Archive for June, 2011

Be Green Packaging’s Plant-Based Packaging Receives USDA BioPreferred Certification

SANTA BARBARA, June 22nd – Be Green Packaging announced today that its line of plant-based food packaging has achieved USDA BioPreferred status.  The company’s packaging, which is composed of wild-harvested plant fibers such as bulrush and bamboo, qualified for the labeling due to its high level of ‘biobased’ content.  According to the USDA’s website, the term ‘biobased’ refers to commercial or industrial products (other than food or feed) that are composed in whole, or in significant part, of biological products, renewable agricultural materials (including plant, animal, and marine materials), or forestry materials.

The BioPreferred label was created by the USDA in 2002 in order to encourage consumers and government agencies to identify and use products which meet the programs biobased content standards.  Products that achieve BioPreferred status receive preference for all government contracts over those that do not.

In addition to the BioPreferred label, Be Green’s line of food service packaging has also garnered independent, 3rd party certification from a host of organizations such as the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation InstituteBiodegradable Products Institute (BPI), Western Michigan University’s Recycling Program, and the Non-GMO Project, among others.

Be Green Packaging and Proctor & Gamble Receive Diamond Award at 23rd Annual DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.; June 13th, 2011 – DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers has announced the winners of its 23rd Annual Awards for Packaging Innovation, naming Be Green Packaging and Proctor & Gamble as the recipients of its highest honor, the prestigious Diamond Award.  The companies garnered the accolade for their recent collaboration on the design of Gillette’s new Fusion Pro Glide razor packaging trays.  The new trays, which are composed of plant-based fibers, reduced cost and material weight while maintaining Gillette’s distinctive product packaging.   Be Green is known for its line of compostable and recyclable packaging that is also manufactured from plant-based materials similar to those used in the Gillette Fusion ProGlide trays.

DuPont gives Diamond Awards only to those companies that demonstrate extraordinary levels of innovation, commitment to the principles of sustainability, and cost/waste reduction.  Of this years 200+ applicants from around the world, only two were chosen to receive this honor.  In addition to the Be Green Packaging/P&G team, Ecovative Design also received recognition for its line of protective secondary packaging created from a combination of mycelium (mushroom roots) and regionally sourced agricultural byproducts.  Entries were reviewed by an independent panel of judges comprised of top executives from across the packaging and sustainability industries.

“The Packaging Awards program is an opportunity to celebrate how collaborating throughout the value chain can bring cost-effective innovation to the market to help solve the big issues,” said Shanna Moore, global director of sustainable packaging at DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers.  “The Gillette Fusion ProGlide packaging captures the spirit of innovation to resolve complex global challenges.”

Be Green’s proprietary technology allows it to create a wide range of consumer, industrial, and food grade packaging from a mix of plant-based fibers.  WIld-harvested, annually renewable plants are formed into an array of shapes and sizes using advanced moulding processes that can be adapted to meet nearly any specification.  The company maintains stringent eco-certifications from third party organizations such as the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and the Biodegradable Products Institute to ensure transparency in its manufacturing operations.

“Be Green are leaders in the green packaging industry.  Their pressed plant-fiber manufacturing capabilities are what initially attracted me to the company and they worked closely with us [Gillette] to develop the Fusion ProGlide tray.  We had tight deadlines and they delivered, everytime.” said Mike Marcinowski, principal research and development engineer of Proctor & Gamble’s global packaging development division. “There has been a big push within the packaging industry to reduce the environmental impacts of our products.  We chose Be Green to manufacture the Gillette Fusion ProGlide tray because they had the plant-fiber technology we needed with a host of eco-certifications to back it up.”

“We are extremely pleased to have won this award in partnership with P&G” commented Robert Richman, chairman and president of manufacturing. “The DuPont award is a milestone for both companies.  By maintaining a high-level of transparency in all our interactions we were able to develop truly innovative packaging for the Gillette Fusion Pro Glide.  Our recipe for success is simple: collaboration and transparency through every step of the process.”

“This award proves that it is possible to bring sustainable green solutions to the marketplace at lower costs than traditional packaging while significantly lowering a company’s packaging footprint” said Ron Blitzer, CEO of Be Green Packaging in regards to the recent announcement. “For consumers and retailers alike, this collaboration is providing a template for the next generation in packaging.  This is a big win for not only Be Green and P&G/Gillette, but consumers as well.”

The Gillette Fusion Pro Glide razor is currently available in a number of European markets, including the United Kingdom.

In addition to P&G, Be Green is currently supplying food service packaging to Whole Foods Market and 7-11, among others.  The company will be expanding its global manufacturing operations by opening the nation’s first plant-fiber manufacturing facility based on the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute’s standards later this year in Jasper county South Carolina.

About Be Green Packaging

Be Green Packaging LLC, based in Santa Barbara, Calif., manufactures and distributes Cradle-to-Cradle certified, tree-free, compostable packaging for the food and consumer packaging industries. The company’s products are made from annually renewable plant fibers that are safe for people and healthy for the planet. For more information about the company, please visit

About Proctor and Gamble

Three billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Pampers®, Tide®, Ariel®, Always®, Whisper®, Pantene®, Mach3®, Bounty®, Dawn®, Pringles®, Charmin®, Downy®, Lenor®, Iams®, Crest®, Oral-B®, Actonel®, Duracell®, Olay®, Head & Shoulders®, Wella®, Gillette®, and Braun®.  The P&G community consists of over 135,000 employees working in over 80 countries worldwide. Please visit for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.

