Plastic in Packaging

Let’s talk plastic in packaging…

Recently, plastic has gotten a bad reputation and rightfully so. However, plastic is vital for the packaging industry for many reasons. You may be thinking, “why can’t everyone just use an alternative and stop polluting the ocean with plastics?!” Unfortunately there are just some cases where plastic is a necessity and can’t be replaced by one of the many alternatives such as corrugate, paper, etc.

Plastic is used in many facets of packaging across multiple industries such as food & beverage, health care, cosmetic & personal care, home & garden and consumer goods. Plastic is an essential part of the packaging process. We as consumers rely on plastic for a variety of reasons. Plastic is great for packaging because it keeps products safe, clean and secure. Plastic itself is light weight, durable, versatile and recyclable which makes it perfect for a wide range of packaging needs.

Food waste packaging(1)

Plastic offers a lot great uses, but there are also some drawbacks as mentioned earlier.  Plastic is getting a bad reputation as sustainability becomes more commonplace in the US.

  • Even though plastic is recyclable, it doesn’t always make it to the correct receptacle.
    • According to,”…a total of about 19 billion pounds of garbage and plastic waste ends up in our oceans every year.”
  • Another hot button topic when it comes to plastic and waste is straws.
    • puts the total daily usage of straws in the USA at, “500 million or enough straws to circle around the Earth 2.5 times).


Due to some of the downsides to plastic in packaging some industry leaders are taking the initiative to become more sustainable.

PepsiCo plans to launch a residential recycling initiative that will not only be advantageous for themselves but their communities as well.  According to Packagingnews, “This recycling initiative is part of PepsiCo’s signature sustainability program, “Performance with Purpose”; by 2025, PepsiCo’s goal is to:

  • Design 100% of its packaging to be recyclable, compostable or, biodegradable
  • Increase recycled materials in its plastic packaging
  • Reduce packaging’s carbon impact
  • Work to increase recycling rates.”

Starbucks has laid out plans to ban plastic straws worldwide by 2020. These straws will be replaced by a newly designed lid that is recyclable. Although Starbucks plans to ban the use of plastic straws, they have discussed using compostable plastic or paper straws along-side the new lids. According to, “The company said it is the largest food and beverage retailer to make such a commitment—a decision that will eliminate more than 1 billion plastic straws per year from its stores.” Starbucks plans to roll this new plan out beginning with Seattle and Vancouver as Seattle has already banned the use of plastic straws as a city.

The one thing that is not up for discussion is the fact that plastic is one of the cornerstones of the packaging industry.  No matter which side you are on, everyone can agree that plastic is a very hot topic in this day and age. As the packaging industry continues to grow and evolve we will continue to see more alternatives and advancements that can potentially replace the extensive use of plastic.

Read more about this at one of the links below!


Sustainability in the Coffee Industry

I have seen a few different blogs and articles discussing sustainability and the coffee industry. In the past, we have written articles that went into detail about sustainability in the packaging industry. However, being a coffee enthusiast I thought it would be cool to take that one step further and look at how coffee companies are changing the game when it comes to sustainability in not only packaging, but sourcing and roasting, as well. A couple of brands I would like to highlight are JOCO & Balzac’s Coffee Roasters.

12 05 12 joco 4JOCO is best known for their reusable glass coffee cups which are great for drinking coffee around the house or on the go. JOCO can be an alternative to standard paper or foam cups available at gas stations and coffee shops. JOCO has also partnered with Jimmy Gleeson to create a brand and packaging design that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but sustainable as well. One of my favorite things about this packaging is what’s under the lid. If you flip the lid over you’ll notice the description informing consumers of the “environmentally safe and recyclable” nature of the container. Following this JOCO gives a few suggestions of how to reuse the container such as, a pencil cup, water bottle holder on a bike, a piggy bank, or place to stow your coffee, tea bags and sugar. JOCO does not stop there, they go even further by engaging with the consumer, asking them to submit their fun and clever ways to reuse the tube! (See more information about JOCO here)

10 16 12 Balzacs 5As for coffee roasters, Balzac’s, Counter Culture, Amavida and Oughtred have been leading the way in 2018 when it comes to sustainability. Balzac’s Coffee Roasters showcases their dedication to sustainability through their designs and collaboration. From the large lettering drawing consumer focus to the fact that their beans are “micro-roasted in 20 pound batches” to their collaboration with Margaret Atwood. The Dieline highlights the design begin this collaboration, “stunning illustration with strong type, the new design has significant shelf presence that emotionally engages consumers.” To see how else Balzac’s Coffee Roasters is making a difference check out their website.

