Executive Briefings

Some Recent Trends in Green Packaging

Galen Killam, director of business development with EcoLogic LLC, discusses the development of an additive that makes plastic biodegradable in landfills, providing an alternative to consumer products companies when recycling isn't feasible.

Recycling is the preferred option for most consumer goods producers, but it isn't always possible. So EcoLogic has come up with a type of plastic that is biodegradable in landfills. The additive has no impact on the manufacturing or packaging of the product, says Killam. It does add slightly to the retail price, but he believes that consumers are less price-sensitive than they used to be, when it comes to environmental issues. "If you add one or two pennies to a product, they are completely OK with that," he says. "It's the right thing for the earth."

Killam sees a continuing trend toward the creation of more lightweight packaging, but those efforts can only go so far before the product becomes subject to damage during storage and transportation. So additives that make packaging more eco-friendly offer another means of greening the supply chain. "We definitely support recycling," he says. "We should reuse what we can. However, the reality is that less than 10 percent of what is put into the recycling stream gets recycled."

"We are definitely seeing acceptability [of the packaging additive] in the marketplace," says Killam. "Customers seem to be very excited to embrace it." Retailers, too, whose thin margins give them little leeway on pricing, favor the idea of creating more biodegradable materials, even if that means a slightly more expensive item on the retail shelf.

In the push for supply-chain sustainability, the new technology is "a part of that toolbox that we're all going to have," Killam says. "There's not just one solution. Ours is part of the key."

To view this video interview in its entirety, click here.

Recycling is the preferred option for most consumer goods producers, but it isn't always possible. So EcoLogic has come up with a type of plastic that is biodegradable in landfills. The additive has no impact on the manufacturing or packaging of the product, says Killam. It does add slightly to the retail price, but he believes that consumers are less price-sensitive than they used to be, when it comes to environmental issues. "If you add one or two pennies to a product, they are completely OK with that," he says. "It's the right thing for the earth."

Killam sees a continuing trend toward the creation of more lightweight packaging, but those efforts can only go so far before the product becomes subject to damage during storage and transportation. So additives that make packaging more eco-friendly offer another means of greening the supply chain. "We definitely support recycling," he says. "We should reuse what we can. However, the reality is that less than 10 percent of what is put into the recycling stream gets recycled."

"We are definitely seeing acceptability [of the packaging additive] in the marketplace," says Killam. "Customers seem to be very excited to embrace it." Retailers, too, whose thin margins give them little leeway on pricing, favor the idea of creating more biodegradable materials, even if that means a slightly more expensive item on the retail shelf.

In the push for supply-chain sustainability, the new technology is "a part of that toolbox that we're all going to have," Killam says. "There's not just one solution. Ours is part of the key."

To view this video interview in its entirety, click here.