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“Indoor Pool Goes Here…” ~ Management

March 13, 2019

Nope, just kidding!
We did just get a new 22,000 sqft. warehouse though to meet the needs of our growing customers =)

We are all about the latest technologies, reducing lead times, and being the very best that we can. We are excited to see where this new phase in our history takes us. Stay tuned for when the cardboard cut outs turn into new machines, and new product offerings for your company!

Natural Products Expo West: “WHAT THE @#$% IS THIS COMPANY ABOUT?!”

February 28, 2019

Make Your Labels and Packaging Stand Out!

YES… 3,500+ exhibitors is overwhelming
YES… Standing out can be a challenge
NO… You don’t have to feel this way anymore

Creating first impressions was our main objective this year when designing our new 20 by 20-foot booth. It was important for us to stop people dead in their tracks and ask: “WHAT THE @#$% IS THIS COMPANY ABOUT?!”

Yes we could have flooded our display with text, manufacturing jargon and lame pictures like everyone else; fortunately that’s not our style. The struggle to differentiate yourselves from other companies is real, and we know this first hand. We want to help you create lasting first impressions for your customers.

Come and discuss the latest technologies in labels and packaging, environmentally sustainable options or industry trends. Our label and packaging team works with companies from across all industries in North America. We have heard it all, and we get excited by finding solutions to your problems.

With expertise in labels, application equipment and flexible packaging (shrink sleeves, stand up pouches, stick packs, bar wrappers, resealable lidding film, compostable and recyclable stock options) there will be no shortage of conversations.

Our booth is in Hall C, #2785

Look for the outstanding booth with vibrant colours, sky scapes and planetary theme. It will be hard to miss.

One Company’s Waste, Is Another Company’s Resource

February 7, 2019

NISP

“A business led initiative that uses the industrial symbiosis approach to create new market opportunities. It also increases the range of resources that have commercial value. This means adding to the bottom line and improve resource efficiency.”

Win/Win/Win

Associated Labels and Packaging participated in this program to discover if our waste could be turned into another companies input. The program was pretty simple in design. Companies were invited to fill out as many “Haves” on a green info card (this could include waste, unwanted resources, services, vacant warehouse space etc). This was followed by your “Wants” on a yellow info card (similar to haves, but also included information requests). The results would be shared amongst each table and people would write their names on either cards to make connections or referrals.

Example

Associated Labels and Packaging recycles shipping shrink wrap, which likely gets sent to China to process into who knows what. Instead, this plastic can be sent to a local company who can use the shrink as an input to create their products. This process accomplishes the following:

  • Hauling and dumping fees are removed
  • Our truck can simply add this stop to it’s local delivery
  • Receiving company gets a free resource
  • Resource remains in local circular economy
  • There is less environmental impact and virgin materials created
  • Associated Labels and Packaging can get closer to zero waste!

Roadblocks

Associated Labels and Packaging creates continuous, and for the most part unavoidable label and flexible packaging waste. These products have zero end value since they cannot be separated into their original components. This unfortunately means most of the time this product ends up either in the landfill or incinerator for energy. Our suppliers have no solution, however there is a small glimmer of hope in Iowa of all places.

Continuous Materials Recovery  takes all paper and plastic waste and transforms it into building materials for exterior walls and commercial roofs. Unfortunately Iowas is a staggering 3,000km (1,864 miles) away. NEXT Steps>>> Feasibility study on using Continuous Materials Recovery.

Connect

If you have any suggestions, or have heard any solutions out there, I would love to hear them! Direct your message to info@associated-labels.com, Jay Ashworth, Sustainability Manager.

To learn more about NISP’s local, national and international programs click here.

 

Communities in Bloom National Winners!

December 3, 2018

This past summer Associated Labels and Packaging helped the City of Coquitlam win first place in its class in the national competition. The “5 Blooms Silver” award was presented to the Mayor and Council (City of Coquitlam) by our very own Sustainability Manager, Jay Ashworth.

Communities in Bloom recognized Coquitlam with a special recognition for “Pollinator Friendly Community of the Year.” With our four beehives, we would like to think this help significantly =)  We look forward to helping this great community cause in the future! Every little bit helps get the message of sustainability out there!

“Communities in Bloom is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program, with focus on enhancing green spaces in communities.”