These other Coffee Companies are also making quite a bit of noise when it comes to sustainability. Take a look!

Counter Culture

Amavida Coffee Roasters

Oughtred Coffee & Tea

To find more information on Joco & Balzacs, check out the links below.

Packaging Trends for 2018

As we continue to push forward into 2018, let’s take look at what trends we can expect within the packaging industry.

According to the five trends we can look forward to are,

  1. Packaging will play a pivotal role in reducing global food and product waste.
  2. Online brands will reinvigorate their packaging in order to enhance the e-commerce experience.
  3. Brands that adopt clear and succinct package messaging will be rewarded as consumers prefer brands that embrace minimalism.
  4. Brands will be called to keep marine conservation at the forefront of packaging development and to anchor the circular economy for future generations.
  5. Contemporary packaging formats will see the center-of-store take center stage.

Let’s take some time to expand on the above trends that we will see in 2018.

Think Outside the BoxPackaging will play a pivotal role in reducing global food and product wasteWith a continued emphasis on recycling and repurposing throughout other industries, packaging will have no choice but to follow suit. In 2018 we will see packaging take on the challenge and push for products that have multiple uses, extend freshness and preserve ingredients of food products, as well as the assurance of safe delivery to end users. Packaging will no longer be an afterthought and will help communicate key features to end users. We will also see an added emphasis on packaging that can, “educate consumers to the benefits packaging can bring, from extending shelf life of food to providing efficient and safe access to essential products” according to David Luttenberger.

Online brands will reinvigorate their packaging in order to enhance the e-commerce experienceAs we see a shift from shopping in brick and mortar stores to online shopping, packaging will need to be a key ingredient in consumer experience. Brands will no longer need to “stand out on the shelf”, but they will need to think about the perception a consumer has about a product when they see in on a doorstep or in a mail box. Consumers will now see “unboxing” as part of the user experience which puts pressure on brands to put more time and effort into that aspect of their packaging.

Brands that adopt clear and succinct package messaging will be rewarded as consumers prefer brands that embrace minimalismLiving in the information era puts a little added pressure on brands as consumers are able to find information about a certain product with ease. Chances are, a consumer already has some sort of knowledge or perception about your product before they even see the packaging. With this, your packaging should not overwhelm or underwhelm the consumer with information. Finding this happy medium can be difficult, but it can be the difference between a repeat customer and a one-time user. Product packaging should be clean and contain just enough information to reaffirm customer perception.

Brands will be called to keep marine conservation at the forefront of packaging development and to anchor the circular economy for future generations. Again, as we continue to emphasize recyclability, marine conservation will be at the forefront. Luttenberger says, “safe packaging disposal will increasingly color consumers’ perceptions of different packaging types and impact shopper purchase decisions.” Brands will be responsible for ensuring their customers know they are working toward a more marine friendly packaging construction. Brands can create awareness by reusing wasted plastic found in the sea and other bodies of water. This effort will raise consumer awareness, but will not completely solve the problem.

Contemporary packaging formats will see the center-of-store take center stage. As newer generations continue to become more health conscious, brands that live on shelves in the center of the grocery store will need to find ways to stand out. Younger generations tend to spend more time shopping on outer aisles containing fresh and chilled produce and less time weaving through the center of the store with processed and frozen foods. What does this mean for those brands? Luttenberger thinks, “The use of transparent materials, contemporary designs, recyclability, or unique shapes can help draw in younger consumers to the store center, making it as appealing as the burgeoning perimeter to younger consumers.”

This article contains some dialogue originally found on

WISBuy’s PCard Marketplace is now mobile!

