Melting ice caps. Record droughts. Piles of trash devastating beaches and oceans.
It seems like every day brings another news story about how climate change and environmental degradation are harming the planet. What can environmentally-conscious online merchants do to help the situation?
Sustainable packaging can be a major part of the solution! Sustainable packaging, also commonly known as eco-friendly packaging or green packaging, can help to both cut carbon emissions and generate far less waste, playing an important role in keeping the planet healthy. Here’s a closer look at just what exactly sustainable packaging is, what its benefits are and some eco-friendly packaging options your company should consider if you want to play a role in protecting the planet!
What is Eco-Friendly Packaging?
Eco-friendly packaging is a form of environmentally-friendly packaging often made of recycled or renewable materials that’s safe and sustainable for both individuals and the environment.
The main features of sustainable packaging are:
- Produces little to no environmental waste
- Made from reusable or biodegradable packaging materials
- Safe for people and the environment
What are the Benefits of Eco-Friendly Packaging?
Eco-friendly packaging has a very positive impact on the overall environment, your business and your customers. In fact, green packaging can even help your business be in the green financially too! Here’s a closer look at how sustainable packaging can help both the planet and your bottom line.
- Eco-friendly packaging is easy to dispose of or reused. It’s highly-biodegradable and recyclable, meaning that it's its by far the best form of environmentally-friendly packaging available today.
- The production of materials that make eco-friendly packaging is also easy on the environment, meaning fewer carbon emissions and little to no waste.
- Fewer energy sources overall are used for the production of such materials, as most of the raw material is organic and natural.
- As most of the materials used are natural, it’s healthier overall for people. The lack of synthetic chemicals used to make it means it's much healthier for both people and the environment.
- Using sustainable packaging can boost your image in the market and among the customers. As more and more people worldwide become environmentally-conscious, your company can be at the forefront by using green packaging for all your products.
- The manufacturing cost of green packaging is less than regular packaging materials, thus saving your business money.
- Green packaging also typically uses less material than traditional packaging, making it another win for the environment.
- Your client base can increase as Millennials and Generation Z, both often seen as more environmentally-conscious compared to prior generations, come of age.
- Sustainable packaging is versatile - you can use it in almost every industry.
- Compared to traditional packaging, eco-friendly packaging is not only more sustainable, but also typically sturdier and offers more protection for items.
What Type of Packaging is Environmentally-Friendly?
If you decide to become an environmentally-conscious business, you’ll need to know what alternative eco-friendly packaging options are available. So, let’s explore some sustainable packaging ideas for your company here!
1. Recycled and Reusable Packing Materials
Recycled cardboard and wrapping sheets are all readily available, being industry standard and made from Earth-friendly organic materials. Using them can have an instantly positive impact on the environment, as millions of tons of cardboard boxes are thrown away as garbage every year.
Using recycled cardboard and paper will lessen this load and can decompose easily, keeping the planet healthy!
2. Recycled Plastic
It’s challenging when you have to choose a packing material for items that need extra support. Plastic, while environmentally-degrading, has long been an option for this, but the good news is that you can easily use recycled plastic from other plastic materials that have been discarded.
These are much more eco-friendly and still check the box if you’re looking for green packaging options!
3. Eco-Friendly Fillers
Biodegradable packing peanuts are available which can be used instead of EPS or Styrofoam peanuts. They often work better than the regular ones and are easy on the environment as well.
Similarly, bubble wrap is hazardous for the environment, as it doesn’t decompose, though you can use an eco-friendly option in place of it. One of the many options that you can use is a wrap made out of up-cycled corrugated cardboard to serve the same purpose as the bubble wrap. For insulation, you can use air pillows made of recycled plastic too!
4. Organic Materials
Cornstarch is an organic material taken from corn grains that has plastic-like qualities and can easily be used as a packaging material in many situations.
However, an even better organic option is mushroom packaging. With mushroom packaging, agricultural waste is added to mushroom roots to make organic packing materials. As it’s made from organic wastes, this is a great biodegradable packaging option that also won’t impact global food supplies!
Other organic materials, such as seaweed, are additional eco-friendly packaging options to seriously consider.
5. Organic Fabric
Sometimes, businesses use plastic bags for packing the items, though this is very harmful for the environment. Instead, organic fabrics are an excellent sustainable packaging option to consider. These fabrics include recycled cotton, hemp, tapioca, palm leaves and more. These bags are both reusable and very environmentally-friendly!
Sustainable Packaging: Ship to Customers While Saving the World!
With the climate changing and more and more trash piling up around the planet, why not do your part in protecting the Earth? You don’t have to be Captain Planet to do it, of course - simply invest in sustainable packaging to keep both the world and your bottom line in the green!
Already send out products in environmentally-friendly packaging or are planning to in the future? Be sure to sign up for Easyship to access our global courier network with 250+ shipping solutions and take advantage of shipping rate discounts of up to 70 percent, and don’t forget to check out some of the eco-friendly brands across the world powered by Easyship!