Wineries please note - I am sick of styro shippers

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D@vid Bu3ker
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Wineries please note - I am sick of styro shippers

#1 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » October 17th, 2019, 6:25 pm

My Bedrock shipment arrived today, and it’s an unholy mess of broken bits of styrofoam. The spring Bedrock shipment was the same way. Bits of styro all over the place. Recent Lagier Meredith-bits of styrofoam. Spring Once & Future-bits of styrofoam. You name a winery using styro, and the result is the same. It falls apart in shipping, and it’s a goddamn mess.

The shippers are a mess. They never decompose. Please for the love of all things good, stop using f-ing styrofoam. The insulating benefit is negligible. The PITA factor is immense.
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Re: Wineries please note - I am sick of styro shippers

#2 Post by OwenB » October 17th, 2019, 6:40 pm

+100
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    #3 Post by Scott Tallman » October 17th, 2019, 6:42 pm

    +1 million
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    #4 Post by B. Buzzini » October 17th, 2019, 6:43 pm

    +1000

    HATE when those specks of styrofoam are all over the bottles. Feel bad when I recycle the cardboard boxes...yet have to throw away the styro!
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    #5 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » October 17th, 2019, 6:46 pm

    p.s. my wife has made peace with all the wine I buy, but she gets royally pissed about all the styrofoam pieces that end up everywhere!
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    #6 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » October 17th, 2019, 6:53 pm

    Where do I sign the petition?

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    #7 Post by Dan Kravitz » October 17th, 2019, 6:56 pm

    to David Bueker, you wrote about styrofoam: "The insulating benefit is negligible."

    Please present your evidence. My evidence is anecdotal, but based on thousands of shipments over decades, and that evidence is that the insulating benefit is substantial.

    Before the board turns into a pack of hyenas out for my blood, please note that my company uses heavy cardboard shippers, which are also good insulation. We pay more to ship them, because shipping prices are always based to some extent on weight. There are blatant ecological effects to shipping heavier packages. Anybody who claims to have analyzed the cost/benefits of shipping heavy, recyclable, compostable cardboard over light, non-recyclable, non-biodegradable styrofoam, please please send me your detailed analyses.

    A thought:
    In the long run, plastic may be a greater environmental threat than global warming. How much is in the oceans, therefore the seafood you eat, and what are the long term effects of consuming plastic?

    Please discuss in 500 words or more.

    Thank you.

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    #8 Post by Steve Gautier » October 17th, 2019, 6:58 pm

    Bedrock shipments seem to always be worst than others.
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    #9 Post by Glen Gold » October 17th, 2019, 7:15 pm

    When I moved here I was thrilled to learn Los Angeles recycles styrofoam. I have since learned that Los Angeles "recycles" styrofoam.
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    Re: Wineries please note - I am sick of styro shippers

    #10 Post by Randy Bowman » October 17th, 2019, 7:51 pm

    As a retailer and wine shipper, there is nothing better than styrofoam in this day and age for a number of reasons, but I understand the hatred. We hate how many of the deliveries arrive to us packaged in styro that have the bottoms and/or tops knocked out. There are a number of producers that sell substandard styro packaging at dirt cheap prices. We pay about $8.60 for a 12 pack from our current distributor. After bubble wrap and tape, no labor included, say about $11.00 The competitors are offering up product for half the price, half the styrofoam and fat bottles, Chard, PN, don't fit in them.

    Because of that, we have packaged with bubble wrap under the styro, around each bottle and on top of the styro. Added protection in case the Samsonite gorilla is working your neighborhood.

    Styro is available with ice pack slots so we can try to save the $1,000 worth of wine shipped from coast to coast because the buyer wants ground shipping in June.

    To date, we've had three shipments in pulp sent to us that were destroyed. We have lost one shipment in styro by damage and it was a train derailment. We have lost one case of wine shipped ground in the dead of winter to Chicago that froze and pushed the corks.

