Whether you’re in charge of a local brick-and-mortar store or a large fulfillment center, the environmental impact of your organization’s packaging choices can’t be overstated. By making the switch to sustainable packaging, your organization can benefit from several advantages aside from reducing its carbon footprint.
In this article, we will take a look at the importance of sustainable packaging and provide you with several sustainable packing materials to consider. We will also offer a few tips on how your organization can make more environmentally-friendly decisions when it comes to your product packaging.
To learn more about why sustainable packaging is great for business and the environment and how Plastic Packaging Technologies can help your business make the switch, continue reading below.
The Importance of Sustainable Packaging
Due to the environmental effects that manufacturing has caused over the years, governments worldwide are tightening up restrictions as it relates to the manufacturing of goods and products in all industries. Additionally, consumers are also becoming increasingly concerned about how their purchasing decisions affect the environment, causing them to look for more sustainable alternatives.
So, what is sustainable packaging?
Sustainable packaging is an approach to packaging that is designed to be less harmful to the environment. Packaging can be considered sustainable due to various factors, including the kinds of materials used, the manufacturing process, and the ability to reuse them.
Companies stand to gain a lot by taking a more environmentally-friendly approach to how they package their goods. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why your business should consider using sustainable packaging options.
Reduce Environmental Footprint
In the United States alone, packaging waste accounts for millions of tons of waste each year. Plastic packaging, in particular, is blamed for a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable packaging should be considered by all brands who want to explore reducing their environmental impact as a first step in helping to protect the environment.
Respond to Consumer Needs
In recent years, there has been a significant shift in consumer attitudes toward sustainability. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the environment’s future and want to support companies that protect the environment.
Sustainable packaging includes two major components: reducing packaging materials and minimizing waste. When properly implemented, both components lead to more efficient storage, allowing you to reduce the amount of space required to store your products and how much it costs to do so while also freeing up more space to store more merchandise.
Sustainable Packaging Materials
Today’s market offers a wide range of sustainable packaging solutions, each option providing its own set of benefits. The best choice for your brand will largely be determined by your specific needs and the types of products you sell. But there are several popular options that offer your business various advantages.
Cardboard is used to ship over 90% of all products in the US, so it rightfully deserves to be at the top of this list. There are numerous advantages to using cardboard boxes for shipping, ranging from their singular utility and wide range of options to their low cost and high reusability.
Corrugated cardboard can be reused many times as long as it keeps its shape. It can also be recycled up to 25 times before being composted or discarded.
Bioplastics are a broad term for various bio-based plastic materials that were developed to replace non-biodegradable fossil-fuel plastics. Bioplastics are primarily used in food packaging, as well as bags, utensils, and straws. They also have a wide range of other applications and can be used to replace regular plastics in any situation.
Compostable Packing Peanuts
Polystyrene, a non-biodegradable and non-recyclable plastic pollutant, has traditionally been used to make packing peanuts. In response to these harmful environmental consequences, starch-based packing peanuts were introduced in the 1990s.
These non-toxic plant sources are used to make these eco-friendly substitutes. This newer style of packing peanut has a negligible waste footprint because it is entirely biodegradable and water-soluble.
Believe it or not, mushrooms are another inexpensive, environmentally-friendly packaging solution that can be used to support smaller items. This material not only uses no petroleum or food as raw material, but it also degrades at an incredible rate and can also be composted at home to produce non-toxic organic matter.
Compostable mailers come in a variety of materials. Some are made from biodegradable plant materials that can be composted both commercially and at home, while others are made of recycled paper products that should be commercially composted.
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How Your Business Can Be Environmentally-Friendly
Prioritizing sustainable packaging is an excellent way for your company to make progress toward its eco-friendly goals. If your organization is considering ways in which it can be more environmentally friendly, here are some things you may want to consider beforehand.
Set a Goal
Every type of packaging option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. To make it easier to choose the right materials for your products, you’ll need to decide what you ultimately want to achieve by using sustainable packaging.
Whether you want to lower your carbon footprint, eliminate single-use plastic, or ensure that your packaging is easily recyclable, selecting a singular goal and using it to guide your choices will ensure that your new packaging does not cause more harm than good.
Educate and Engage with Your Customers
The best way to increase the impact of your sustainable packaging efforts is to talk to your customers about it. Inform your customers about your growing commitment to a healthier environment and ask them for feedback regarding your new environmentally-friendly packaging efforts.
Additionally, you can also create a marketing campaign that incorporates your new approach to sustainability. Show your customers what you are doing to help save the environment and participate in adopting more sustainable practices by choosing your products.
By not only educating your customers on environmental issues but following through on your sustainable efforts, your customers will see your brand in a much more positive image. They may even help your business appeal to a broader audience of environmentally conscious customers.
One Step at a Time
When it comes to making the switch to sustainable packaging, the most important thing to remember is to take it slowly. Before implementing sustainable packaging across your entire product line, try it out on a single line of products.
This will allow you to gauge your customers’ reactions and identify potential issues and prevent you from making a costly error further down the road. Also, be sure to try out various materials and vendors until you find the best match for your business and your products.
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How Plastic Packaging Technologies is Leading the Way in Sustainability
Every year, consumers are increasingly opting for brands that contribute to a healthier environment. With our most recent announcement, Plastic Packaging Technologies is proud to be a leader in environmentally-friendly production.
THRIVE is our newest line of packaging products that promise to keep the benefits of purposeful and powerful packaging. THRIVE is available in four materials: all-PE (recyclable through an in-store drop-off program), post-consumer recycled material, renewable and compostable.
Contact Plastic Packaging Technologies Today
As you can see, there are many ways your business can navigate sustainable packaging, but the best approach will largely depend on the demands of your company. Whether you choose to use eco-friendly materials, use different vendors, or optimize your supply chain processes, making the process one step at a time, measuring the results, and expanding from there is typically the best approach for any organization.
At Plastic Packaging Technologies, we’re committed to helping our customers achieve their sustainability goals by providing award-winning sustainable and flexible packaging solutions that both business owners and consumers can stand behind. Sustainable packaging materials not only use less material than rigid packaging materials, but they also lower production and transportation costs, save warehouse space, and increase how much product can be shipped at one time.
Plastic Packaging Technologies is a national leader in sustainable packaging solutions. We specialize in providing superior quality and advanced technical knowledge to assist you in developing the most eco-friendly packaging solution to meet your company’s needs. With our high level of professional, top-quality packaging solutions and state-of-the-art technology, we offer a wide range of sustainable and creative packaging solutions to each of our customers.
If your organization is looking to take the next step in making your business more environmentally friendly, contact Plastic Packaging Technologies today to learn more about how we can help.