Be Green Packaging Partners With Engineering and Construction Firm The Austin Company to Develop Green Manufacturing Facility in South Carolina

SANTA BARBARA, June 6th, 2011 – Be Green Packaging, LLC announced today that it has engaged The Austin Company, a leading design, engineering, and construction firm who will undertake the development of the company’s new $7.3 million dollar manufacturing facility in Ridgeland, South Carolina. Earlier this year, Be Green announced the purchase of the 27-acre property where it will house the nation’s first plant-based, compostable packaging facility operating under the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute’s sustainability standards. Based out of Santa Barbara, California, Be Green is making a name for itself in the emerging sustainable packaging sector by working with a diverse portfolio of clients such as Whole Foods Market, P&G’s GIllette Razor Company, and Sonoco, among others.

With over 130 years of experience, The Austin Company is one of the country’s preeminent engineering and construction firms whose list of clients covers a wide range of industries from aerospace to food service. In the past, The Austin Company has worked with internationally recognizable organizations such as Proctor and Gamble, General Mills, The Boeing Company, Danisco, and Unilever, among others, to design, construct, and maintain some of the world’s most innovative manufacturing facilities. The company will be serving as design, engineering and construction consultants and offering a host of process operations improvement services to Be Green in the months running up to the plant’s opening.

“Be Green is committed to quality in every aspect of how we conduct business, from our manufacturing standards to our finished product. We want to extend that same level of commitment to our new facility and that is why we have brought The Austin Company on board” commented Robert Richman, Chairman and President of Manufacturing, when asked about the partnership. “Simply put, they have the experience and knowledge to help us get our facility up and running in the shortest timeframe possible while maintaining our high standards.”

Be Green Packaging LLC, based in Santa Barbara, California, manufactures and distributes Cradle-to-Cradle certified, tree-free, compostable packaging for the food and consumer packaging industries. The company’s products are made from annually renewable plant fibers that are safe for people and healthy for the planet. For more information about the company, please visit:

Leading Market Research Firm Pira International Releases Report on Sustainable Packaging Industry Growth Drivers

In a consumer driven marketplace there are few actions that speak as loudly as “voting with your wallet” and as Pira International’s latest packaging industry survey reveals, companies are indeed listening.  The firm recently released a comprehensive marketing intelligence report entitled The Future of Sustainable Packaging to 2020: Convenience Vs the Environment, which outlines a dramatic shift in perception within the packaging industry regarding sustainability.  The research firm chose to approach the study from a “consumer-based” perspective, seeking to understand exactly what forces are driving the marketplace.

Pira interviewed key players in the global packaging supply chain in order to understand what they considered to be the largest drivers of growth in the sustainable packaging industry.  According to Pira, sustainability is defined as growth that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own. The results of the study showed that 79% of the respondents felt consumer awareness of environmental issues and new material developments were the most important factors driving growth within the field.

Based on the results of the study, the researchers concluded that “…the packaging industry cannot help but become the sustainability focal point and primary benchmark for other industries.”  Linda Casey of Packaging Digest went on to state “Not only is packaging a resource intensive sector in an increasingly resource constrained world, but tons of packaging waste are ending up in landfills daily.”  Considering these factors, it becomes quite clear that the potential for innovation within the industry is huge.

Major companies are beginning to take note and a few have stepped forward to lead the “sustainable packaging revolution” by adopting forward-thinking solutions that eschew traditional petroleum-based plastics.  In the public sector, Whole Foods Market, Proctor and Gamble’s Gillette Razor Company (UK), and Pepsi Co. are among those that have led the charge by adopting 100% recyclable, plant-based packaging for use on some of their products.  With many of the worlds most recognizable brands preparing to follow suit, it is only a matter of time before truly sustainable, plant-based packaging becomes an industry standard.

The large scale adoption of plant-based packaging currently underway is helping to create economies of scale that will encourage companies that may have initially been reluctant to adopt sustainable packaging due its high price to reconsider their decisions.  This is especially true in light of the recent surge in oil prices that continues to make traditional petroleum-based plastic packaging look less favorable by the day.

In addition to measuring drivers of growth, Pira’s study also identified major barriers that need to be overcome in order for sustainable packaging to be adopted on a wider scale.  Researchers concluded that there is a significant level of confusion surrounding “eco buzz words” such as biodegradable, compostable, recyclable, recycled, and other variations on these and similar terms.  While there is a growing number of highly educated eco-enthusiasts that intentionally seek out green products, the reality is that the average consumer is overwhelmed by the growing list of vaguely defined and often overlapping terms used to market and describe sustainable packaging.

The study’s authors suggest that both the packaging industry and consumers need to work together to develop a unified set of standards that will end confusion and maintain transparency in the rapidly growing sustainability sector.  Independent organizations such as the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute have developed their own strict standards that could potentially serve as a framework for future legislation.  A list of packaging companies that are currently certified by the organization can be found here.

While the report’s overall outlook is certainly positive, there nonetheless remain significant hurdles that need to be overcome in the rapidly growing field.  If consumers are indeed the major drivers of growth within the industry, it is imperative that they understand just what it is they are getting.

To find out more about Pira International or to purchase a copy of the report, visit their website at

– Justin Faerman

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Be Green Packaging designs, manufactures and distributes Cradle to Cradle™ certified, tree-free, compostable packaging for the food and consumer packaging industries that is safe for people and healthy for the planet.

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About Be Green Packaging

Be Green Packaging designs, manufactures and distributes Cradle to Cradle™ certified, tree-free, compostable packaging for the consumer packaging industries that is safe for people and healthy for the planet.