The need for eco-friendly packaging solutions is greater than ever in today’s world of environmental consciousness. Businesses are facing mounting pressure to implement sustainable practices due to concerning statistics that demonstrate the harmful effects of conventional packaging materials on the environment. A significant shift is required because plastic garbage pollutes 88% of the sea’s surface and more than a million plastic bags fill trash cans every minute. 

Over 381 million tonnes of plastic are produced annually worldwide, of which 50% is made for single use. That is an incredible figure that modern organizations can no longer afford to overlook. This thorough blog examines all aspects of environmentally friendly packaging, including its definition, advantages, cutting-edge trends, and practical applications.

Eco-Friendly Packaging: What Is It?

Packaging that is easy to recycle and composed of materials with little effect on natural resources or energy usage is referred to as eco-friendly packaging. Recycled materials are used to make eco-friendly packaging most of the time. It’s also frequently referred to as eco-friendly or sustainable packaging.

Eco-friendly packaging’s primary goal is to produce less product packaging overall. The complete sequence, from the product packaging itself to the delivery containers and padding you select, must be taken into account. Eco-friendly packaging is safer for people and the environment, whether it is made entirely of biodegradable materials instead of the hazardous elements used to make traditional packaging.

Conscious Consumption: What Is It?

The trend of conscientious consumerism is seen across all industries. Whether purchasing food, apparel, electronics, or cars, mindful consumerism is of utmost importance. Cost has always been the primary consideration, followed by necessity and occasionally make or brand over the course of decades. The consumer of today has turned this around.

According to a recent Nielsen research on the global rise of sustainability, 73% of consumers globally said they would alter their purchase habits to lessen their environmental effect. 37% of American shoppers give sustainability top priority while making purchases, and 30% are prepared to shell out more money for goods that live up to sustainability promises.

In order to thrive in the current economic environment, a business must meet these needs. It’s a long-term strategy to guarantee client loyalty in addition to lessening your environmental effect. Eco-friendly packaging is the first step toward conscientious consumerism, which is becoming increasingly important in business decisions as more Millennials and Gen Zers join the market.

The Benefits of Eco-Friendly Packaging

Eco-friendly packaging is more beneficial to the environment than plastic packaging. It’s more environmentally friendly manufacturing process finds a way to cut down on packaging waste. Let’s examine the main advantages for both the environment and your company. 

1. Diminishes Carbon Footprint

As the majority of environmentally friendly packaging options are composed of natural or recycled materials, you are lowering your carbon footprint right away. In certain situations, the natural substitute you’re using—like bamboo—reduces carbon as it grows. Your environmentally friendly packaging can actually make a difference by lowering carbon emissions during manufacture and choosing resources that use less energy.

2. Additional Storage

If you want to offer eco-friendly packaging for your company, you’ll need to come up with more inventive strategies to increase productivity. It begins with the product and works its way down to the amount of space needed for transportation. More room allows you to send more goods, which lowers your expenses. Your entire operation can be streamlined by identifying environmentally friendly alternatives that get rid of extra packaging.

3. Multipurpose

You’ll find more adaptable options if you try to limit packaging to only what is absolutely necessary. You will design or source environmentally friendly choices that promote efficiency rather than retrofitting your product into the standard package proportions of conventional items in your sector.

4. Free From Toxins And Allergens

The majority of conventional packaging items are made of synthetic materials, which are frequently very chemically loaded. They are detrimental to the final user as well as the environment. Non-toxic, biodegradable, and allergy-free materials are frequently used in eco-friendly packaging substitutes.

5. Easily Disposable

Reusing or discarding eco-friendly packaging is simple. Customers have several options when it comes to disposing of it because it is frequently recyclable or biodegradable. It is simple for customers to do, whether they are adding it to the compost pile, recycling it at a nearby depot, or using it in a different way.

6. Strengthens Your Brand

Setting eco-friendly packaging as a top priority can help you properly position your company. The customer of today is aware of your brand’s position on environmental effect and actively seeks out methods to improve decision-making. By effectively marketing yourself, you may increase long-term consumer attraction while increasing sales and retention. It all comes down to valuing openness and taking full responsibility for the life cycle of your products.