 

 

To Incinerate, or not to Incinerate!

November 28, 2018

Production

The printing industry has always struggled with its waste, even with recent technological advances. Our facility here in Metro Vancouver produces both labels and packaging which have their own separate challenges. Labels themselves are constructed with layers of paper stock, inks, adhesives and laminates. Labels applied to packaging are usually removed through the recycling process and likely are incinerated or put in the landfill.

Packaging on the other hand (such as stand-up pouches) are constructed with multiple layers of plastics, inks, adhesives, lacquers and laminates. To add to the complexity of packaging, each layer of plastic can be a different substrate. This means the final construction turns the package into recycle number 7, which is not recyclable. At best, companies are chipping the material and creating pellets to sell as alternate fuel.

Technology

As a company in the Pacific North West, we struggle to keep our byproducts in a circular economy. We have heard of companies in Europe who have made flooring out of label and packaging waste. That said, it’s just not practical or environmentally sustainable to send our waste halfway around the world. Therefore, we look to the options available to us: Landfill or Incineration. Do we burry our waste which will break down slowly over a couple centuries; or do we burn our waste and create energy for homes which will break down over a couple of hours? Both options aren’t great, especially when considering the “allowable emissions” regulations set by governments for incineration.

Issues

The challenge is real, and just when you think you have found a solution, another issue emerges. This occurred when our team visited the incineration plant for a tour. When speaking with the crane operator, we discovered that our waste (which is sometimes on a roll) is too dense to breakdown and will actually roll off the conveyor belt. This means the extra transport time and dumping costs to the incinerator have been for the most part, a waste of resources. So our research department is back to the drawing board, all while thinking “To Incinerate or not to Incinerate!” That is the question… where is Shakespeare when you need him?

 

To look further into the incineration process click here

“War on Plastic Reaches Packaging Industry”

November 19, 2018

Labels and Labelling Magazine approached Associated Labels and Packaging here in Vancouver after discovering the news regarding our innovation in Stand-up Pouch products. The following is a segment taken from the article. These are the changes that we require to move closer to a world with less waste. Step by step we will get to that place.

Article:

“…Still, the multi-laminate constructions of flexible packaging are too difficult to separate and recycle at most municipal facilities; the majority end up in the landfill. It’s with that in mind that Vancouver-based Associated Labels and Packaging has created what it calls North America’s first non-GMO, ‘backyard compostable’ stand-up pouch.

Associated Labels and Packaging says the ‘earth-friendly’ pouches start composting in sixty days, and depending in climate and conditions, will turn into compost within 180 days. The pouches are created with layers of eucalyptus trees and corn starch. ‘To empower consumers to divert their packaging waste from landfill to compost is a huge step in the right direction,’ says Associated Labels sustainability manager Jay Ashworth.

He says the product is popular with many socially and environmentally responsible companies. Associated Labels and Packaging can run the substrate through its new HP Indigo 20000 digital press, and also has a variety of offset and gravure printing capabilities.

‘People are starting to become more aware of the impact packaging has on the environment,’ Ashworth says. ‘I think it’s been gaining moment for a while now. Debating climate change is irrelevant; we just need to start doing what is right for the environment. And now people are willing to invest in material that won’t stay in a landfill forever.’”

To read the full article click Article Source

Margaret – Update on our Student Sponsorship

October 16, 2018
Wow! Our team here at Associated Labels and Packing is so proud to be part of this initiative.
We our touched that our reaching out is actually making a difference in someone life and their surrounding community!
The project “One Girl Can” was founded by Lotte Davis, CEO and Co-founder of AG Hair. Their mission: “to empower girls through education to break the cycle of poverty and gender inequality in Kenya and Uganda.”
To see Margaret’s progression see our past articles from 2018 and 2017;
Update on Margaret
“We’ve just come back from Africa and are excited to have a letter and photo from Margaret to share with you! We were so proud to see her continue to perform well in school, but we were particularly struck by how her confidence is growing, along with all the other girls in our program. We believe this is due to in part to the mentoring workshops we offer our girls every year, but also to the tangible promise of a better future that One Girl Can has given her.
As her champion, you are an important part of her journey. Margaret knows that this future wouldn’t be possible without your support, and as you can read, she is beyond grateful for this.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much for giving Margaret the chance to earn a living, help her family escape poverty, and earn respect for the contribution that she and thousands of other girls will now be able to make in their society.”
Thank you for believing that One Girl Can!
With warm regards,
Lotte, Gabriela, Nicola, Florence & Irene
The One Girl Can Team

