Packaging has become inevitable in our day-to-day lives. Most products come in packaging, from food and furniture to toiletries and devices. With the rise in consumption, we have to develop ways to make packaging more sustainable to avoid hurting mother nature. Most of us have heard of and seen mountains of waste created with plastic debris and other products that end up affecting the quality of life we live.
For this reason, packaging manufacturers are required to come up with sustainable innovations that are biodegradable or recyclable. Besides conserving nature, sustainable solutions save money and educate consumers on developing recycling habits.
To find out more about how you can make your packaging more sustainable, read along.
What Is Sustainable Packaging?
Sustainable packaging refers to developing, sourcing, and using packaging solutions that are less likely to affect the environment’s carbon footprint. Among the ways to ensure that your packaging is more sustainable are the following:
Use Recyclable Materials
The first and most obvious way to make your packaging more sustainable is by using recyclable materials. By adopting this method, new materials can be made using fewer raw materials while minimizing their impact on the environment.
For instance, you can develop different raw materials such as industrial materials, fiber for clothing, and kitchenware by recycling polypropylene. Many raw materials used in the packaging arena, such as cardboard, paper, aluminum, glass, and plastic, can be recycled to create new things that can later be sold.
Use Less Packaging Materials
Using less materials is another way of making your packaging more sustainable. This means using smaller bags, boxes, and containers for your products. Besides being sustainable, using fewer packaging materials can also lower the shipping costs.
Everything you pack inside the box uses materials. Though some extras serve a purpose, such as sharing your brand journey, there are things that you can do to ensure the reduction of packaging waste while putting across the message you want.
You can also use the following ideas to avoid using excess packaging material:
- Print the inside of the box instead of inserting another material baring the info.
- Use digital packing slips and order summaries.
- Ditch the plastic wrap.
- Reduce the number of paper inserts or use recyclable ones.
- Eliminate void fill by using customized boxes.
It’s important to note that using less packaging begins with buying smaller packing materials and using as little filler as possible. You can try by checking whether different positioning of your product can make it fit into a smaller package. For instance, if you’re shipping furniture that can be disassembled, develop ways to position the parts of the furniture to allow them to fit in smaller packages.
Order Packaging Samples Before Purchasing In Bulk
Nothing is more heartbreaking than buying something in bulk only to realize you can’t use it upon arrival, and this is no different when it comes to packaging products.
For instance, assume that you order more than 500 custom boxes only to find out that they’re too big or too small. While you can still figure out how to use them if they’re big, you can only do less if they’re tiny. To avoid such a scenario, it would help to order a product sample before making a considerable purchase.
This way, you can try fitting your products to know whether they’re the right size before buying in bulk. Also, you get a chance to explore the design and make sure it’s ideal for your product before continuing with your order.
Use Innovative Materials
Biodegradation is a form of recycling that refers to different materials decomposing under various conditions. For instance, bioplastic or recycled polyethylene can be used to manufacture envelopes, carrier bags, and bubble wrap that disintegrates after exposure to daylight.
Due to their printable and customizable aspects, paper and cardboard are the most favored materials for packaging. Additionally, most consumers are aware that these materials are recyclable and biodegradable compared to metal, glass, or plastic.
However, when two types of plastic, or when paper and plastic, are merged, the end product can no longer be recycled since it becomes hard to separate the layers. To be more sustainable, make sure to stick to packaging products that are entirely made of either paper or biodegradable plastic.
Opt For Plant-Based Packaging
Plant-based packaging products are quickly gaining popularity. As the name suggests, these materials are manufactured using biological products, such as seaweed, mushrooms, food waste, or corn.
However, the ideal plant-based packaging option depends on what you’re shipping. For example, if you’re using plant-based packaging to ship food, it’s essential to ensure that it doesn’t affect the flavor. In such a case, bioplastic material is a good solution.
A typical bioplastic used in packaging is maize starch-based polymers, which are ideal for food packaging but can be used for a broad variety of packaging goods. Additionally, biodegradable plastics, like biodegradable bubble wrap, are being manufactured.
Additionally, if you’re shipping bulky items, it’ll help if you choose durable plant-based materials such as those made of mushrooms or cornstarch.
Partner With Local Manufacturers
Partnering with local packaging manufacturers means saving on your transit costs. Look for manufacturers near you who can meet your design needs and deliver the products immediately after making an order to avoid delays.
Design For Reuse
Use packaging materials that can serve multiple purposes to avoid ending up in the trash. For example, you can opt to ship your products in cardboard boxes since they’re more straightforward regarding reusing them. Try making these boxes more beautiful, and your clients might consider keeping them for storage purposes instead of throwing them away.
There are endless ways to ensure that your packaging is more sustainable, from customized packaging to plant-based products. As earlier mentioned, sustainable packaging doesn’t only save you money by using less packaging material but is also eco-friendly.
Consider using packaging materials that are biodegradable and recyclable to make some profit while conserving the environment. A healthy environment means healthy clients who can take your business to another level.