    They are getting better at pulp but still can't provide adequate insulation nor equal crush resistance that styro provides. It takes me ten minutes to break down each damaged styro shipper for recycling, something I don't enjoy, but if you demand non styro packaging, you pay full insurance value of the wine and agree to hold me harmless for your decision to use pulp.
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    Re: Wineries please note - I am sick of styro shippers

    #11 Post by Ian S » October 17th, 2019, 8:00 pm

    David - don't forget about the cat aspect of styrofoam pieces.
    catstyrofoam.jpg
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    #12 Post by GregT » October 17th, 2019, 8:17 pm

    A few thoughts:

    1. Maybe ask the specific wineries you buy from not to ship in styro?

    2. Get a little citrus oil or some acetone or any organic solvent and you can turn that big hunk of styro into a cup or two of hard plastic. The solvent lets the air out of the styrofoam and reduces it into a fraction of what it was. The airless styrofoam is good as glue if you use it before it hardens, or you can dump it into molds and make plastic shapes. The consistency is like melting fast food mozzarella - gummy and sticky.

    3. Grind up the styrofoam and mix it into concrete when you're doing a concrete project. You can make concrete/styro bricks and they're good insulators.

    As far as plastic in the environment, the city of Los Angeles is going to grind up plastic bottles and use them in pavement. They think it will take a few hundred thousand out per mile. But nobody's talking about any leachate, etc.
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    #13 Post by Michael Martin » October 17th, 2019, 8:35 pm

    Steve Gautier wrote:
    October 17th, 2019, 6:58 pm
    Bedrock shipments seem to always be worst than others.
    I agree. Just got done vacuuming 2 cases of bottles.

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    #14 Post by David Baum » October 17th, 2019, 8:59 pm

    The only thing this reminds me of is that Ive got about 10 shipments coming and no room for any of them in my cellar

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    #15 Post by John Morris » October 17th, 2019, 9:07 pm

    GregT wrote:
    October 17th, 2019, 8:17 pm
    A few thoughts:
    ...
    2. Get a little citrus oil or some acetone or any organic solvent and you can turn that big hunk of styro into a cup or two of hard plastic. The solvent lets the air out of the styrofoam and reduces it into a fraction of what it was. The airless styrofoam is good as glue if you use it before it hardens, or you can dump it into molds and make plastic shapes. The consistency is like melting fast food mozzarella - gummy and sticky.

    3. Grind up the styrofoam and mix it into concrete when you're doing a concrete project. You can make concrete/styro bricks and they're good insulators.
    Terrific.

    What projects do you recommend for used corks? neener
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    Re: Wineries please note - I am sick of styro shippers

    #16 Post by RickieM » October 17th, 2019, 9:14 pm

    Gotta say that I've gotten various shipments in styrofoam but it seems Bedrock is the only one where the styro is all beat up.
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    #17 Post by Philip N. Jones » October 17th, 2019, 9:33 pm

    Donate the styro shippers to your local winemonger. Then it becomes someone else’s problem.

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    #18 Post by R Roberts » October 17th, 2019, 10:20 pm

    I'd pay for the insurance and accept any heat damage risk, but I've never once been given the option.

    And +1 Bedrock shippers seem to be extra fragile. And also total bullshit to use styro. C'mon Morgan, enough.
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    #19 Post by R Roberts » October 17th, 2019, 10:22 pm

    Philip N. Jones wrote:
    October 17th, 2019, 9:33 pm
    Then it becomes someone else’s problem.
    That's not exactly how the environment works.
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    #20 Post by Chris Seiber » October 17th, 2019, 11:39 pm

    R Roberts wrote:
    October 17th, 2019, 10:22 pm
    Philip N. Jones wrote:
    October 17th, 2019, 9:33 pm
    Then it becomes someone else’s problem.
    That's not exactly how the environment works.
    Reusing things instead of throwing them away after first use is a pretty well established good environmental practice.

    I now take all my styrofoam boxes to Hi Time so they can use them. They seem fine with accepting them.

