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How to Reduce Paper Waste and Styrofoam Usage in Packaging

| Wednesday April 16th, 2008 | 8 Comments

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Next time you bite into fish bought at the deli, think for a moment what brought it to your store: Probably a wax coated box. A box that is difficult or impossible to recycle, depending on area facilities, and requires separate sorting, adding to the labor involved in processing store waste. But there needs to be stable, waterproof, and moisture resistant packaging to carry it safely to you. As a result, millions of tons of wood pulp end up in landfills annually. And this can be prevented.
How? Eco Fiber Solutions has come up with a product that is not only greener, but performs better at a comparable price then its competitors. And what is it? A range of boxes that utilize green chemistry to eliminate the need for wax coating, staples, or adhesives, yet are superior in strength and durability, able to be reused multiple times.
They are compostable, biodegradable, recyclable, and are themselves made from recycled sources. Further, they are repulpable, which means they can be broken down into their paper pulp components, to be once again made into the same thing (not an easy feat with such products) At this time, they are being tested for use in international shipping with FedEx, and meet the guidelines for shipping via airlines. Being wax free, there’s no need to separately sort them. Despite not being doused in wax coating, they are what’s called FDA non objection status, meaning they can be used with food, including seafood and ice, without issue.


And, god forbid they end up being burnt, they’ve been tested for non toxic emissions. It’s good to know Eco Fiber have thoroughly considered all the (mis)uses of their products.
Eco Fiber Solutions also reduces the need for styrofoam with products such as the Eco-Cooler that, like it’s name implies, can be used the same as a styrofoam cooler. It comes and can be folded flat for storage. Beyond the transport of food goods, they can be used to transport bodies. Yes they even make eco coffins, tough enough to be used in inclement emergency/disaster zones, endorsed by the Green Burial Council and Memorial EcoSystems.
What other eco packaging/shipping options do you know of out there that we should all know about? Please share, below.
If you’d like to learn more about the science/testing behind their products, go here. I encourage you to find out more for yourself.
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio School of Management in San Francisco. His overarching talent is “bottom lining” complex ideas, in a way that is understandable and accessible to a variety of audiences, internal and external to a company.


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  • http://www.greensmithconsulting.com Paul Smith

    Now that’s what I call closing the loop, Brady.

  • Oxnard Sam

    “millions of tons” ? To package fish? Really?

  • http://www.greensmithconsulting.com Paul Smith

    No, for all uses of wax impregnated boxes. Fruit, meat, ice, other food goods

  • BradyDale

    I’m going to put an eco-coffin in my will right away! I want the worms to get me!!!

  • http://got2begreen.com Susan

    I love it…it’s very multi-purpose.

  • Jason Stalnecker

    my co-worker always get Styrofoam cups for coffee on supply runs. i convinced him to get paper cups, but i this product line excites me very much.
    - Jason Stalnecker

  • Matthew Lewis

    Great product, but I’m confused – the San Francisco composting program says you can compost waxed cardboard, which I’ve been doing. Is that not true?

  • http://www.greensmithconsulting.com Paul Smith

    Good question Matthew, anybody know? San Francisco is one of the more advanced cities on this front, they may differ then other less sophisticated processors. This paper apparently is able to be reprocessed into the same material again. Not so common for other types of material that are merely recyclable, which often means material of a lower grade, put to a different use.