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Learn about further initiatives beauty industry leaders are taking in the green movement, and for additional information on eco-friendly packaging, products and more, see the February 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine or click here to read the original article, The Green Report by Jeff Falk.
The nature of Xela Pack’s products already have made them environmentally sound—the collapsibility, the unbleached kraft material, etc. How do you continue to evolve products that are already ahead of the game in a lot of ways? Is the recycling program one of the ways?
Anthony Gentile, director of art and marketing with Xela Pack, Inc.: We are continuing to evolve by researching new materials and breakthroughs in material development/production. For instance, we have been offering a material constructed with 100% post-consumer recycled paper (PCRP) for about 10 years now. However, the material was brown (Kraft) and did not appeal to some cosmetic and personal care product companies. This year, we developed a new material that is constructed using 100% PCRP and has a white coating applied at the paper manufacturer, which allows for tighter printing and, thus, appeals more to higher-end companies looking to make a difference environmentally. We have also started offering secondary packaging options that are created with PCRP content rather than virgin paperboard. And we have made sure that our paper suppliers know that we expect them to be compliant with eco-conscious forestry.
We are also making efforts to make our company, not just the products, more environmentally responsible by implementing new recycling protocols, cutting down on production waste, reducing the weight of our trade show exhibits and educating our customers about the many benefits of the Xela Pack—such as reductions in space, shipping materials, fuel for shipping and so on. We are continually looking for new ways to increase our environmental friendliness as far as our products and our company, in general, are concerned.
Continental Packaging added PLA—polylactic acid, a biodegradable plastic made from corn—packaging to its range. What products, so far, are available in PLA, and what do foresee as the future of PLA for your company? Will more and more products be available in PLA? Will it become the prevalent material? What were the challenges in going from other materials to PLA? Did the productions lines need to be altered? How was sourcing impacted?
Robb Zurek, business development manager with Continental Packaging Solutions: Although PLA has significant limitations, we’re already seeing it in very dynamic applications, such as makeup compacts. However, we won’t be able to really utilize PLA until it’s readily available for closures and other secondary-packaging applications. That said, we have every confidence that it is the packaging material of the future due to its easy integration into existing production lines. There is little to no issue with using the same molds, and that will be a huge factor in its future use.