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    #21 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » October 18th, 2019, 3:33 am

    None of my local retailers will take even pristine styro shippers. Forget the crappy ones that Bedrock uses.
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    #22 Post by Ian S » October 18th, 2019, 4:34 am

    Maybe Bedrock is reusing styrofoam that's already been shipped several times. There are several retailers that take in your empty styrofoam wine containers (along with the box).
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    #23 Post by Neal.Mollen » October 18th, 2019, 4:44 am

    Chris Seiber wrote:
    October 17th, 2019, 11:39 pm
    R Roberts wrote:
    October 17th, 2019, 10:22 pm
    Philip N. Jones wrote:
    October 17th, 2019, 9:33 pm
    Then it becomes someone else’s problem.
    That's not exactly how the environment works.
    Reusing things instead of throwing them away after first use is a pretty well established good environmental practice.

    I now take all my styrofoam boxes to Hi Time so they can use them. They seem fine with accepting them.
    +1. LWS is happy to have them and re-use them.

    I am trying to reduce my carbon footprint in a variety of ways, and I will admit that the use of styro makes me very uneasy. But my anecdotal experience is quite different from David's. I think styro is dramatically superior to cardboard, and I seem to remember someone here doing a little side-by-side to prove the point.

    And I very rarely have problems with styro bits breaking off (unless I break them). And I don't have cats, thank god
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    #24 Post by Sherri S h a p i r o » October 18th, 2019, 5:03 am

    +1000

    The town where I used to live had a recycling yard that included a bin for styrofoam, so while a bit of a pain to load up my car (and get pieces of styro all over), I would make several trips a year and wasn't that bothered by it. But where I live now, there is no styro recycling - I have called all over and no one will take them. So they pile up in the garage, because I can't bring myself to throw them out, hoping eventually I will find a place to recycle. Plenty of wineries have figured out how to ship without them.

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    #25 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » October 18th, 2019, 5:06 am

    Yes, styro is better than cardboard, but neither one is worth a damn.

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    #26 Post by John Preston » October 18th, 2019, 5:16 am

    Fortunately we have styro recycling here in Chicagoland. I stack them in the basement and my wife graciously loads up the vehicle. I agree the Bedrock deliveries are "messy." I remember getting a shipment (not from Bedrock) where the capsules had a white powder on the tops. Where were those "Breaking Bad" styros recycled from?

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    #27 Post by Michael Feldman » October 18th, 2019, 5:30 am

    RickieM wrote:
    October 17th, 2019, 9:14 pm
    Gotta say that I've gotten various shipments in styrofoam but it seems Bedrock is the only one where the styro is all beat up.
    +1

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    #28 Post by z_hart » October 18th, 2019, 6:12 am

    California, where you can't get a f'ing plastic straw, soon won't be able to get single use toiletries at hotels, but you are guaranteed to get a big pile of Styrofoam.
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    #29 Post by Dave H. » October 18th, 2019, 6:30 am

    As I recall Navarro gives you the option of cardboard/pulp or styrofoam. Probably a fulfillment headache but I'd love the option to ditch styro across the board. I recycle the rigid plastic ones used by Paetra, which also seems to work fine.
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    #30 Post by AlexS » October 18th, 2019, 7:18 am

    +lots to the styro frustrations.

    I love the cardboard "cube-style" shipper that Cabot uses - even has handles on the side.
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    #31 Post by alan weinberg » October 18th, 2019, 7:41 am

    Randy Bowman wrote:
    October 17th, 2019, 7:51 pm
    As a retailer and wine shipper, there is nothing better than styrofoam in this day and age for a number of reasons, but I understand the hatred. We hate how many of the deliveries arrive to us packaged in styro that have the bottoms and/or tops knocked out. There are a number of producers that sell substandard styro packaging at dirt cheap prices. We pay about $8.60 for a 12 pack from our current distributor. After bubble wrap and tape, no labor included, say about $11.00 The competitors are offering up product for half the price, half the styrofoam and fat bottles, Chard, PN, don't fit in them.

    Because of that, we have packaged with bubble wrap under the styro, around each bottle and on top of the styro. Added protection in case the Samsonite gorilla is working your neighborhood.

    Styro is available with ice pack slots so we can try to save the $1,000 worth of wine shipped from coast to coast because the buyer wants ground shipping in June.

    To date, we've had three shipments in pulp sent to us that were destroyed. We have lost one shipment in styro by damage and it was a train derailment. We have lost one case of wine shipped ground in the dead of winter to Chicago that froze and pushed the corks.

