When Casabella Holdings LLC of Blauvelt, N.Y., launched a line of housewares made from polylactic acid at last year's International Housewares Show, the company did not highlight the origin of the products. They were imported from China.
At this year's show, March 22-24 in Chicago, Casabella proudly introduced its new eco-friendly Eclipse line of cleaning tools as Made in the USA from recycled soda bottles. The Eclipse line consists of a bucket, floor duster, sponge mop, broom and hand duster. The International Housewares Association selected the Eclipse product line as an honoree in its Design Defined recognition program.
The broom bristles are made from recycled polypropylene. All of the other plastic parts in the line are made from 100 percent recycled green soft drink bottles. The unique color reinforces the products' green pedigree.
In the past year, Casabella moved the manufacturing of some items from overseas suppliers to U.S. molders. The firm said the plastic parts are designed domestically and sourced from Massachusetts.
In the meantime, U.S.-based manufacturers are beefing up development and commercialization of environmentally friendly products.
Storage product maker Snapware Corp. rolled out its 15-SKU containers made from up to 97 percent recycled PP. CEO Craig Allen said the material includes both post-industrial and post-consumer PP. The corn-based labels are printed with soy ink.
The sustainability and made-in-USA themes resonate well with our consumers and retailer partners, Allen said.
The Mira Loma, Calif.-based company said it markets the eco-friendly containers at or slightly below the prices of its standard containers.
We make it possible by buying smart and improving efficiency of the manufacturing at our plant, Allen said.
United Solutions Corp. of Leominster, Mass., is taking a three-pronged approach to sustainability, said Frederick Beauregard, vice president of sales and marketing. The firm's new Eco Sense line includes blow molded trash cans made of post-consumer high density polyethylene from milk jugs and detergent bottles. It also makes large recycling bins and tubs for consumers.
The sustainability effort goes beyond plastics. With 99 percent of its sales out of its U.S. manufacturing sites, United Solutions has developed patent-pending cardboard packaging that can achieve up to 75 percent material reduction, which saves on shipping and leaves less waste behind. The packaging methods are currently in pilot tests.
It shows that we are looking for ways to help [customers] save money and differentiate us from competition, Beauregard said. It also saves warehouse space on our end.