Different Sustainable Packaging Options and Their Benefits

Small businesses are now shifting to green packaging. It is safe to say that only a few companies can commit to this agenda for some reason. However, those who utilize sustainable packaging can enjoy plenty of benefits, like abrupt business growth.

Sustainable packaging applies to small businesses that ship items to consumers regularly. It may demand additional costs but can save money in the long run. Plus, it aids the environment, especially these days when global warming is the most prominent issue.

Many companies in the US and Australia are investing in sustainable packaging and are now reaping good results. If you own a small business, you should know the different types of eco-friendly packaging and how each option works.

Common Types of Sustainable Packaging

Here is a list of sustainable packaging worth investing in. Each option works for a certain packaging need as they differ in prices and materials used. You can start today making your packaging choices eco-friendly with the following items:

1. Cardboard Boxes

On top of the list is cardboard which is popular in the US as a packaging material. Over 90% of small businesses take full advantage of cardboard boxes when shipping goods. It is affordable and reusable to cut down your expenses in the future.

Cardboard boxes are made up of 100% recyclable papers. This packaging option can last for a long time. It will remain in shape after being recycled 25 times. Disposing of the material is best when composted instead of throwing the cardboard into the landfill. This helps to reduce methane emission that is bad for the environment.

2. Paper Packaging

This is a perfect match with cardboard boxes to secure items during delivery. Create cushion balls by crumpling the paper materials and then start filling up the void spaces inside the box to prevent breakage among the items. The material is both compostable and recyclable.

Shredded paper is a good alternative to provide a nest and protect items from damage. Some businesses wrap fragile items, like glass and ceramic with tissue paper for better defense.

There is an automated machine that can assist you in packing items. It speeds up the process by making paper balls for you and even bubble wrapping the package.

3. Plastic Totes

This one is more expensive but can guarantee a longer lifespan than cardboard boxes. It is also popular in distribution centers though impractical for online businesses.

On the other hand, plastic totes are ideal for retail businesses which could help to earn more potential customers. This packing option may not be the best choice, however, it would result in a minimal cost over time. Additionally, the use of machinery is vital to recycling plastic totes.

4. Mushroom Packaging

This is a type of packaging that seems the most unique among the choices. Such a versatile material takes a long journey to make. As a result is a cushioning piece suitable for many applications, like lampshade packaging. It is an old kind of packaging and is compostable.

Ikea, one of the most famous stores in the world, is using mushroom packaging for its products. It is indeed a special material and yet delivers the best performance in covering an item from harm. 

5. Mailers

Compostable materials vary in two ways, one is commercially made and the other is home compostable. With mailers, companies can choose between plant material and recycled papers, which the prior is more versatile.

The way mailers decompose is what makes them different from the other packaging options. The material would become food for worms right after shipping.

6. Packing Peanuts

The traditional packing peanuts are non-recyclable but an eco-friendly version was discovered in the 1990s. It is starch-based, unlike the old ones made of polystyrene. It is additionally non-toxic and produces less carbon footprint which is good for the ecosystem.

7. Bioplastics

Last but not least, is the most versatile packaging option.Bioplastics can hold heavy pieces better than regular plastics. They replace non-biodegradable plastics which best fit for food packaging as the plastic is made of plants.

The downside of bioplastic massive production is its negative impact on the environment. There will be lots of land, water, and fertilizers used to cultivate plants and make bioplastics. Its advantage is that the reduction of greenhouse gasses improves.

Why Choose Sustainable Packaging?

Sustainable packaging has three categories – recyclable, reusable, and compostable.

Starting with its recyclable feature which benefits both the seller and the consumers after shipping.  It applies to card boxes and some paper packaging that can be reused many times because of its hard material.

Small businesses that sell items to be stored in a container can benefit from reusable packaging options. They are eco-friendly but not as versatile as recyclable packaging.

Global warming has been the most recent issue the world is facing. Thus, compostable packaging is a great choice to eliminate so much waste after shipping.

Final Thoughts

PlasPak plastic manufacturers are aiming for a sustainable way of shipping goods to consumers. They use durable and recyclable materials to secure items, depending on what your company will offer. Pick a type of packaging that you think best fits your business. Any type of sustainable packaging guarantees a good return to small businesses, such as boosting customer engagement and income. So, strive to work together with reliable packaging manufacturers.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.