Plastic Packaging: Preventing Broken Products…and Maybe Saving Christmas

Meet Damon, the senior manager of packaging services at Pregis, who ensures every product arrives safely and undamaged, spreading Christmas joy.

Meet Damon, senior manager of packaging services, Pregis

One of America’s Change Makers

For Damon, Christmas happens every day. And in one way, he contributes to its success.

“Imagine Christmas morning when your kids walk in and see all of these presents that Santa laid out, and they’re excited when they actually take things out of the box and start playing with the new toys.”

“We want that same level of excitement for anyone, whether it’s something delivered on your doorstep or when you purchase it from the store.”

That’s because Damon designs packaging at his company, Pregis.

Damon operating machine

“I manage a team of packaging engineers. Our job is to help make sure that stuff doesn’t break. If it’s breakable, if it’s fragile, heavy, hard to ship… that’s what I work on.”

Packaging Helps Conserve Resources

While his job title doesn’t say it, Damon’s helps improve sustainability by preventing waste.

“When people ask me what I do, certainly I let them know that I am in packaging. But even more so I’m in conservation. That means I help conserve products from being damaged. I help conserve people’s paychecks. Because if something gets damaged, it increases the cost to have those things replaced.”

Packaging material on roll

“My work leads to helping conserve the environment. Because not only am I helping reduce that burden on someone’s wallet but also the impact it may have on the environment. Sustainability, from my perspective, is making sure that we’re providing the highest level of protection for a product while using the least amount of material to do so.”

“If you look at the amount of waste that packaging represents as part of the whole supply chain, it’s roughly 1%-2%. The rest of the emissions and waste is generated from the product and the supply chain itself. Reducing damage is the best way for me to a positive have an impact on the environment.”

Packaging Protects

Damon and his team spend a lot of time crunching numbers to choose the right packaging for each product.

“We have a team of packaging engineers that are focused on doing packaging design work and testing it to make sure that there’s a very high assurance level that the product is not going to be damaged or broken during shipment.“

Damon at computer

“A big part of that is collecting a lot of data in terms of costs and financial impact and what resources are consumed when something is damaged. And what resources are consumed with the packaging materials we’re using to protect these products. Having good data is incredibly valuable.”

“We work with customers trying to ship a variety of products. Some can be large and heavy like a toilet bowl or something small, such as food products that must maintain a certain temperature. So, for us, it’s about helping with complex issues. And most of that revolves around making sure that a product arrives safely.”

Plastic Packaging Performs

Pregis makes packaging with multiple materials. And plastic materials typically provide the versatility and performance that product companies demand.

Damon talking with coworker

“Plastics play a very large role in packaging. Namely, for us, it’s one of the most versatile materials out there. There’s a lot of opportunity for innovation. And that drives a lot of our business, helping the market understand how versatile and remarkable plastics can be.”

“The main goal for me is trying to develop a solution so that products arrive safely and undamaged. And the best way to do that can be to use a plastic material, whether that’s an inflatable film or a cellular foam. We want to be sure that we’re using the right material and we’re using the right amount of it.”

Plastic Packaging Evolves to Further Improve Sustainability

Beyond conserving products, Damon takes his “conservationist” role a step further.

packaging material

“Part of my job as a packaging engineer is to do more with less. So we’re using more high-performance materials, using more recycled content in our plastics to achieve something that probably wasn’t really imaginable more than 10 years ago. And it’s exciting because we’re doing something that is not only helping us grow our business, we’re also helping the environment by producing more sustainable packaging. Packaging that has less impact on the environment.”

“If you take a look at the three R’s, reduce, reuse and recycle, it certainly includes using more recycled content. That’s become a very important thing, not only for Pregis but in the industry. And we continue to push for using more recycled content. We now have an 80% post-consumer recycled content film that’s been used in the market for roughly a year to great success.”

“As a supplier of packaging, we want to be doing it in a responsible way.”

Thanks, Damon, for helping save Christmas. In a responsible way.

We wish Damon and his colleagues continued success.