6 ways to make your packaging sustainable
Today’s consumers are more environmentally conscious and are willing to pay more for brands dedicated to environmental responsibility. Sustainable packaging reduces carbon footprint, water consumption, solid waste, emissions and electricity. It also ensures that your packaging is free of toxins and allergens.
Sustainable packaging should support and strengthen your brand, helping your business to thrive. When designing sustainable packaging for your business, choose a design that protects products in transit to avoid unnecessary returns and damage that can negatively impact the environment. Here’s how to make your packaging sustainable.
1. Use recyclable packaging materials
Recycling packaging is a great way to extend the life of materials already used. Consider using recyclable materials to make your envelopes, boxes or containers. Use unique packaging design to ensure your packaging supports your brand. Materials such as cardboards are made from paper pulp. They are lightweight and easy to cut and form, making them suitable for shipping boxes. You can also make containers and wraps from used plastics like bottles by recycling them to make packaging materials.
2. Take advantage of reusable packaging materials
Reusable packaging is intended to be used more than once. You can use it multiple times for various purposes once it has fulfilled its main role. Reusable packaging lasts longer than plastic, preventing the use of single-use plastics. If you have corrugated envelopes and boxes, you can keep them and use them for customer packaging, reducing emissions and the resources needed to produce new packaging. Make sure reusing these materials supports your brand.
3. Try plant-based wraps
Plant-based packaging materials are made from organic sources, including corn, algae, and food waste. The ideal vegetable packaging will depend on what you want to ship. For example, if you sell food, the material you use should not affect the flavor of the food; bioplastics are an ideal option. Strong, plant-based materials like mushroom and cornstarch wrappers will work if you’re shipping bulky products.
4. Use eco-friendly inks
When manufacturing your packaging products, opt for eco-friendly inks such as soy-based ink as an option for oil or petroleum-based inks. Its source, soybean oil, is 100% renewable and inexpensive to grow. As the ink is biodegradable, it breaks down organically and quickly returns to the soil. When used with combustible products like tissue paper or mailbags, the product becomes renewable and can penetrate the ground without leaching chemicals or hazardous waste. Water-based inks are also a good option that is safe for the environment.
5. Use less packaging materials
finding the balance between creating a great customer experience and using eco-friendly packaging solutions can be difficult. However, you can design a great unboxing experience without excess packing material, which reduces waste. Avoid using too many layers of packaging materials while ensuring sufficient product protection.
6. Switch to more durable shipping labels
When you use traditional labels for your outbound e-commerce mailings, you end up creating a lot of waste with the release liners. Using durable liners is a great way to prevent waste and reduce emissions.
Switching to sustainable packaging improves efficiency and gives you the freedom to customize the design. Use the tips above to green your packaging.