-quality recycled resin. Finally, it will allow us both to provide our customers with products containing recycled content."

A recycling program is also in the works at Haworth Inc., one of the nation's leading office furniture manufacturer based in Holland, Mich. The company worked with Michigan State University's School of Packaging in developing a new way to protect its products using less cardboard.

MSU researchers developed a plastic spacer block that fits between panels, and in theory, eliminates most of the cardboard material now used. Haworth anticipates that the spacer blocks will eliminate the need for at least 40,000 cartons a year. It is currently in the field test stage said, Richard Planck of Haworth. He did not know when the tests would be completed.

Haworth is also packing orders in bulk, a policy which could eliminate 298 tons of trash -- or 37 semi-trailer loads of material -- from ending up in landfills.

"When we can better our product, reduce environmental waste and make things easier for our customers, everybody wins," said Richard G. Haworth, president and CEO of Haworth Inc.

A wrap up

The following is a review of some available packaging equipment, supplies and systems for wood products. For more information, circle the corresponding number on the Reader's Service Card. To find additional information on packaging products, consult Chapter 11 in the 1991 W&WP Red Book.

Packaging systems and other equipment

Comil shrink wrap systems, available from Stiles Machinery Inc. are completely automated through-feed packaging systems that seal entire products in a protective plastic cover, preventing dust contamination and moisture infiltration. The entire packaging operation can be integrated directly off an assembly line. 231

Bemis Co. offers the Flex-Strap stretch bundling system which is a semi-automatic unitizing system that bands product bundles with 3-in. wide stretch film. The system can operate at up to 20 bundles per minute, the company says. 232

Nutro Machinery Corp. offers automatic and semi-automatic stretch and shrink-wrap systems custom designed for virtually any packaging need, the company says. Machine features include: generous load ratings, adjustable or fixed prestretch and turntable or overhead application. 233

The Ringmaster 2400-SA semi-automatic stretch bundling system, offered by Signode Corp., band wraps or overwraps products with one or several layers of stretch film. Flat gravity conveyors allow product stacking and V-roller gravity conveyors permit product nesting prior to wrapping. 234

Packaging systems from Brown Products Inc. can reduce waste material, labor and cost, the company says. Available packaging equipment includes: frame pack, channel pad, hard angle and foam pack unit. 235

System Packaging manufactures horizontal cold seal (cohesive) packaging machines, vertical FFS, tubular and reclosable (zipper) bagging machines. The company specializes in tailored packaging systems to meet specific needs. The systems are microprocessor controlled and feature heavy-duty construction designed to withstand an industrial environment, the company says. 236

Gerrard & Co.'s Models 2312 and 2312 HT Seal Saver pneumatic strapping tools are designed for fast and flexible vertical and horizontal applications. For regular duty or high tensile strapping, the product offers pneumatic tensioning and manual sealing and eliminates the need for banding seals on 1/2-in. to 5/8-in. straps. 237

Interlake Packaging Corp. offers: plastic strapping products; tensioners and sealers; seals; strap dispensers; stitching, strapping and stretch wrap machines; staplers; and stitching wire in addition to edge protectors and laminated paperboard edgeboard in light- and regular- and heavy-duty thickness. 238

The Crowell Corp. says its Cro-nel cohesively-coated dispenser pack is easy to use, shape and create with. It is self-sealing, flexible, watertight and approved for mail or UPS shipping. The company says anything that is not inherently breakable can be packaged and mailed. 239

AVI Astro-Valcour Inc. offers three AstroSheeter models for cutting paper wadding and polyethylene foam and bubble. For small scale applications there is the AstroSheeter Basic which cuts rolls of air bubble foam and paper wadding up to 30 in. wide. For larger applications there is the AstraSheeter Plus which can cut up to 36 in. wide at speeds up to 36 in. per second. For highest volume applications there is the AstroSheeter Elite which can cut material up to 1/2 in. thick. 240

Polypack's shrink wrap machines provide automatic, complete closure of cabinets, wood panels, shelving, mouldings, doors, etc. By using a form head (horizontal form, fill and seal), no film is wasted. Some advatages of shrink wrap include: reduced packaging material expenses, retail appeal and product protection in distribution. 241

Wilton Corp.'s pro-standard strapping machine features a dual tensioning system that applies tension up to 250 lbs. Tensioning is easily set by a dial for a tight strap that does not crush the carton or package. The one-piece 360 [degrees] drive train is never out of phase, the company says. The machine never needs lubrication, the company adds. 242

Automated Packaging Systems Inc. has introduced the new AutoLabel 4.0 software program that adds label design and in-line printing capabilities to its Autobag bagging systems. The software, in conjunction with the Pl - 100 programmable imprinter and the Autobag H- 100 or HS- 200 baggers, consolidates bagging and labeling into one simple process, the company says. 243

Ship-Pac sells and services equipment for stretch wrapping, marking, coding, strapping, carton sealing, shrink wrapping and skin packaging. The company provides customers throughout the Midwest with packaging products for palletizing, flexible packaging, protective packaging, carton closing, marking and coding. It has converting capabilities for loose-fill packaging materials as well as foam and bubble. 244

The Stretchmaster-CW semi-automatic stretch wrap machine from Stretchmaster makes pallet loads more consistent, unitized and secure. The model CW's design and sturdy construction allow quick product with low maintenance, the company says. It has a load capacity of 4,000 lbs and a maximum load size of 54 in. x 54 in. x 96 in. Powered by a 3/4-hp AC motor, the 60-in. in diameter turntable revolves at 10 rpm. 245

Standfoam polyolefin foam from Dow Chemical has a unique physical structure consisting of a series of fused foam strands surrounded by tiny air channels, the company says. This structure gives the material exceptional resilience and cushioning characteristics, according to the company. Strandfoam can be extruded in a wide variety of shapes eliminating scrap foam waste, the company adds. 246