How to Begin

Although it’s obvious that eco-friendly packaging is needed, things aren’t always clear-cut. Conscious consumption and other trends have made it trendy for firms to be “sustainable.” This inevitably results in packaging being covered in “eco-friendly” labels, even if it may not be even if it may not be the ideal resolution. Companies often become fixated on fast fixes that would improve their brand image, even if they may not be sustainable or vice versa.

Step 1: Do some research

Research is the first step towards eco-friendly packaging. Visit websites such as the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, which disseminates information and optimal techniques for diverse packaging substitutes. You’ll need to keep an eye out for options like blended or multilayer packaging. 

Even something as basic as a typical chip packet is made up of multiple layers. While certain layers might be recyclable, others might not be. Because of the non-recyclable pollutants, this will not pass through any municipal recycling system. If this happens to you, it’s still worthwhile to get in touch with other businesses—even if they are rivals. 

This is exactly what manufacturer Hain Celestial accomplished when they collaborated with TerraCycle to establish a free snack bag recycling program that converted used chip bags into materials for 3D printing.

Step 2: Communicate with your vendor

Make an appointment to ask some questions of your current packaging supplier.

Begin by completing the following:

  • Is it possible to order boxes with no imprint?
  • How long does it take to send boxes without prints?
  • Does product cushioning have to happen before shipping?
  • Which kind of printing do you employ?
  • Which kind of paper are you using to make your products?
  • Which type of paperboard do you use to make mailer and shipping boxes?
  • Which alternatives to packaging do you provide?

Step 3: Identify what you need

After you’ve finished unpacking your present packaging procedure, you can modify the reasoning by emphasizing the different resources you utilize. Remove any extraneous parts first. The requirement for shipping packaging is only going to increase with the growth of online retail. 

To guarantee that your products continue to arrive unharmed, look for opportunities to decrease wherever you can and use eco-friendly alternatives. You’ll probably need to make major adjustments to your package specifications in order to come up with an economical, sustainable, and environmentally friendly solution.

Eco-Friendly Packaging Alternatives For Your Business To Explore

1) Compostable Foam

Compostable Foam Packaging

Cruz Foam is a biodegradable substitute for plastic foam, one of the most dangerous polymers on the planet. Chitin, a naturally occurring waste product produced by the fish industry, is the biopolymer used to make it. 

Prior to Cruz Foam’s invention, this biopolymer—which is the second most plentiful on the planet—was typically destined for landfills. Chitin is also derived from mushrooms, insects, and other crustaceans, which makes it a sustainable way to cut down on StyroFoam.

You’ll require cushioning for your products if your company ships orders from point A to point B. One viable alternative to the single-use, petroleum-based plastics that are now on the market is to employ a scalable and sustainable solution. Even better, Cruz Foam lets you use the tools you already have to make unique, environmentally responsible packaging.

Because the product itself is fully compostable and the production process finds a way to deal with industrial waste, it is the pinnacle of an environmentally beneficial solution. Your clients can reapply it to the soil, where it will decompose and fertilize the area. 

2. Corrugated Bubble Wrap

Corrugated Bubble Wrap Packaging

Everybody has played with plastic bubble wrap packaging, and although it’s entertaining for a short while, it can’t be recycled, which makes it a significant source of single-use trash. Bubble wrap, though, has a use. Its purpose is to safeguard delicate objects during transportation.

Upcycled corrugated cardboard, here we come. Businesses like Ranpak make small incisions into used cardboard to create a concertina-type effect, which protects objects against shock similarly to bubble wrap, rather than discarding or recycling cardboard waste.

3. Seaweed Packaging

Seaweed Packaging

For many years, the food business has substituted agar for gelatin. Today, agar—a gelatinous material derived from a variety of seaweeds and algae—is used in packaging. Green packaging firms such as Notpla Seaweed is used by environmentally conscious packaging firms like Notpla to make plastic-free condiments, salad dressings, and sauce pots.

In the food business, this 100% biodegradable alternative to single-use items frequently used for takeout is beneficial. As these goods develop further, there will surely be seaweed solutions for additional packaging requirements.

