Celebrating 50 years of Quality Food Packaging

Posts Tagged ‘sustainable’

How Genpak’s Microwavable Containers Protect The Environment

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Source reduction is becoming widely acceptable in our society in hopes of eliminating waste and protecting the environment. Manufacturers are taking advantage of this solution using the three R’s of sustainability: reduce, reuse, and recycle. This 3-step process generates new paths explored by Gen Xers and Millennials as they are more versed in saving the environment through various source reduction programs.

Microwavable Containers that protect the environment

Smart Set Pro containers are recyclable, reusable, and microwave safe.

Here at Genpak, we mark environmental solutions as a high priority by making conservational moves in the food packaging industry. Our best example of that is Smart Set Pro, a collection of microwave safe containers that are designed to be reused, as they are dishwasher safe and recyclable. High in quality and in value, these sustainable containers are perfect for signature menu items and are revolutionary for the ever evolving dine-in, take out, and home delivery platforms. In addition, it’s comprised of textured polypropylene, which is cool to the touch and 20% lighter compared to other competitor options.

We take pride in meeting the growing demand for quality products one container at a time, as we strive to be your food packaging company.

Interested in learning more about what Genpak is doing to protect the environment? Visit the Green Room for global facts, concerns, and our solutions. For more information about Smart Set Pro, click here. To request a sample, click here.

Don’t forget to join us on our social media platforms for a chance to be featured on our page! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and simply hashtag #GenpakAdvantage to your next post!

Earth Day – April 22, 2017 – What are you doing to help?

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Earth Day

Earth Day is just around the corner on April 22, 2017. Since 1970, Earth Day has been celebrated around the world to support environmental issues across the world.

Harvest Fiber bowl with compostable lid

HF836 & HF936 – Harvest Fiber bowl with compostable lid

Not only is Earth Day promoting discussion about climate change and sustainable environments, but it also gets people thinking about how their daily lives can make an impact on our Earth.

At Genpak, we are committed to helping keep Earth viable for as long as possible. We use annually renewable resources to produce our Harvest Fiber items, post-consumer recycled content in our Deli Containers and Supermarket Containers. All of our Smart Set Pro and Oven Ready Containers are 100% recyclable. You can learn more about our sustainability efforts in our Green Room.

The ability for an item to composted and biodegradable is high on everyone’s list of environmentally friendly concerns. Harvest Fiber is compostable. It will completely breakdown in 90 days in a commercial compost facility

Check out our video to learn more about Harvest Fiber and Earth Day and request free samples.

hinged food container with lobster

HF270 – Harvest Fiber Super Jumbo Container

We hope you will participate with us this Earth Day to help keep the Earth around for many generations to come. For more information on Earth Day, visit www.earthday.org.

Home Delivery Explosion Continues – Are you ready?

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The home delivery explosion isn’t ending any time soon. Are you ready? Every restaurant should be at least thinking about making this option accessible to their communities. On-demand food service delivery brings food directly from your restaurant to the customers, driven through mobile apps and online ordering.

Millennials are driving change in many different areas, food service included. As you might have guessed, Millennials are tech savvy, typically using up to two or three different devices each day. They are using said devices to connect with friends and companies, to research and review products, and to place food orders for delivery or take-out. They already love coming in to your restaurant, so why not connect to them when they don’t feel like eating out.

The restaurant industry is a roughly $490 billion market. Food delivery makes up 43% of that marketing and is continuing to grow. Engage with your loyal customers in and out of your restaurant. Millennials and Baby Boomers, alike, want great food at their finger tips.

RestaurantBusiness.com has a great article about how to get started with food delivery. There are lots of questions to ask before you get started in offering your food for delivery. Which service should I use, how will this change my business? Are we prepared to take on the increase in take-out orders? Do we have the right packaging for full meals to travel?

Genpak is here to help. Take a look at our home delivery video to get free samples, request a call, and learn more.


NRA 2013

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2013 National Restaurant Association Show

Did you know we will be at the National Restaurant Association trade show in Chicago? You should stop by our booth (#1626) to chat with us about our new Harvest Pro line.

More and more restaurants are moving to a more environmentally friendly option. Our Harvest Pro line combines quality and responsibility to bring you a recyclable, non-absorbent, cut resistant, microwavable clamshell. Produced with 40% natural minerals Harvest Pro offers a great way to reduce your environmental impact, but not reduce the quality. Harvest Pro is also leak resistant because of the double lock closures with tab opening. These containers also come in a vented option for hot foods. These options are everything you could ever want in a hinged container.

Harvest Pro comes in a range of sizes, from the most popular size, 9″ x 7″, general purpose container for burgers and fries or chicken wings, to the 6″ x 6″ sandwich container. If portion control is an issue Harvest Pro offers two three-compartment containers. Having different size options helps with portion control but also keeps your look consistent.

Harvest Pro black hinged containers

Harvest Pro is:

  • Non-absorbent – your food isn’t soaked into the container. You don’t lose any flavor in your meal.
  • Cut resistant – you don’t end up cutting your table, losing dressing or sauce due to slices in the packaging.
  • Microwave safe – heat up your leftovers without burning your hands, melting the container, or blowing up the microwave.
  • Recyclable – when you are through, toss it in with the rest of your recyclables.

Did you say you wanted something with a design on it? Well Harvest Pro can do that too. We have embossing options available to suit your needs.

Remember Genpak’s Harvest Pro next time you are thinking about being “Responsible, Renewable & Reliable.”

Stop by our booth for a chance to win a Summer Survival Kit containing cutlery, cups, plates, and bowls; everything you need for a party! See you soon.

Food Packaging & Food Industry News

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Packaging can make or break a meal. I could not have said it better.