Education Meets Innovation in Environmental Sustainability

May 29, 2018

Here at Associated Labels and Packaging we value working with Universities in order to bring our innovation to the forefront of conversations. Our company was selected by the Department of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo. More specifically their Sustainability Policy Research on Urban Transformations (SPROUT) Lab. The team at SPROUT is: “Working to uncover innovative partnerships between local, provincial/state and national governments that respond to climate change, the role that small businesses can play in sustainability transitions, and the ingredients of transformative change ~ SPROUT Lab” After the interviews have been compiled from Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, London and Norwich England; results will be published in their journal. Our company is happy to contribute our knowledge for the benefit of others at all levels.

During the interview our Sustainability Manager Jay Ashworth was asked questions surrounding environmental sustainability. Questions such as why and when our company decided to pay more attention and value environmental sustainability; How we make decisions, and educate/inform others about cultural changes; and the importance to continue developing this value within the company. We of course had to highlight our fully backyard compostable stand-up pouching terms of things we have done here at AssociatedLP.

We are not only open to speaking with Universities regarding environmental sustainability, however, we are also open to speaking to others in improving their own sustainability. We all have so much to learn from each other, and this information is invaluable to people, our industries, cities and ultimately the world.

 

 

Update: One Girl Can, and the Gift of Education

May 24, 2018

Associated Labels and Packaging is happy to announce we will be sponsoring Margaret for another year of University. Margaret lives in Kenya, Africa; she is pursuing a degree in Business Administration. The project “One Girl Can” was founded by Lotte Davis, CEO and Co-founder of AG Hair. Their mission: “to empower girls through education to break the cycle of poverty and gender inequality in Kenya and Uganda.”

We are excited to see Margaret progress and build her foundation in education.

 

Shaun Ashworth – President for the Right Reasons

May 16, 2018

“I walk the floor every single day and treat people with respect, because they are deserving of that.” 

                                                        ~Shaun Ashworth, President of Associated Labels and Packaging

Shaun first started working at Associated Labels and Packaging in Junior High School. He would take the bus from Coquitlam to its original location in East Vancouver. From his humble beginnings cleaning floors; Shaun used his strong work ethic and strategic thinking to propel himself through the company.

He went from shipping & receiving, to plate making, rewind machine operator, printing press operator, production manager, procurement manager, operations manager and then sales. 26 years later, he is now President and employs 210 people on three shifts seven days a week in over 80,000 square feet of production space. 

When the company first started in 1980, it employed three people and focused on pressure sensitive labels. Over the years AssociatedLP moved into flexible packaging, this included bar wrappers, stick packs, tea sachets, shrink sleeves, stand-up pouches, and lidding film. 

Environmental sustainability is very important to AssociatedLP, and is why they developed North America’s first Non-GMO, fully backyard compostable stand-up pouch. AssociatedLP is the largest premium label and packaging facility in Western Canada and the Pacific North West.  

 

What aspect of the company is the most meaningful to you?

People, to see them become better and passionate about what they do. The buy-in to our culture and the family feeling that is created. Seeing the advancements in people and the little wins here and there.

What is your biggest learning outcome?

You can always be or do better. There is always continuous improvement. That’s what I have learned. The status quo is not a good way to go, it’s the way of the Dodo bird.

What is important for others to know about you and your company?

It’s not all about making money and clawing your way to the top and throwing people to the side. It’s about doing business in an ethical way. By that I mean being well balanced in everything you do. Pushing forward environmental sustainability and socially responsible initiatives are very important to me.

What is your vision for the company?

To do our best, and make our best better. Continuously improve. Success in everything, personal and professional. Being better in your personal goals; and in business just go that extra mile to be more professional, efficient or more approachable. Just be better.

 

“I am doing all of this for the right reasons, not the wrong reasons. Just being a good human, being kind to people, giving back to communities.”

      ~Shaun Ashworth, President of Associated Labels and Packaging

 

 

 

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