Options for Sustainable Packing Materials
Consumer habits are driving the demand and necessity for environmentally-conscious packaging. This shift means that is has become increasingly important for businesses to use sustainable packing materials not only to respond to these concerns, but also to reduce their environmental impact.
With a vast array of options in existence, it can be hard to know what are and where to find the best sustainable packing materials for your product. We have compiled a list of sustainable packing material options for you to consider to help you out.
1. Recycled Paper
Paper is one of the most common packing materials, but using recycled paper can greatly reduce waste. Recycled paper is made from post-consumer waste and can be reused multiple times. They may come in the form of shredded paper, or whole sheets. You can choose to purchase them from eco-friendly packaging suppliers or shred recycled paper yourself. The use of this type of packing can help provide sturdy support for delicate items, but it depends greatly on the weight of the recycled paper and your product. Shredded paper is best used for lighter products. Though it is a cost-efficient way to fill up packing space, shredded recycled paper is not as supportive as heavier options such as card stock.
2. Biodegradable Plastic
Biodegradable plastics are made from renewable resources such as corn starch, sugarcane, potato starch, or mushrooms (mycelium), and can be broken down by microorganisms in the environment. These materials are biodegradable, compostable, and can be recycled, and they are a great alternative to traditional plastic packing materials. A great example of biodegradable plastic being employed to create sustainable packing alternatives are Biodegradable Poly Mailers. This type of packaging is perfect for use as a sustainable way to pack apparel. They look and feel like plastic, and come in different weights and colours – just like their plastic counterparts. Because they are made of biodegradable components, business owners need to be aware of the fact that they have a shorter shelf-life, and may need to be stored in controlled climate conditions. In addition to that, the varied kinds of biodegradable plastics will fare differently if handled rigorously. However, technology has progressed quickly in recent times. There are sturdy and attractive biodegradable plastic options in the market so this concern may simply be moot.
3. Recyclable Plastics
Other than biodegradable plastic, there are also recycle plastics. These plastics can be recycled and used to make new products, reducing the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills. They may come in the form of Poly Mailers, bubble wrap, or plain wraps. If you are interested in the use of recyclable plastics, you will want to look out for materials labeled PET or HDPE.
4. Reusable Packaging
Reusable packaging such as tote bags, boxes, or containers can greatly reduce waste. Encouraging customers to reuse packaging can also promote a sustainable mindset. Reusable packaging is often designed with durability and protection in mind. This means that it can provide better protection for products during shipping and handling, reducing the risk of damage or loss. A welcome consequence of reducing the amount of single-use packaging is the enhancement of brand reputation. In today’s environmentally conscious society, businesses that prioritise sustainability can improve their brand reputation and gain customer loyalty. By using reusable packaging, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices and differentiate themselves from competitors.
7. Eco-friendly Tape
Eco-friendly tape is made from biodegradable or compostable materials, reducing the amount of waste generated during the packing process. Traditional adhesive tapes are typically made from non-renewable petroleum-based materials that are difficult to recycle, and can take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills. In contrast, eco-friendly tape is made from renewable or biodegradable materials that have a lower environmental impact. There are several types of eco-friendly tape available; this includes paper tap and plant-based tape.When selecting eco-friendly tape, it’s important to ensure that it meets your specific needs for adhesion strength, durability, and compatibility with the materials being taped. Additionally, look for products that are certified by recognised sustainability organisations.
Sustainable packaging offers a variety of eco-friendly alternatives to traditional packaging materials that have a significant environmental impact. By reducing waste, conserving resources, and minimizing carbon emissions, sustainable packaging can help businesses and individuals promote environmental responsibility and preserve our planet for future generations.
From biodegradable plastics to plant-based materials, the different types of sustainable packaging each offer unique benefits and can be used in a range of applications. However, it’s important to carefully consider the specific needs of your products and ensure that the sustainable packaging materials you choose are compatible with your production processes and supply chain.
As consumer demand for sustainable products loring the different types of sustainable packaging and adopting a holistic approach to sustainability, we can all play a role in creating a more sustainable future.