Microfoam packaging material from Ametek Inc. clings to the furniture yet "slips" against the outer carton which eliminates the problem of rub marks, the company says. According to the company, Microfoam prevents the trapping of moisture against furniture surfaces. It is recyclable, reusable, and requires less resin in its manufacturing process, the company says. 247

BJK Industries says its plastic film will not vary from the stated gauge by more than 4%. Products are developed for a customer's specific application and every roll is inspected to ensure that it meets quality standards, according to the company. 248

Composed entirely of recycled paper, cushion pack from Fibreform Containers Inc. is said to biodegrade completely, is resilient and requires no folding, while strategically designed ribbing suspends the product, according to the company. A number of standard edge corner pads and custom designs are available. 249

Cornerboard Inc. edge protectors are made from recycled paperboard, laminated and formed into a strong, rigid right angle. It can be used in horizontal or vertical positions to support, unitize, reinforce, add stacking strength, as strapping protectors, and in connection with stretch or shrink film. Slotted or angle-cut guards can be made to specifications. 250

Insta-Foam Products offers a new line of chlorofluorocarbon-free urethane packaging foams. Foam densities range from 0.4 to heavy-duty 2.0. Foam components are shipped in returnable tanks, thereby eliminating drum disposal. 251

Master Wrap plastic stretch film from Mobil Master Wrap is easy to remove, holds without adhesives and will not leave a sticky residue, the company says. The product is designed to protect goods from moisture, soil, dust, grease and abrasion, and is said to cost less than tape, twine or other wrapping supplies. 252

PA-200 PolyCap Plus, available from Sealed Air Corp. is a mini-bubble for surface protection and lightweight cushioning. It has a 1/16-in. nylon barrier for consistent air retention and tear resistance, and is said to be the smallest bubble material available. It offers superior corner and edge protection and affords the user reduced shipping costs, the company says. 253

Nordson Corp. uses synthetic hotmelt adhesives and sealants in its packaging. The company says it can handle packaging programs from simple, self contained manual units to complex, fully integrated automatic systems. 254

The ITW Mima hand wrap stretch film is now available in special vertical pack bulk pallet loads designed to reduced leftover packaging waste, according to the company. The hand wrap is available in 12-in., 15-in., or 18-in. widths. It is a three-layer co-extruded blown film and comes in light or standard duty versions. 255

Western Pulp Products CornerGards and EdgeGards are made from 100% recycled paper and are biodegradable. They offer superior cushioning due to their tough resilient molded fiber construction, the company says. A patented tunnel design assures no contact with the protected item's corner or edge. 256

A line of corner and edge protectors available from P.X. Industries preserves valuable materials from damage in transit. Corner protectors come in three- and four-sided models to fit stock of 13 to 50mm thickness. The company's PX#91 Edge Protector is a sturdy plastic L-angle with button foot that features easy staple-in installation. It also serves as a production and onsite skid to move cabinets safely, the company says. 257

Innerpack of Carolina manufacturers protective packaging products primarily for the case goods, cabinet and mirror industries. Products include: corrugated angle pads, flat pads, built-up corrugated pads, packaging for glass and mirror products and expanded polystyrene foam packaging. The company utilizes a computer controlled hot wire foam cutter, which is capable of cutting intricate designs in foam billets. 258

Specialty-Pak Corp. manufactures protective inner pack pads for the furniture industry. Products are custom made and include corner pads, built-up pads and blocks, frame packs, angle pads and spiecialty skids and pallets. All products are made from recycled paperboard. 259

Edgeco manufactures a vriety of package protection products including water resistant solid fiber molded edge protectors, self-adhering stick feet pallet runners for just-in-time operating systems, and a new manual self-contained stretch wrapper. The stretch wrapper is a disposable roll with 1,000 feet of pallet-grade stretch film. 260

Polyfoam Packers Corp. offers a new, pyramid foam corner pad that has been engineered to deflect, and not just absorb, shock and vibration, the company says. It is molded from polystyrene foam and is almost 13 sq. in. of bearing surface and has full 3/4-in. thick walls. 261

Along with their comprehensive line of Autobag polyethylene bags, Automated Packaging Systems Inc. offers a wide range of bags made from specialized materials that offer a myriad of protective and degradable properties, the company says. For example, Autobag is now available with special anti-corrosive, anti-static, tarnish resistant, barrier and photo- and bio-degradable properties. 262

Menasha Pads, available from Sus-Rap Packaging, are pre-formed layers of corrugated paperboard that provide corner and edge protection for packaging items. Corner pads, straight pads, wrap-around pads and flex pads are available in angle or channel (U) configurations. Various abrasive resistant coatings can be applied. Menasha pads are made of recycled materials and are recyclable and biodegradable. 263

PHOTO : Western Pulp's packaging is made from 100% recycled paper and is biodegradable.

PHOTO : Edgeco's pallet-grade stretch wrapper film comes in 1,000-foot rolls.

PHOTO : Astro-Valcour makes machines that cut paper wadding and polyethylene foam and bubbles.

PHOTO : The vertical pallet load design of ITW's Mima hand wrap stretch film reduces waste.

PHOTO : Comil shrink wrap systems from Stiles Machinery completely seal products in a protective plastic cover.

PHOTO : Polyfoam Packers new, pyramid foam corner pad has been engineered to deflect, and not just absorb, shock and vibration.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Vance Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:packaging suppliers produce recycled products
Author:Adams, Larry
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Article Type:Directory
Date:Oct 1, 1991
Previous Article:CNC routers give top-notch performance.
Next Article:Product liability reform bill takes step forward.

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