Ep. 9: The Power of Sustainable Packaging-Cory Connors “Corygated(R)”, Director of Sustainable Packaging @ Orora Packaging Solutions, Host of Sustainable Packaging Podcast

43m | Oct 29, 2023

In this episode, Cory Connors, infamously known as Corygated®, shares his “detour to destination” journey into the world of packaging. Now, in the industry for over 25 years, Cory shares the power of sustainable packaging ranging from insights, trends, and new regulations in the pipeline. With everyone on the train toward sustainable packaging, Cory emphasizes the importance of focus groups, offers recommendations for Indie startup brands with budget constraints, and stresses the importance of understanding different perspectives in the global packaging industry. Cory is also the Host of Sustainable Packaging Podcast and shares insight on what it takes to start and grow a podcast in a niche industry, and the phenomenal leaders he’s had the opportunity to interview to share all things sustainability and packaging.

Host Megan Young Gamble Links:

Listen to Megan discuss “Is Beauty Packaging Sustainable? ” on Sustainable Packaging Podcast

Powerhouse Cory “Corygated®” Connors Links:

Listen to Megan discuss “Is Beauty Packaging Sustainable? ” on Sustainable Packaging Podcast

"From Boxes to Sustainable Packaging: 'And it, you know, it makes sense, of course.' Though I started in the industry making boxes, my passion has always been in helping people transition to more sustainable packaging."— Cory Connors 00:01:50

Starting a Podcast: "But starting the podcast was an urging from 2 of my friends and several people in the industry, Adam Peek and Evalio Matos, who had podcasts themselves. They said, and we were doing a lot of work together. Promoting certain products and brands and the sustainable packaging industry. And they said, you know, it'd be really good if you had a podcast too because you're always talking about sustainable packaging. It's like, oh, no. I don't wanna do that. That's it. I don't have time for that. Mhmm. And it's just turned into this passion. And I involved my wife and my kids, and they all helped me, with different aspects of it. And It's been fantastic. I'm so glad I took that leap."— Cory Connors 00:05:40

The Changing Packaging Landscape: "Packaging has been overdone, over engineered, too large, too many layers, for too long."— Cory Connors 00:08:30

The Rise of Sustainable Packaging: "So now what we're seeing is that tipping point where so many people are adopting these new materials, and implementing them, that the costs are coming down. The scale is there now."— Cory Connors 00:11:56

States with stringent guidelines "Who's gonna have the strictest rules? Is it gonna be California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado? Who knows? We'll see."— Cory Connors 00:15:56

Sustainable Packaging: "We need to figure out what the end consumer will appreciate. We need to think of our product from their perspective. And imagine them opening it and providing that experience for them. And then thinking through how can they recycle this material, or how can they break it down so it's small enough to fit into their bin. Or reuse it, or send it back for reuse. Can we have 0 packaging and 0 waste stores popping up all over the country? Which is exciting. But I would say in particular, if you're a brand listening, think of the full loop of how what's gonna happen. So even if you buy something that you think is sustainable and your consumer can't reuse it or recycle it, is it really that sustainable? And should we do a life cycle analysis of this?"— Cory Connors 00:22:38

"Advice for Success: Be authentic. Be yourself. You can't do this passionately, with a false front."— Cory Connors 00:29:30

Constantly Learning and Seeking Innovation: "Oh, my. Just like you said, I'm a student. I'm a student every day. I'm learning daily. I am constantly being kindly corrected by my friends, and I appreciate that. I want to. I appreciate you the answer is I learn every day. I enjoy the constant changes in the industry. One of my biggest focuses at Aurora is finding new materials and finding new packaging ideas and concepts. And so I'm constantly pitching new ideas and new new things that are supposed to be more sustainable. Which I truly enjoy. But everybody has a different perspective."— Cory Connors 00:34:10

The Importance of Appreciating Cultural Differences: "We need to be patient with each other and appreciate our differences. When talking to people from different geographic areas, we must consider their resources and feasibility"— Cory Connors 00:35:04

How to get started in the industry: "I would say, to shadow someone for a day or, reach out to someone who has a job that's similar to the one that you think you want... And I think you'll get real answers because they don't have anything to lose. Cory Connors 00:39:53

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