HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Engineering Materials

Bioplastic Packaging Is Cheaper Than Cardboard

View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 3/3
Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Bioplastic and cardboard
Rob Spiegel   7/6/2012 1:34:49 PM
NO RATINGS
Nice article, Ann. There is such a large shift away from paper these days (especially with books), I would think it would begin to affect the paper industry. We joke about saving trees by reading electronic books, but at some point, that becomes a reality.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: cradle to cradle times six!
Ann R. Thryft   7/6/2012 12:21:33 PM
NO RATINGS
Nadine, the customer is truly huge and does not want to be identified. This is pretty typical in many industries. especially with public companies always worrying about their stock price. Regarding degradation, with plastics it all depends on the recycling process. This is mechanical not chemical so there will be degradation over time. But since bioplastics are essentially all custom formulations, that doesn't have to affect quality. The point here is reclamation instead of none, and not letting the end-of-life material go to landfill.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Bioplastic and cardboard
Ann R. Thryft   7/6/2012 12:20:05 PM
NO RATINGS
Mydesign, answering that question would require a detailed lifecycle analysis comparison, which Ecospan did not discuss. Not turning trees into cardboard shipping containers and retaining their C02 sequestration function is more ecological than the reverse; beyond that we don't have data. Ecospan's website might have some answers.

Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Bioplastic and cardboard
Mydesign   7/6/2012 2:13:34 AM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
"The key is in the reusability of plastic packaging, which pushes down the overall cost"

Ann, what about the weight part and saftey of the content? Is the bio plastic more ecco friendly when compare with cardboards.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The bigger sustainability picture
Charles Murray   7/5/2012 8:51:24 PM
NO RATINGS
I can easily see why so much money is saved. Consider how people tear open boxes containing electronics. It's usually pretty careless. The flaps get torn and the main part of box itself gets damaged. I would be surprised if the cardboard boxes were getting more than one reuse. Great story, Ann.

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
cradle to cradle times six!
NadineJ   7/5/2012 8:12:39 PM
NO RATINGS
Cradle to cradle design has been around for a few years now.  It's always good to see more examples.

How does Ecospan address the degradation of materials in the recycling process?  Generally, products made from post-consumer recycled material isn't as strong/durable as the original without using some new material.

Why is the customer un-named?  Wouldn't a company want to brag about this?  But, if getting box use for six full repair instances per item is needed, maybe they shouldn't be named.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The bigger sustainability picture
naperlou   7/5/2012 2:25:57 PM
NO RATINGS
Good point Beth.  By applying some smarts to the whole process, and the technology of the packaging, they have been able to come up with a great savings.  These savings go beyond the basic use of the container, since these are more environmentally friendly materials.  This is a great engineering design story.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The bigger sustainability picture
Rob Spiegel   7/5/2012 2:02:34 PM
NO RATINGS
Nice, eco-friendly system spelled out in this article, Ann. It's good to see a company looking beyond the ship-and-forget-about-it mentality that goes into most consumer products.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The bigger sustainability picture
Ann R. Thryft   7/5/2012 12:53:00 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, Beth. Several bioplastics companies I've spoken with, including this one, have mentioned the need for a complete closed-loop system. That idea has been around for awhile, but is probably more likely to become a possibility with bioplastics than with petro-based ones. It's an opportunity to build a whole new infrastructure.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
The bigger sustainability picture
Beth Stackpole   7/5/2012 7:49:23 AM
NO RATINGS
Great story, Ann. Shows there is a lot more to sustainability that simple materials replacement and new technology. Re-engineering key business processes is central to any initiative and this closed-loop, reverse logistics setup is a perfect example. Hope it inspires others to rethink their processes and look at the bigger picture.

<<  <  Page 3/3
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Engineering Materials
A tiny humanoid robot has safely piloted a small plane all the way from cold start to takeoff, landing and coming to a full stop on the plane's designated runway. Yes, it happened in a pilot training simulation -- but the research team isn't far away from doing it in the real world.
Some in the US have welcomed 3D printing for boosting local economies and bringing some offshored manufacturing back onshore. Meanwhile, China is wielding its power of numbers, and its very different relationships between government, education, and industry, to kickstart a homegrown industry.
You can find out practically everything you need to know about engineering plastics as alternatives to other materials at the 2014 IAPD Plastics Expo. Admission is free for engineers, designers, specifiers, and OEMs, as well as students and faculty.
IBM's "sunflower" solar concentrator converts 80% of the sun's radiation into useful energy.
Some studies say that robots take away certain jobs from humans, but give us others in return. So far that's worked in the past, but things may be changing.
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 20 - 24, How to Design & Build an Embedded Web Server: An Embedded TCP/IP Tutorial
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 11:00 AM
Sponsored by Stratasys
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Gates Corporation
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service