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Cheap and Environmentally Friendly Packaging

by johnnyc on Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:59 pm

Hey folks,

We run a small business and do a very modest amount of shipping (not anywhere near what adafruit does). We've been looking for cheaper and more environmentally friendly ways to package some of more delicate items. Buying anti-static foam from Uline is getting expensive.

The most interesting choice is and inflatable packaging system, like this one at uline:
http://www.uline.com/BL_7709/Mini-Pakr-Air-Cushioning

However, they're a little pricey . . . $1800.

Couple of questions come to mind:
- Does anyone know of a cheaper solution; something that produces inflatable pillows, but for less than $1.8k?
- Wonder why they're so expensive . . . it seems like a pretty straightforward technology.
- Wonder if this could be made into a kit or hacked into a new project. Might be a great project to take up in the next few months for us, especially as this might be worthwhile for some small businesses.

Any thoughts? Did I miss something big?
John Cole
http://www.dexterindustries.com
johnnyc
 
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Re: Cheap and Environmentally Friendly Packaging

by sircastor on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:47 pm

This may be a bit of a hacky-approach, but have you ever seen those food-vacuum sealers? what if you reversed the vacuum motor on something like that and just bought some bio-degradable plastic, and run it into the machine?

Seems like it wouldn't be too difficult or time consuming. And now that I've brought up the idea, I'm tempted to dig out the one that my father gave me and see if I could pull it off.

Edit: I realize you can't just "reverse" a vacuum motor - they don't work like that, but potentially you could reroute the air flow. Heck, a small compressor to fill up and apply some heat on the other side.
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Re: Cheap and Environmentally Friendly Packaging

by johnnyc on Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:40 am

That's a great idea. Worth a try. I'm just wondering what is so complicated about the packaging device that they can charge $2000 for one . . . I'm almost tempted to try to buy one and tear it apart.
John Cole
http://www.dexterindustries.com
johnnyc
 
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Re: Cheap and Environmentally Friendly Packaging

by SGInut on Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:57 am

You might want to check out the products from http://www.geami.com/. I've used their GreenWrap before and had great success with it. That, and the kids love playing with it. :)
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