Along with design trends like minimalism and modern-meets-vintage flair, a renewed focus on sustainability is taking hold in the packaging industry this year.
“In an increasingly sustainability driven world, packaging experts and consumer products companies alike are learning that a focus on “green” is quickly becoming a necessity in today’s product environment,” writes Tom Szaky in a January article for Packaging Digest. Indeed, the footprint that packaging leaves behind is becoming more and more important to environmentally conscious consumers. “Major brands and packaging experts failing to address this important and fast-growing population of sustainably-minded consumers will be one step behind in 2016,” Szaky writes.
Well, we’re proud to say that PSI Group has been ahead of the trend to go green for quite a while. Here’s a look at some of our efforts.
Minimizing Our Own Environmental Impact
Not only is PSI Group certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, meaning we only buy raw materials from responsible and ethical sources, we also go above and beyond to minimize our impact on the environment and sustain the communities in which our facilities operate.
On average, we recycle ten tons of cardboard scrap per day between our three corrugated facilities in Williamsport, Maryland, and in Connellsville and McAdoo, Pennsylvania. Those ten tons per day add up to 300 tons per month, which equates to saving:
- • 2,700 cubic yards of landfill space per month
- • 5,100 trees per month
- • 13,800 gallons of oil per month
- • 2,100,000 gallons of water per month
While PSI Group’s facilities use a combined total of 2,500 gallons of water per month, we’re also proud to say that we reclaim and convert 100 percent of the manufacturing floor wastewater, ensuring it does not go back into our communities public drainage system.
We’re especially proud of our rooftop solar panel system, which generates 45 percent of the daily demand for electricity at our corrugated sheeting facility in Vineland, New Jersey. The solar array saves an estimated 2.6 million pounds of carbon dioxide from being emitted annually. That’s equivalent to removing approximately 225 cars from the road each year!
Smart Engineering, Responsible Printing
Of course, our focus on converting waste into reusable products and minimizing our use of natural resources extends much farther than our own facilities. We strive to produce packaging that’s as efficient, environmentally friendly, and aesthetically pleasing as possible while also meeting the respective needs and goals of each of our clients.
Our structure engineers work hand-in-hand with every one of our clients to understand their fulfillment process, financial costs, and logistics needs. From there, our designers will suggest materials, such as 100-percent recycled cardboard or our biodegradable inks, or packaging redesigns that will offer you the most efficient solution to meet your company’s environmental goals.
For many clients, eliminating waste by designing packaging that uses minimal tapes and fillers is enough to make a significant impact on reducing their environmental footprint. Other clients, such as REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), set specific goals like getting more than a single use out of some of their packaging to aid in waste reduction, and our structure engineers and graphic designers have created custom solutions for the outdoor gear and clothing retailer to make that happen.
Meeting REI’s Environmental Stewardship Goals
The reusable cardboard packaging we create for REI is just one element of the company’s dedication to environmental stewardship, but it’s also a critical component of their fulfillment and shipping process.
“Our designers work on modifications to current packaging to ensure REI can use their boxes more than once, helping them meet their standards for waste management (each box gets more turnover, so they throw away and order less packaging),” says Ed Ergler, Sales Representative for PSI. “We currently run a die-cut box for REI that they get three or more runs out of between the distribution centers and storefronts, for example.”
Since 2007, REI has been advancing efforts to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging, moving from simply reducing the weight of packages to optimizing their design. The packaging solutions that PSI has created for REI over the years have been tailored to fit the company’s evolving needs.
Today, every box that we create for REI is made of approximately 43 percent recycled materials, which helps to reduce the amount of waste and energy needed to produce cardboard packaging from wood pulp. By reducing the amount of materials and energy used in production of the company’s packaging, we’re able to offer a product that meets their sustainability goals.
Ready to make your company’s packaging more efficient and environmentally friendly? Call PSI Group today at 1.800.223.6255 for help in creating a custom sustainability plan.
Visit our sustainability page to learn more about PSI’s dedication to sustainability and to see a handy infographic that shows everything we do to minimize our impact on the environment.