• Waste = Energy

    May 7, 2010
    || This year in Barcelona, label guru Mike Fairley made a fascinating presentation at the FINAT Technical Conference. His talk had these focal points: the label industry and the environment, digital label printing, and brand production and authenticity.…

  • Industrial Pellets

    March 30, 2010
    || In my March/April column I wrote about wood pellets. I explained that the caloric value of the pellet is much greater because you have densified the cellulose. You have created an energy source that approximates coal. This has been one of the reasons…

  • Got wood?

    March 15, 2010
    || Before I begin a two part series on pellets for energy, I'd like to take one last parting shot at the black liquor funding paid to the paper industry in 2009. I promise, my last comment on the subject. The United States government paid out about $…

  • Where will the money come from?

    January 15, 2010
    || I think it is appropriate to begin my 2010 columns with a few comments about the climate control conference that finished in mid-December in Copenhagen. I was just returning from a trip abroad and the conference had completed its first week of debate…

  • Action, not intent

    November 16, 2009
    || During the last several months many of us have read or watched the debate and dialogue on climate change, sustainability, carbon footprint, cap and trade, and other green initiatives. We can't get away from it. You can't pick up a newspaper or magazi…

  • Liner recycling: The converter is the solution

    October 7, 2009
    || In late July I was talking to a converter on the West Coast of the United States. We have been friends for quite a while. I don't remember when we'd first met, probably at an FTA function, but we have chatted and visited over the years. My friend is…

  • Waste to energy

    September 3, 2009
    || I finished my last column with a promise to introduce a new company that will process non-recyclables and make fuel pellets for "thermal recycling" applications. Unfortunately, I have been unable to obtain a release to describe its business and proce…

  • Hope for leachate

    July 7, 2009
    || I was on an "anti black liquor tax credit" kick in my last column. While I want to bring you up to date on a new green "leachate" treatment process, I am compelled first to get in one more shot at this tax credit funding scam. International Paper…

  • Disharmony

    May 8, 2009
    || Jeffrey Sax once said, "The US is out of melody." I happen to think harmony is a better word, but he's right, now more than ever. I see it in our industry. I see it in government policy, and I see it in private initiatives. We are out of harmony.…

  • Signs and covenants

    March 31, 2009
    || Signs. Signs and covenants. Messages that we hear and read. Promises that we make. Do we listen? Do we respond? Do we fulfill the commitment? I listened to a sermon recently about signs and covenants. Don't tell the rector but my mind wasn't entir…

  • Seeking change, finding results

    March 6, 2009
    || So today we dumped another 70 million tons of global warming pollution into the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet, as if it were an open sewer. And tomorrow we will dump a slightly larger amount, with the cumulative concentrations now t…

  • The environmental specialist

    January 14, 2009
    || In a recent editorial, Cooks Illustrated Editor Christopher Kimball introduced me to a wonderfully humorous book, The Specialist, written by Charles Sale in 1929. The timing and content of Sale's book is more than appropriate. The Specialist is Lem P…

  • Fight 'Green Fatigue'

    November 13, 2008
    || What do sunlight, desalination, ethanol, sustainability, and clean energy have in common? The answer, of course, is great cost. Technically we have the ability to convert sunlight into energy, salt water into fresh water, solid waste and methane gas…

  • Are you sincere?

    October 8, 2008
    || Over the last several years, every printing and packaging trade publication has had countless columns, articles, and editorials on the "greening" of our industry. Not to be outdone, Labelexpo, American version, had the same plethora of green product…

  • Project LIFE

    August 21, 2008
    || In June I attended Finat's 50th anniversary congress in Paris. To be sure, if you go to enough of these events you realize that many of the presentations are repetitious. However, one presenter that we hear from regularly, Mike Fairley, added a t…

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