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Sustainable Packaging and Display Manufacturing In California

Sustainable packaging and production with lower costs -- that's green(er)!

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Sustainable Packaging for Reduction of VOCs and Waste

Sustainable packaging is beginning to get attention. Reduction of VOCs and waste are the first rungs of sustainability in packaging -- but reduced paper use, less chemicals, and quality air and working conditions follow close on the heals of packaging companies trying to green their operations and their products. It's hard to find providers of sustainable or green(er) packaging. Here are a couple sources for you to check out, especially if you produce or package organic products.
Commander product display printed on corrugated board

Solutions for Corrugated Packaging and Displays

Commander Packaging West delivers intelligent well thought out solutions for Corrugated Packaging and Displays. They are the Minority owned partner in the same manufacturing facility as Proactive Packaging in Ontario, Ca. Commander combines decades of experience in sound packaging construction and design.

Anita Maldonado
Commander Packaging West
Cell: 909-224-8144
Office: 909-390-3500
Commander Packaging Website

Proactive Packaging & Display, the word “sustainability” means growth. In August, the company expanded its California presence by opening a new 300,000-sq-ft facility in Stockton, located about 80 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Gary Hartog, Proactive Packaging founder and owner, is what some might call a visionary, frequently embracing new or prospective markets with zeal and passion. Hartog pushes the envelope when it comes to direct print on corrugated, litho laminating, preprint, digital printing, and most recently, offset lithography. The Ontario plant is a best in class flexographic corrugated printer, printing up to 200 line screen.

With the addition of the Drent Goebel press, Proactive has added yet another “healthy choice” to its product list — corrugated litho preprint.

"We believe we have to be our brother’s keeper." The Stockton operation is a sustainably sound plant, designed to provide the best alternatives in the marketplace.”

The new capabilities represent a $30 million investment, $20 million of which is equipment, geared to offer environmentally friendly paperbased products.

The offset press offers several advantages over flexo. One is plate costs. “A flexo photopolymer plate costs over $1000. An offset plate is as little as $100, according to Schellekens. For a seven-color job, the savings are about $6000 to $7000. Proactive Packaging produces sustainable packaging for organic foods and organic products

“If I were a salesman working for this company I would be calling on the healthcare products and organic foods companies because we offer the only real sustainable choice,” he adds.

They've develop an acronym for their approach: SPACE, which stands for Sustainable Packaging Accentuates Clean Environments.

Like many board converting operations around the country, Proactive has zeroed in on sustainability, even assigning it an acronym: SPACE, which stands for Sustainable Packaging Accentuates Clean Environments.

Sustainability means more than making a box. It means transporting the box, and making sure you’re not spending a lot of money on fuel to get the box from one place to another,” Costa says.

“We want to sell reel to reel preprinted lithography to other folding carton plants that wouldn’t make this investment,” Hartog says. “We have two-thirds more printing capacity than we have converting capacity so we would like to run reel to reel for the industry.”

The Stockton plant produces finished corrugated sheets for the flexo business in Ontario and is a full service corrugated, lithographic, singleface laminating and folding carton facility.

The facility also installed a Drent Goebel inline nine-color litho web press, featuring variable sleeve offset printing and Electron Beam (EB) curing.

“This [press] takes us into a market that we haven’t had before and that is folding carton,” Hartog says. “This machine will go from 30-pt all the way down to 3-pt, which we’re not going to do, but probably 6-pt.” The press is the first of its kind in the paper business. Features include a camera scan for 100% defect detection, lowering waste; roll to roll printing; shorter runs; no heat or light ink curing; an FDA compliant coating process for direct food contact; VOC free inks; and a non UV high gloss coating.

Proactive Packaging is California's leading sustainable packaging printer and converter

Marketing Manager Clive Costa says the word “sustainability” has a certain magic. “You mention it and [customers] prop up and lean forward. It has opened up a whole different way of selling for us.” Earlier this year Proactive secured the very last booth at Wal-Mart’s Sustainable Packaging Expo in Bentonville, Ark.

Wal- Mart continues to shout its mandate, and consumer products companies obediently listen and act.

There were 150 packaging vendors showcasing their sustainable characteristics to 4000 Wal-Mart vendors. “What we found was we’re the most sustainable packaging supplier in the United States today,” Hartog says.

Proactive has since developed its own list of what it brings to the sustainability table. This includes:

  • Lower inventories
  • Lower fiber content
  • Customer specific liners
  • EB curing
  • VOC free platform
  • roll to roll litho (versus sheet-fed)
  • waste management technology
  • 100% recyclabl
  • cold process corrugator
  • and large format flexo and litho options

Regional Facilities Matter for Sustainability

Tied to his commitment to offer the most sustainable product, Hartog is pursuing what he calls his “National Vision — The retooling of America.” The plan calls for identical box plants in various regions of the country.

“When you look at the National Vision and what Wal-Mart says about sustainability, you want to get close to where you’re shipping,” Costa says. The Ontario and Stockton plants serve the West Coast. Hartog wants exact duplicates of those two plants combined in order to deliver everything they offer.

Founded in 1994, Proactive Packaging was originally a broker business. Disappointed with the quality of product on the market, Hartog decided to turn Proactive into a label, singleface laminator and preprint converter.

Short Run Packaging is Green(er)

Proactive welcomes short runs! Why? Because their biggest, fastest press allows them to set-up — on-press — for the next two jobs while the current job is still running. Make-ready happens in minutes. Turnaround on short runs is fast. Warehousing becomes unnecessary. That reduces waste, and reduced waste reduces impact on the environment...and you budget.

Currently, Proactive is running SBS, SUS, CCKB, kraft and CCNB on the litho press.

Proactive Packaging & Display
602 S. Rockefeller Ave.
Ontario, CA 91761
(909) 390-5624

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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