    They are getting better at pulp but still can't provide adequate insulation nor equal crush resistance that styro provides. It takes me ten minutes to break down each damaged styro shipper for recycling, something I don't enjoy, but if you demand non styro packaging, you pay full insurance value of the wine and agree to hold me harmless for your decision to use pulp.
    R value of styrofoam is minimal.

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    #32 Post by Markus S » October 18th, 2019, 7:43 am

    Glen Gold wrote:
    October 17th, 2019, 7:15 pm
    When I moved here I was thrilled to learn Los Angeles recycles styrofoam. I have since learned that Los Angeles "recycles" styrofoam.
    These days when virgin plastic is cheaper than recycled, it is much easier to collect and tell people everything is being "recycled" just to get them off their backs. There are a Lot of challenges right now in recycling with one of the biggest being the consumer who throws every kind of material into a blue bin thinking it'll magically be turned into something new (instead of contaminating the waste stream and being landfilled).
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    #33 Post by R Roberts » October 18th, 2019, 7:45 am

    None of the shipping services or wineries I've contacted want my used styro. And even if they did, I suspect they would only get used one more time before the next person puts them in a landfill. So while a minor victory, that's still a loss in my book.

    AFAIK, styro isn't recycled, its "down cycled" into lower grade plastics. If at all. A lot of recycling facilities used to ship America's trash overseas, but now no one wants it. So they still collect recyclables but then end up in landfill.
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    #34 Post by Markus S » October 18th, 2019, 7:45 am

    z_hart wrote:
    October 18th, 2019, 6:12 am
    ... won't be able to get single use toiletries at hotels, ...
    Not simply CA. The hotel chains are looking into changing this nation(world)wide, as it is cheaper and money talks.
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    #35 Post by Joel Pelote » October 18th, 2019, 8:06 am

    RickieM wrote:
    October 17th, 2019, 9:14 pm
    Gotta say that I've gotten various shipments in styrofoam but it seems Bedrock is the only one where the styro is all beat up.
    My Alban shipments are the same way, but I've noticed it mainly happens with the mixed bottle formats they use. The bigger ones (Pandora, Seymour) with the wax top destroy the top part of the styro shell.

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    #36 Post by Alex N » October 18th, 2019, 8:24 am

    I keep a few 2packs in the styro. When I moved storage, a 2 pack of Pandora fell from over 6 feet up straight onto the concrete floor and came out unscathed. It would have been a goner in plain cardboard.
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    #37 Post by Doug Schulman » October 18th, 2019, 8:29 am

    I also dislike the styrofoam. Simply, don't ship when the weather is wrong. Damage is extremely rare with even poor quality cardboard shippers, which I know from years of using them (as the shipper). The only damaged boxes I saw were either packed poorly by me or looked like they'd been crushed by a forklift.
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    #38 Post by Todd F r e n c h » October 18th, 2019, 8:36 am

    The Wine Check is pushing HARD for our wholesale partners (wineries) to carry these new stand-up pulp shippers that we really love, but those wineries are using them only for Wine Check purchases, unfortunately. One good sign, however, is that the cost of Polystyrene Styrofoam is going up, with wine shippers, so the trend definitely seems to be turning a little bit, though it's primarily the theory that Styro insulates better that is driving the market, even still. I suggest you share a quick email with any of your suppliers and ask them to switch to cardboard or pulp - they'll listen if enough complain. End consumers drive the decisions like that.
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    #39 Post by Frank Drew » October 18th, 2019, 8:39 am

    R Roberts wrote:
    October 18th, 2019, 7:45 am
    None of the shipping services or wineries I've contacted want my used styro. And even if they did, I suspect they would only get used one more time before the next person puts them in a landfill. So while a minor victory, that's still a loss in my book.
    If every disposable plastic that’s now used only once was used twice, that could cut the amount of those plastics produced by 50%. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

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    #40 Post by ryancurry » October 18th, 2019, 8:42 am

    This is a major issue and I would love to find a suitable alternative. It sounds like bedrock is using cheap shippers, because the decent ones don't break apart like that during shipping. I try to ship in used styrofoam as much as possible. Some people get bent out of shape by receiving a box that has been reused even if the wine inside is pristine. I don't charge for the shippers whether they are new or used. I'll only reuse them if the styrofoam itself is in really good shape. It pains me to see so much styrofoam go to straight to the trash after one use.

