The Notbox Company, a seven-year-old venture led by former Wall Street financier Thomas Hellman, has announced that it is bringing its “leaner, meaner and greener” packaging solution to North America. The London-based Notbox, which has been serving European clients for several years, offers reusable packaging products that provide alternatives to unsustainable cardboard packaging.
“Currently, cardboard is used to ship 90 percent of all products in the U.S. but the growing focus towards sustainability by businesses and consumers makes this the perfect time to bring Notbox to the market,” said Hellman, who spent 25 years as an institutional trader on Wall Street. He hopes his innovative products will help his company grab a piece of the $119 billion North American packaging market.
“Reducing corrugated cardboard excess is one of the fastest and most effective steps a company can take to reduce waste and is high on the corporate agenda,” he said. “We can demonstrate not only the environmental benefits of using Notboxes but also the cost advantages, especially for the supply chain sector where vast quantities of products move in cycles between distribution centers and retail stores.”
Compared with a cardboard box, which is usually used for one trip before being discarded, a Notbox can make 20 or more trips, providing financial and environmental benefits.
“We see a huge potential with organizations and consumers that are interested in the benefits of using an eco-friendly alternative to single-use cardboard boxes and plastic containers,” said Shelley Slaughter, who has been named Vice President, North America, and will be responsible for business development and marketing.
“Right now, we’re focused on working in partnership with companies who want to be ahead of the curve with their commitment to sustainability. The bottom line is that throwing things away costs money – and the bigger the business, the greater the costs.”
Notbox offers one of several alternatives to cardboard packaging that have hit the market in recent years as sustainability becomes the packaging industry’s most pressing challenge. Unlike Notbox, which touts the reusability of its packaging solutions, many alternatives are derived from resources that are more sustainable than petroleum and paper. Sustainable alternatives can come from a variety of sources, including dairy, recycled fiber, and biomass.
In a recent blog post, Oliver Campbell, Dell’s director of procurement for packaging and packaging engineering, discussed his company’s efforts to use mushroom-based packaging to promote sustainability.
“The final product looks and acts like Styrofoam,” wrote Campbell, “only this is organic, biodegradable and can be used as compost or mulch, which makes for easier and more environmentally-friendly disposal. In addition, this material is also surprisingly durable and tough.”
Campbell added that Dell’s packaging strategy has cut costs by more than $18 million and eliminated 20 million pounds of packaging between 2008 and 2012. “With the rapid development of technology and alternative packaging solutions being studied constantly, these benefits have the potential to be far greater in the future for anyone who chooses to adopt a sustainable approach to packaging.”
Notboxes, which include coolboxes for home use as well as by specific industries such as the healthcare sector, fold flat for easy storage and backhaul, come in many sizes and colors and are easily branded.
“We chose the Notbox because it’s reusable, lightweight, durable and good value for money,” said a spokesperson for Ten Group, a UK-based concierge service. “Our customers can use their box for picnics and storage, and it won’t add to the heaps of landfill already out there.”