Forget The Green Packaging At Your Peril – A Story

green-box.jpgThis is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of Proforma Green, an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy. John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry.
We recently ran 1000 bag clips for the MercyCorps office in New York (if you have never heard of this NGO check them out at
The New York office wanted some inexpensive and green items to use as giveaways and they went with the Garyline 6‚Ä≥ Bag Clip molded with up to 100% recycled material and an enhanced biodegradability additive so it beaks down once the clip is introduced to a landfill. Another reason to use Garyline was that their factory is in the Bronx so that lowered the project’s shipping costs and carbon footprint.
So client gets inexpensive, useful, green giveaway and everyone is happy. Right?

Sort of.
I got a call from MercyCorps once the clips arrived. All 1000 clips came in their own petroleum based polybag.
That is a lot of trash.
In Garyline’s defense bagging is standard in the industry. Factories want to make sure their items arrive safe and undamaged. Still MercyCorp was a little upset when they had made a choice to go green and still were delivered a bunch of trash.
When I called Garyline about this they had no solution. Basically they said everything leaving their factory – green or not – leaves in a polybag. They suggested we removed the clips from the bags ourselves and then send to client.
Ahhh. right.
I of course, thought their “solution” well …stupid, and certainly not green as it would mean sending the clips from New York to Texas and back to New York.
This is something our industry needs to address. Yes a factory may make a green product, but are they following green practices?
For example Norwood makes an ECOL pen with barrel and clip made from recycled paper. It is great. MercyCorp also ordered 1000 of them.
When we asked Norwood about packaging, their response was, “no problem”, and they bulk packaged the pens together to save packing materials and shipping weight.
I learned a lesson. Once an item is ordered it is a good idea to ask how that item will arrive. Green product first, followed by green delivery.

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