Most of the trash that accumulates so quickly is made up of packaging. This makes sense when every item at the grocery store, every new piece of equipment and every toy is safely encased in the cardboard boxes we have gotten so accustomed to. The Integrated Waste Management Board states that of all the solid waste that pours into landfills every year, a third is made up of packaging.
Most boxes are made from wax coated wood pulp. Unfortunately, wax boxes are non-recyclable and non-pulpable which means they go straight to the dump after being used. It is also too costly for retailers that do use boxes to separate these non-recyclable boxes from old corrugated containers so everything gets sent to the landfill.
Eco-Fiber, a San Francisco based packaging company, provides a solution. Their packaging is designed to work better than any wax-coated box, and Eco-Fiber’s products are perfectly adequate for use in a refrigerator, freezer, printer, wallet etc. Their homepage explains that “Eco-Fiber Solutions manufactures competitively priced corrugated, water resistant products that are sustainable, repulpable and recyclable. Based on tested and proven packaging technology, all Eco-Fiber designed products perform as well or better than their waxed coated counterparts. These products are suitable for use in field packaging, for refrigerated and/or freezer conditions and for multiple applications where water resistant packaging is required. Further the packaging can be laminated and is printable”
|This produce tray from Eco-Fiber resists fluid
migration, has rigid construction, is easily
stackable, and can be recycled.
(Photo: Eco-Fiber Solutions)
One of Eco-Fiber’s specialty packages can even replace the popular Styrofoam cooler. Their Eco-cooler is easily put together without any glue or staples.
The item arrives flat, but once put together, this water resistant cardboard box works as well as any other cooler. In fact, it is quoted for “indefinite use”. Best of all, it is recyclable, repulpable and biodegradable.
Their other products, like the Eco-bond, is also put together without any glue or staples but still allows for some tough jobs: During the 2008 Boston International Sea Food Show, the corrugated boxes were introduced to one of the toughest markets: Fish and protein retailers require heavy-duty, leak proof and hygienic packaging. Eco-Fiber’s box didn’t just hold up to the freshly caught crab, fish, and scallops, but also the masses of ice that were slid into the boxes first. In the associated press release, CEO Robert VonFelden is quoted saying that their new box is “the answer to the increasingly untenable waste-disposal problem facing supermarkets and large retailers…and the cost is comparable and often times less than wax-based packaging. This technology is not tied to petroleum prices as is wax. Waxed corrugates will only continue climb in production and disposal costs.”
Sometimes the best part about a product really is the packaging.