    I don't know anyone that enjoys using styrofoam. It is far more expensive than pulp pack and it takes up exponentially more space to store them.
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    #41 Post by Todd F r e n c h » October 18th, 2019, 8:45 am

    ryancurry wrote:
    October 18th, 2019, 8:42 am
    This is a major issue and I would love to find a suitable alternative. It sounds like bedrock is using cheap shippers, because the decent ones don't break apart like that during shipping. I try to ship in used styrofoam as much as possible. Some people get bent out of shape by receiving a box that has been reused even if the wine inside is pristine. I don't charge for the shippers whether they are new or used. I'll only reuse them if the styrofoam itself is in really good shape. It pains me to see so much styrofoam go to straight to the trash after one use.

    I don't know anyone that enjoys using styrofoam. It is far more expensive than pulp pack and it takes up exponentially more space to store them.
    Ryan - I'm going to check with our rep on the stand up pulp shippers, as they are really strong, and the company is located in LA area, I think. Will let you know.
    Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP) (and have a "penchant for gossip" -KBI)

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    Re: Wineries please note - I am sick of styro shippers

    #42 Post by Mar3 Koslowsky » October 18th, 2019, 8:53 am

    Maybe use up all the plastic straws that are left in this country to package up for the time being?

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    Re: Wineries please note - I am sick of styro shippers

    #43 Post by Merrill Lindquist » October 18th, 2019, 8:54 am

    R Roberts wrote:
    October 17th, 2019, 10:20 pm
    I'd pay for the insurance and accept any heat damage risk, but I've never once been given the option.

    And +1 Bedrock shippers seem to be extra fragile. And also total bullshit to use styro. C'mon Morgan, enough.
    Accepting responsibility for damage and heat damage denies you and the winery one thing: the
    wine! We wineries work hard to ship within ever-tightening weather windows in which to ship, spend money to insulate the shipment and accomplish what we all want: your satisfaction with the product we produced and took money for, and wine you wanted to enjoy! Styro is a pain for all the reasons listed above, but it is the best way of accomplishing what both the winery and the customer want.
    Merrill
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    Re: Wineries please note - I am sick of styro shippers

    #44 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » October 18th, 2019, 9:27 am

    So for those who advocate for the styrofoam, can you perhaps help me understand why the shippers from some wineries always fall apart, while others, making the same trans-continental journey, do not? Is there a good brand and a bad brand? Bedrock, Once & Future (I bet they get their shippers from the same place), Lagier Meredith, and yes, EMH always leave me with snow globe bits all over the place.

    Other than one disastrously damaged box (UPS fault), I never have more than the occasional stray bit on Rhys shipments. The shipments I get from Edmunds St. John are always quite clean.

    What's the difference?
    David Bueker - Rieslingfan

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    Re: Wineries please note - I am sick of styro shippers

    #45 Post by Todd F r e n c h » October 18th, 2019, 9:38 am

    Styro has NOT been proven to be significantly more effective in insulating the contents than other materials, as discussed at length in this thread - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=129783

    There's no reason to use Styro at this point - there are better options.
    Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP) (and have a "penchant for gossip" -KBI)

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    Re: Wineries please note - I am sick of styro shippers

    #46 Post by Brandon R » October 18th, 2019, 9:58 am

    I, too, wish that styro would go away. While I can certainly see the rationale for using it for insulating purposes, I still would prefer to pay for for quicker shipping in non-styro packaging or wait until weather permits safe shipping without the need for insulation.