As everyone knows, being mobile is now more important than ever. Not being tethered to a desk can be the difference between making a sale and being the runner-up. Having the ability to buy on the go can be a huge advantage and that is why the Wisconsin Department of Administration has designed and rolled out a new app for WISBuy users. The new app Jaggaer is available in the Apple App store as well as the Google Play store. The app allows you to make purchases using your PCard just as if you were in the WISBuy Marketplace on your computer. Check out the video below to see how to download the app!

Currently, all hosted catalogs and the following punchout catalogs are available through the mobile app: CDW-G, Dell NASPO, Dell State, Fastenal, Ferguson, Grainger, Medline, Henry Schein, HP Inc., Lenovo, McKesson and Staples. CLICK HERE to view the DOA pdf.


We are also very happy to see our Rayovac batteries in the Jaggaer WISBuy PCard Marketplace!


For help setting up your account please CLICK HERE.


U.S. Paper Recovery Rate Reaches All-Time High

According to Packworld, “The American Forest & Paper Association has announced that a record 67.2% of paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling in 2016.” This is great news for the packaging industry!

As you would imagine, paper is one of the most important materials in packaging and used throughout the shipping process in varying amounts by every company. Some of the most common uses for paper in packaging are printed purchase orders, skid labels, box labels, packing slips, and box filling material.Recycle-Paper

Since 1990, the American Forest & Paper Association has been tracking the paper recovery rate. In 1990, “the paper recovery rate measured 33.5%.” While 67.2% is still a significant increase from the 1990 baseline. AF&PA member companies are hoping to reach their goal at least 70% U.S. paper recovery rate by 2020 as part of the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability initiative.

AF&PA Board Chair and Clearwater Paper Corporation President and CEO Linda Massman says, “paper recovery for recycling helps extend the useful life of paper and paper-based packaging products, making it an integral part of our industry’s sustainability story.” Due to the commonality of paper and paper-based products in packaging, the recycling efforts are an integral part of staying sustainable.

To view the rest of this article please visit:

Proud Member of The Association for Contract Packagers & Manufacturers

Opportunities Incorporated is proud to be a member of The Association for Contract Packagers & Manufacturers. Through our membership to this trade organization we are able to gain useful industry insights to allow us to better serve you, our customer.

It can be a big deal when deciding to outsource work to a contract packager. A lot of questions can come up right from the beginning, such as What level of quality can be provided? Can they meet our turn times? Who do we choose? Where do we even start?

To help get you started, The Association for Contract Packagers & Manufacturers came up with a list of reasons you may want to consider selecting a contract packager:

– No available in-house equipment or expertise for a particular job

– Geographically separated facilities could serve the product better for national distribution

– Non-standard packaging requiring special machinery or labor intensive work is specified

– Product may more economically be shipped in bulk to a distant market, then unit packed locally

– Short-term requirement that may be better served by specific experience or equipment you don’t have

– There’s a warehouse full of a product that needs re-working to make it saleable

– There’s a corporate downsizing in personnel, facilities or both

This is a great list that you should keep in mind when deciding whether or not to consider selecting your next contract packager.

Please visit to see the article this list originally appeared in. CLICK HERE for more content related to contract packaging or HERE to request a quote.


Powering Wisconsin!!

Opportunities, Incorporated has been fortunate to have served our state agencies’ battery needs in Wisconsin for a little over a year through the State Use Program. This program allows Opportunities, Incorporated to be the exclusive alkaline battery supplier for all state agencies throughout Wisconsin. These agencies include the Department of Corrections, Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources and many more.

The program is truly special because it provides another means to meet our mission of serving individuals with barriers by providing training opportunities. Over the past year the State Use Battery program has allowed us to create jobs for three to five Wisconsin Citizens with disabilities per week. These individuals have been able to receive an average of 15 hours of training per week through the Battery program.

Powering Wisconsin

Over the past year, Opportunities, Incorporated has served our state by shipping out more than 97,000 co-branded Rayovac batteries in twelve packs to numerous customers throughout Wisconsin. The State Use Battery program has also allowed our organization to serve Wisconsin Citizens while meeting the needs of state and municipal customers in Wisconsin who believe in our mission.

 Total Battery Cells Shipped to Date –  97,944