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Packaging plays a crucial role in our lives, enveloping nearly everything we purchase, from groceries to electronics. However, with the rising tide of environmental concerns, the call for sustainable packaging solutions is echoing louder than ever.
This desire for change puts a lot of pressure on e-commerce owners and managers, who may be unsure how they can transition to a sustainable packaging strategy that works with their budget and products. The good news is that some extra research can do wonders for building a sustainable packaging strategy, starting with the packaging products you choose to use.
In this article, we will be exploring 12 powerful examples of environmentally-friendly packaging products. Covering everything from packages made from recycled goods to packaging crafted with fungi, you will learn the benefits of environmentally-responsible packaging and how to effectively implement it into your packaging strategy. Read on to get started!
With the green movement gaining traction, recycled cardboard and paper packaging has become a popular option for eco-conscious brands. These materials offer the perfect blend of sustainability and versatility, making them ideal for a wide variety of products. They can be customized in size, shape, and print, thus creating a unique and personalized unboxing experience for customers.
Benefits: Made from reused material, can be recycled again after use, versatile and customizable.
Ideal Uses: Suitable for most products including clothing, books, electronics, and more.
Join the revolution against traditional styrofoam peanuts by embracing biodegradable cornstarch packaging. Made from vegetable starches, these eco-friendly packaging peanuts can dissolve naturally in the environment, leaving no trace behind. Plus, they can be molded into various shapes to fit your products perfectly.
Benefits: Completely biodegradable, less harmful to the environment and curbside recyclable.
Ideal Uses: Ideal for smaller items like jewelry, beauty products, or fragile electronics.
Just like vegetable starches being used for peanuts, other items we would ordinarily consider food can make surprisingly good packaging materials.
Mushroom packaging is a rising star in the sustainable packaging industry. With a base of mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms, this packaging can be grown into any mold, providing a sturdy and compostable alternative to traditional packaging options.
Benefits: Fully compostable, grown from mycelium and other agricultural waste.
Ideal Uses: Protective packaging for electronics, glassware, and delicate items.
Seaweed packaging represents a leap forward in sustainable packaging technology. Fully biodegradable, and in some cases even edible, it can replace many traditional plastic uses. It is a fun and innovative way to highlight your brand’s commitment to protecting the planet.
Benefits: Fully biodegradable and edible, can be used as a plastic alternative.
Ideal Uses: Food packaging or products that require airtight sealing.
Hemp has made big waves in recent years for all sorts of purposes, despite being first cultivated thousands of years ago. And now, this versatile crop is even being used to replace plastic by using the fibers from hemp plants.
Durable and lightweight, hemp plastic is an excellent choice for businesses seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. It showcases an understanding of the importance of renewable resources in combating environmental issues that will surely resonate with many buyers.
Benefits: Biodegradable, renewable source, durable.
Ideal Uses: Cosmetic and personal care product packaging.
Plastic bubble wrap has long been a known problem for the environment due to how difficult it is to recycle. But thankfully, there is a solution: PAPERbubble®.
Crafted from recycled paper, PAPERbubble® is ideal for e-commerce. Its unique design allows it to provide familiar cushioning without the negative offset to the environment that traditional bubble liners do.
Benefits: Cushioning, flexible, strong, biodegradable, curbside recyclable, and made from recycled materials.
Ideal Uses: Ideal for a variety of products requiring protection during shipping, including fragile items like glassware, electronics, and delicate accessories.
If you are in the market for a protective, yet eco-friendly mailer, the Ecojacket™ is a worthy contender. This innovative solution is made from recycled paper and has a lightweight, compact design that provides the same level of protection as traditional bubble mailers. But the true magic of Ecojacket lies in its minimal environmental footprint. Post-consumer waste is its primary ingredient, making it an excellent choice for businesses seeking to cut down on waste and carbon emissions.
Benefits: Protective, lightweight, made from recycled materials, and eco-friendly.
Ideal Uses: Suitable for a variety of e-commerce products that require cushioning during shipping, such as books, electronics, cosmetics, and other small items.
Plastic has become infamous for contributing to the climate crisis, but that does not mean we should stop using it altogether. Opting for recycled plastic packaging can significantly reduce your business’s carbon footprint, especially compared to newly produced plastic. While offering the same versatility and convenience as traditional plastic, this option uses less energy in its production and reduces landfill waste. It is a small change with a big impact.
Benefits: Uses less energy than new plastic, reduces landfill waste, and is highly versatile.
Ideal Uses: Virtually any application that uses traditional plastics.
Looking for a way to make your packaging part of your product? Plantable packaging could be the answer. This rare proposition is ideal for business owners who know their buyers have a strong green thumb. It offers a unique customer experience and a delightful way to keep your brand in mind long after purchase.
Tip: When buying plantable packaging, be sure that it is compostable rather than biodegradable. This is because compostable packaging is generally more environmentally responsible than biodegradable alternatives. Learn more about the differences between compostable and biodegradable packaging here!
Benefits: Compostable, can be planted to grow flowers or herbs, offers a unique customer experience.
Ideal Uses: Ideal for small items, beauty products, seeds, or gift items.
If you’re after a packaging solution that’s both sustainable and stylish, bamboo could be the material for you. Renowned for its strength and speed of growth, bamboo is one of the most renewable resources on the planet. Plus, its natural, minimalist aesthetic could be just what you need to make your products pop.
Benefits: Renewable, fast-growing source, sturdy, and versatile.
Ideal Uses: Packaging for cosmetics, food items, and various retail products.
Wool packaging offers a solution that is both environmentally friendly and practical. Not only is wool a renewable and biodegradable resource, but it is an excellent insulator. This makes it ideal for sensitive goods that need to be kept at a consistent temperature during transit.
Benefits: Renewable, biodegradable, excellent insulator.
Ideal Uses: Perfect for perishables requiring temperature control, such as meal kits or specialty foods.
Organic fabric packaging provides a touch of luxury. These fabrics are renewable, biodegradable, and reusable, making them a sound choice for the environment. Plus, the use of organic fabric for packaging adds a premium feel to your products, enhancing the unboxing experience.
Benefits: Renewable, biodegradable, reusable, offers a premium feel.
Ideal Uses: Suitable for apparel, handmade goods, and other premium products.
Making your packaging strategy and products sustainable all starts with choosing the right products and the right sustainable packaging supplier.
If you are looking to evolve your packaging strategy so that it can be both sustainable for the environment and your operations, consider Crownhill Packaging.
As industry leaders in sustainable packaging, we provide a wide range of sustainable, quality packaging solutions that are light on the environment and your budget. To learn more about how we can help, reach out to our team today!