Cardboard: the future of eco-friendly packaging

Companies must meet more and more environmental standards. For this, more and more research is being carried out to identify and develop new sustainable packaging materials in cardboard. For example, research is being conducted on chitosan, a sugar made from the shells of crabs, lobsters and shrimp. It is believed that it can be used to create a biodegradable and edible film for food.

The benefits of sustainable packaging

Sustainable packaging has many advantages over the unsustainable alternatives that are still available.

These advantages are:

  • A reduction in the carbon footprint.

  • The creation of new packaging products releases excessive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

  • Using recycled and sustainable products reduces a company’s carbon footprint.

  • Fewer toxic emissions. Sustainable packaging does not use harmful ingredients, which limits harm to people and the environment. About 12% of the plastic is burned, which releases halogens and mercury into the air.

  • Easier to eliminate. Most environmentally friendly packaging can be recycled. They can also be composted or biodegrade within a few months.

  • More likely to be reused. Most eco-friendly packaging can be reused, contributing to the circular economy and keeping waste to a minimum.

How can this positively impact your business?

In addition to helping the environment, eco-friendly packaging can have a positive impact on your business.

Sustainable packaging can:

  • Contribute to improving your brand image.

  • Introduce your brand to new customers and increase your sales – 65% of people say they want to buy from brands that promote sustainability.

  • Save money – high quality or reusable packaging can allow you to use less.

  • Make existing customers happier.

  • Helping you win tenders – many tendering bodies place great importance on corporate social responsibility.

Eco-friendly packaging solutions

Which eco-friendly packaging solution is right for your business? It ultimately depends on the product you sell, the industry you work in, and the size of your business. For example, if you work in the food industry, it is important to follow health and safety guidelines to ensure that packaging does not contaminate the food you sell.

Chances are you’re using a product that can be replaced with an eco-friendly alternative. For example, the plastic bubble wrap you use can be replaced with a paper equivalent or bubble wrap with a higher percentage of recycled content.

Think outside the box and also think about the other elements you use to package your products. Maybe the plastic tape you use to seal your packages can be replaced with brown paper tape or gummed paper tape?

Types of ecological packaging

Biodegradable/compostable packaging

Products such as our creped kraft paper rolls and paper strapping biodegrade over time. They can also be added to a compost bin where they can be used to create soil for the garden.

Recyclable packaging

Over 70% of paper is recycled each year, making paper the ideal choice if you want your customers to recycle your packaging. The majority of the paper packaging we sell, including our recycled kraft paper rolls, is made from recycled materials and can be easily recycled.

Corrugated packaging

If you’re looking to start down the sustainability path, corrugated cardboard is a great place to start because it’s tough, strong and affordable. We sell a wide range of eco-friendly cardboard boxes, including these self-sealing boxes.

paper bubble wrap

Traditional bubble wrap is made from non-biodegradable and non-recyclable plastic, which means it is not a sustainable packaging solution. However, there are environmentally friendly alternatives.

Dunnage and vacuum packaging

When we think of cushioning and protecting packaged items, we usually think of polystyrene packaging peanuts, which cannot be recycled.

However, there are many sustainable solutions for wedging and packing voids, including wood chips, compostable bulk filler, and air pockets.

What are the most environmentally friendly types of packaging?

Although there are several types of eco-friendly packaging on the market, some are more sustainable than others. As a general rule, packaging that can be recycled, or reused, biodegrades quickly and is the most environmentally friendly.

Corrugated cardboard is an excellent example of sustainable packaging. It can be widely recycled, as long as it’s clean and uncontaminated, and it only takes about 12 months to biodegrade and can even be added to a compost heap!

What is the cheapest/most affordable eco-friendly packaging?

Durable packaging is generally more expensive than non-durable packaging. This is because most sustainable packaging is not yet produced on the same scale.

However, as eco-friendly packaging becomes more common, prices come down. On the other hand, government legislation, such as the plastic tax, drives up the price of unsustainable packaging. The current increase in inflation and the cost of living does not help either!

Yet there are already areas where you can save money with eco-friendly packaging:

Additionally, 72% of consumers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly packaging, which means you can consider passing some of the packaging costs on to the customer if necessary.

Sometimes eco-friendly packaging can be a by-product of a company that can help reduce costs. We love this case study from Etsy, where a company that makes wooden kitchenware uses wood shavings to package its products. Customers have loved the wood chips so much that the company is now selling them online!

The good news is that three out of four consumers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly packaging. 72% of consumers around the world are willing to pay more for products whose packaging has sustainable benefits.

Companies around the world are now moving towards sustainable packaging options.

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