    What REALLY gets me is when other products are shipped with significant amounts of styro. We ordered some furniture that, when it arrived, was packed with so much styrofoam that I had to fill out the car just to take it to a recycling center. Thank goodness we even have one. It's not the mess that bothers me as much as the environmental impact. Furniture (and so many other equivalent goods) does NOT need insulation...get rid of that styro sh*t, especially for things like that!
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    Re: Wineries please note - I am sick of styro shippers

    #47 Post by DanielP » October 18th, 2019, 10:00 am

    Todd F r e n c h wrote:
    October 18th, 2019, 9:38 am
    Styro has NOT been proven to be significantly more effective in insulating the contents than other materials, as discussed at length in this thread - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=129783

    There's no reason to use Styro at this point - there are better options.
    I actually completely disagree. The data from post #94 shows that styrofoam does make a significant difference. It takes just one day for bottle temperatures to equilibrate to ambient temperature in cardboard, versus 2 days in styrofoam (Also, day 1 ambient temps were cooler for the cardboard group, which further speaks to the superior insulation of styrofoam).

    Now, does it justify the styrofoam waste, if you're shipping a) during fall/spring temperatures b) longer distances/times such as cross country? Probably not. We probably freak out too much about temperature already. But, consider a scenario where temperatures are perfect for most of the cross country journey, but there's a random freakishly cold or hot day. In cardboard, your bottles will reach ambient temperature. Your bottles in styro will not.
    P@ik

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    Re: Wineries please note - I am sick of styro shippers

    #48 Post by Chris Seiber » October 18th, 2019, 10:02 am

    Every positive thing you do for the environment (or anything else) is a positive and better than not doing it, so I'm not discouraging anyone from advocating for better materials, reusing boxes, and so forth.

    But we probably shouldn't congratulate ourselves very much for whatever we do. If we're honest, our habit of having 4 pound bottles and 48 pound cases shipped around the country and the world by plane, truck and/or boat, and all the packaging materials and energy consumption that surrounds that, is quite environmentally unfriendly.

    In environmentalism, as in many other things, I've noticed there is kind of a substitution effect, where doing a few small good things (recycling, or at least dumping things in recycling bins and telling ourselves they're getting recycled, driving a Prius, sending some money to an environmental charity) alleviates our consciences for doing much larger bad things (air travel, buying tons of stuff on the internet for home delivery, owning one or more big houses). People do that all the time with morality/religion/ethics, diet, parenting, and so forth.

    Probably most people who read this far are thinking "not me, that's just other people." Okay, but it's probably worth a harder look from time to time.

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    Re: Wineries please note - I am sick of styro shippers

    #49 Post by Todd F r e n c h » October 18th, 2019, 10:03 am

    Chris Seiber wrote:
    October 18th, 2019, 10:02 am
    Every positive thing you do for the environment (or anything else) is a positive and better than not doing it, so I'm not discouraging anyone from advocating for better materials, reusing boxes, and so forth.

    But we probably shouldn't congratulate ourselves very much for whatever we do. If we're honest, our habit of having 4 pound bottles and 48 pound cases shipped around the country and the world by plane, truck and/or boat, and all the packaging materials and energy consumption that surrounds that, is quite environmentally unfriendly.

    In environmentalism, as in many other things, I've noticed there is kind of a substitution effect, where doing a few small good things (recycling, or at least dumping things in recycling bins and telling ourselves they're getting recycled, driving a Prius, sending some money to an environmental charity) alleviates our consciences for doing much larger bad things (air travel, buying tons of stuff on the internet for home delivery, owning one or more big houses). People do that all the time with morality/religion/ethics, diet, parenting, and so forth.

    Probably most people who read this far are thinking "not me, that's just other people." Okay, but it's probably worth a harder look from time to time.
    Not me, it's just Seiber...I'm good.
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    Re: Wineries please note - I am sick of styro shippers

    #50 Post by Chris Seiber » October 18th, 2019, 10:04 am

    D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
    October 18th, 2019, 9:27 am
    So for those who advocate for the styrofoam, can you perhaps help me understand why the shippers from some wineries always fall apart, while others, making the same trans-continental journey, do not? Is there a good brand and a bad brand? Bedrock, Once & Future (I bet they get their shippers from the same place), Lagier Meredith, and yes, EMH always leave me with snow globe bits all over the place.

    Other than one disastrously damaged box (UPS fault), I never have more than the occasional stray bit on Rhys shipments. The shipments I get from Edmunds St. John are always quite clean.

    What's the difference?
    Probably just the specific styrofoam used and the quality of it. It's an industrial product, with unlimited potential variation from one producer or product to the next.

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