I have had lots of people asking me recently why we were green, so it seemed like a good time to revisit this topic. I suppose this is on a lot of people’s minds these days because of Earth Day along with what seems to be an increasing awareness. I hope this trend continues, I want to be sure to leave a better world for my children.
Today I want to focus on packaging. If you want to see more on how we are green, look into our archives for my earlier post which focuses on our product.
We have a really particular view when we look at packaging our product and we have to balance out a few considerations. We have had some people ask why we have packaging at all if we claim to be green. While we would love to be packaging free, we just aren’t there quite yet. Retailers want packaging as it is easier to shelve packaged product and the packaging provides important information such as UPC codes, pricing etc. When you have toys with more than one part, you NEED packaging to prevent loss in store (and on the way to the store), and consumers often buy based on packaging messages. Additionally, if you are selling goods without packaging, then more structural material needs to go into the master carton, otherwise product gets damaged on its way to the store. Small parcel carriers like UPS or FedEx aren’t always as gentle as we would like! We found this out the hard way with our first product line and are continually looking for better solutions that work in the real world. I am excited by some of the things I see PUMA doing, I hope they are successful. We will be watching.
So knowing the above, we approach packaging with the view of: how little packaging can we get away with and what is the most eco-friendly packaging for this particular product. We think we have come up with some pretty innovative solutions. For our Eco-trucks, we have managed a small tray; for our dinosaurs (now in Old Navy), a simple tag; for multiple piece items like our Dino Adventure Rig, we have an open box and the smaller items are captured by the box and under the insert. We never EVER use twist ties or plastic clam shells to capture our items, which has a wonderful side benefit of letting you play with the toy right from the box. (That’s right, no more wrestling with twist ties when all your child wants to do is play! We are parents too and have been there, done that.)
In addition, we choose recycled materials for our packaging and cartons. We try to use as much post-consumer recycled content as we can and print all of our packaging in water or soy based inks so that you can recycle the box when you are done with it knowing you aren’t releasing toxic dyes or inks into the environment. We follow this same train of thought for all of our marketing materials and office supplies… if we have to have it, we choose the most eco-friendly FSC certified papers we can.
I can’t wait to see what our designers and packaging team comes up with next. I love that I work for a company that tries to push these boundaries and create better and better solutions.
What do you think? Do you have some solutions we should look at? We would love to hear, so feel free to comment below or tweet me: @kimatsprig. We always love to hear from you!