Sustainable trends in food packaging. It seems packaging is constantly in the cross hairs, but there is no doubt the packaging industry is making great strides in reducing the amounts of materials used while still producing a functional part. The bullet points midway through this article really tells a compelling tale.

QR Codes are popping up everywhere. I don’t know about you, but I really like these little things. They make it very easy to inform customers about topics regarding a product.

More bans?

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Well here we go again. More politicians have decided they are experts on food packaging. This time it’s New York state (Genpak’s home state by the way). State Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly member Brian Kavanagh have teamed with others in an attempt to ban the use of foamed polystyrene food service products in governmental offices and public schools.  They kicked off this witch hunt by holding a rally on Earth Day at a Manhattan school, standing next to a giant pile of polystyrene products. They have also begun recruiting elected officials to sign their SPARE (Stop Polystyrene And Revitalize the Environment) pledge. I guess this document forces governmental office buildings to find other, (more expensive) forms food service packaging. Ms. Kruger went on to say she was proud to be part of something that will ban products blah blah blah, toxic to the environment blah blah, etc etc. All the same rhetoric that is mostly all false or half true.

Here’s what I think. Election day is right around the corner and if you are an incumbent, you’re fighting for your political life. Especially in New York where once again we have no budget in place because of all the political bickering. Hey, let’s find an easy target we can pick on that will make us look like good guys in the voters eyes. Styrofoam!  Yes there we go, lets ban Styrofoam! 

Let’s face it, foamed polystyrene (Styrofoam is a trade name by another company) is an easy target due to huge consumer misconception…partially fueled by the misinformation piled on by folks like this. These politicians make up neat acronyms like SPARE and stand next to a giant piles of garbage talking about the ills of the material. Most of what they are saying are totally incorrect.

I’m not going to go into all the misinformation Krueger and Kavanagh are saying on this post, but if you are interested, I’ve posted before regarding all the misconceptions of foamed polystyrene. They don’t take long to read and it’s real information offered by someone not looking to be elected.

One thing that should be said here is if they are successful, taxpayers in NY should know that most of the alternative materials available are significantly more expensive than foam. Yes there are alternatives. I know because we sell a ton of it with our Harvest label products. It’s compostable and made from annually renewable resources. But, unfortunately, it is more expensive. Given the economic crisis the politicians have put New York State in, I would think they should be looking for any savings they can get. Spending 15% to 20% more for alternative food service packaging is probably not the wisest choice at the moment.

Listen, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. We are not against alternative materials for food packaging.  Far from it. Genpak is leading the charge for alternative materials. We have products made from annually renewable resources, products that have been significantly source reduced, products that are #1 recyclable, products that are produced with up to 50% post consumer recycled content and products produced from hybrid materials that replace a significant portion of the petrochemical resin with natural, annually renewable materials. What I’m against is politicians finding a business sector to regulate and control without knowing the facts, to make them appear grand in voters eyes.

I propose instead of SPARE they initiate DUMB (Don’t Usurp My NYS Budget) or perhaps STUPID (Stop Tying Up taxPayers Invaluable Dollars) and get to work on passing a budget for this great state. Let the food service markets and industries make their own natural progression toward the materials and substrates that make the most sense environmentally and economically.


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Over the last couple of days I attended a conference put on by Nature Works, who is a domestic supplier of PLA. PLA (polylactic acid) is an alternative resin source made entirely from corn and is meant to be used in replacement of PET, OPS and other clear petrochemical based resins. This conference came off the heals of another meeting I attended called the Biopolymers Symposium, which had a very similar theme to the aforementioned NW conference.

Both events were fairly well attended, and not just by chemists and engineers (thankfully). One message I took away from both events was the goal of many companies to practice and become more sustainable. Sustainability by definition is not rocket science, but to me more of a common sense practice. However the extent to which some companies have embraced sustainable practices does teeter on the verge of mind blowing. Not just the big companies either. I saw most impressive presentations from all sized companies including smaller regional companies, national niche market companies right on up to multi-billion dollar multinational brand name companies.  

Clearly the largest companies have the most aggressive and far reaching game plans due to greater resources.  Once such plan that was talked about was a goal to make a manufacturing facility of one such large company, 100% self reliant.  To be taken totally off the grid for power, water and other utilities.  This wasn’t just some lofty goal on paper to say “look what we are thinking about”, but according to the presentation, well under way to becoming reality.  I can’t go into all the details of everything they were doing, but it was very impressive.  Especially the water reclamation part.  This is because the facility was located in an arid location and the company used a great deal of water in their particular process.  They not only figured out how to clean and purify the water, but to repipe it back into their process to be used again and again.

There was one common detail that each and every company who talked about sustainability initiatives stressed though.  That was a return on their investment.  Let’s face it, companies are in business to turn a profit.  No profit and the doors close.  These forward thinking companies each had a clear objective to turn their sustainability programs into a healthier bottom line.  They not only wanted to be better stewards of the environment but wanted a stronger company as a result of it.  Again, there were lots of examples provided showing where and how a payback and return was realized, but I think the most important aspect that each organization practiced was a top down approach to sustainability.  In each and every case that was presented, the company’s top management was completely committed to their program and, they got all their employees on board.  You can have an excellent plan on paper, but if the mother hen is not fully committed, the chicks will surely scatter.  These companies were not afraid to step back and take a critical look at themselves to ask “how can we do this better and what can we do differently that will not only  enrich the environment, but enrich our profits as well”.

I urge you to do the same.  Whether you have or work for a company as well as in your personal life.  Ask yourself the questions.  Do you really need to drive to the market for that gallon of milk, or could you walk or ride a bike?  Turn off the lights when you leave a room and power your computer down when you’ll be away from it.  These may seem like little things but just remember, one or two tiny snowflakes falling won’t add up to much, but millions falling can enact a blizzard of change.