Posted on August 9, 2012 by Michael Boik

The Many Forms of Eco Friendly Protective, Cushioning, Void Fill and other Interior Packaging

The packaging that is inside the box you ship can be known by many different names that are often times misleading. The vast variety of “cushioning” materials will work well only if the correct one is used for the right purpose. For example, “protective packaging” only protects if it is the right product and it is used correctly. “Void fill” products are quite often miss applied and the end result is usually disappointment and damage.

Free Packaging Application Review

We have always been quick to provide a no cost, no obligation review of any application because it ultimately saves time and money for everyone involved. There is nothing more frustrating than to order the wrong product, experience problems, and then have to begin the process all over again.

Nothing can replace a short phone conversation about your specific situation including what you ship, how you ship it, volume, and most importantly – what is it you expect your interior packaging to do? Here are a few basic guidelines:

For basic void fill applications

When a box is larger than the product you are shipping, there is some space or “void”, which requires filling. The options available to you vary a great deal from inflatable products like our air pillows for larger voids and larger volume applications; to paper products like our new EZ Green Pak paper delivery system.

We rarely recommend loose fill products like shredded paper or foam peanuts for void fill because they are messy and very expensive to ship and store.

For cushioning applications

If an item is fragile and the intention is to prevent breakage, we may suggest our GreenWrap Ready Rolls by Geami that are a paper product able to provide the same level of protection as plastic bubble packaging. Compressed paper can also be very effective, again depending on the specific product(s) being shipped.

For separation of multiple products

Sometimes the greatest potential hazard to a product being shipped is the identical product being shipped next to it within the same box. Glass bottles always come to mind but it could be electronics, or even finely machined parts. In some of those cases a good deal of labor and materials can be saved by using custom designed partitions or dividers.

Partitions and dividers can be very simple or sophisticated, and designed with or without a perimeter air cell depending on the product and application. In most cases though, they are very surprisingly economical and truly get the job done.

For blocking and bracing situations

Sometimes the product needs to be completely immobilized to avoid damage during shipping. That can be difficult to accomplish, especially if the product is heavy or unusually shaped. For those types of situations, the solutions may vary from compressed paper to molded foam or pulp. One unique product we offer is our Globe Guard ® Eco Flex that is a preformed sheet that can be easily shaped and modified to solidly hold products in place.

In addition to these stock, off the shelf solutions, we also offer a variety of “engineered” solutions which I prefer to call “semi-custom” products. These are essentially stock products that are modified or machined to fit your specific application. This post from our Green Packaging Group web site shows several products we created so one of our dear customers, Varisport, can deliver a greener, undamaged product their customers.

While we highlighted many products in this post, they are a small fraction of what we have available. We are also very good at using a combination of these products such as the special shipping cases we helped to create for Volcano Island Honey for their delicious glass jars of honey.

We have many ideas and products to help you reduce cost and minimize damage. Just ask us for the free evaluation and we’ll help you get started.

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