4. Rigid Box Packaging

rigid box packaging

Rigid box packaging is a popular choice for luxury goods and premium products due to its durability, elegance, and ability to convey a sense of exclusivity. Unlike traditional folding cartons, rigid boxes are made from thicker and sturdier materials, providing enhanced protection for delicate items such as electronics, cosmetics, and jewelry. 

These boxes can be customized with various finishes, including embossing, debossing, and foil stamping, to create visually stunning packaging that captivates consumers’ attention. Despite their higher production costs compared to other packaging options, rigid boxes offer unparalleled quality and aesthetic appeal, making them an ideal choice for brands looking to elevate their packaging experience.

Examples of Eco-Friendly Packaging in Action

1. GE Energy

Designer Esther Li developed eco-friendly light bulb packaging for GE Energy’s Efficient Bulb in order to minimize needless packing inside a package. It featured a single, recyclable cardboard strip that completely protected the lightbulb while yet allowing customers to see it.

2. Performance of Origin X

The apparel brand Origin X Performance, situated in the UK, integrated environmentally sustainable techniques throughout their whole product life cycle. Every item of clothing is mailed.

Every item of clothing is delivered in a customized postal bag composed of organic, biodegradable materials. It doesn’t produce single-use garbage and is just as durable as ordinary plastic. Recycled plastic that has been gathered from the ocean is also used to make the clothes themselves.

3. Puma

Puma has unveiled a packaging system that lessens its impact on the environment and helps out with neighborhood projects. They collaborated with Fuseproject to create new packaging that is both economical and functional. 

The invention of the “smart little bag” significantly decreased the amount of space needed for transportation. This minor adjustment has resulted in a 60% decrease in the manufacturing level’s usage of energy, water, and diesel.

4. Pangea

Pangea Organics produces cosmetic products made entirely of plants in packaging that may be composted. Since then, they’ve gone a step further, transforming a waste-free product into a plantable remedy to cultivate trees. Because organic seeds are included in the packing, customers can replant their containers to cultivate actual plants.

5. Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi is a certified climate neutral outdoor gear company (CNC). This indicates that they have collaborated closely with the CNC to achieve complete carbon neutrality. A precise assessment of carbon emissions is required for a brand to receive the carbon neutral certification. 

Explore the Top 10 Eco-Friendly Packaging Options for Your Company’s Shipping Needs

Cotopaxi’s entire carbon footprint is 13859 tCO2e, which is the amount they must offset in order to maintain their neutrality. They buy offsets from accredited initiatives such as BEF and Pachama, which provide them with enough carbon credits to cover their costs. Furthermore, they are carrying out a thorough plan to convert their entire product range to responsibly sourced materials, doing away with all single-use plastics by the end of 2022.

6. Prana

Prana is an elegant, eco-friendly clothing line that is committed to “doing things right.” 2010 saw Prana rethink their packaging in an effort to cut down on paper and plastic waste. They developed eco-friendly practices such as recyclable raffia ties, responsible paper, and roll packaging. 

By thinking creatively and unconventionally, they succeeded in getting rid of all plastic by 2021. Earth-friendly packaging has become ubiquitous, ranging from recycled labels and origami-style packaging to the actual clothing.

7. Alter Eco

Alter Eco makes healthy, environmentally friendly substitutes for some of your favorite snacks. Imagine nut butter bombs, chocolate truffles, and granola. Every Alter Eco product supports small-scale farmers and approved fair trade suppliers who use sustainable farming methods. Each product is packaged in compostable or recyclable materials, and they plan to switch to 100% plastic-free and  they plan to switch to 100% plastic-free and packaging that decomposes in three to five years.

Make Eco-Friendly Packaging a Priority for Your Company

Sustainable packaging is essential for any company, so contact Print Monkey, a reputable packaging company. It’s also your duty to lessen your impact wherever you can, since customers continue to seek greener options. Because there are only so many resources in the world, it is essential for your company to concentrate on cutting waste everywhere possible.

You can choose environmentally friendly options for everything from the product’s manufacture to its packaging and delivery. Although you don’t have to finish everything at once, you must begin.