6 Sustainable Packaging Solutions for Businesses

Industries worldwide are experiencing a significant movement toward sustainability. One recent study found that 46% of global shoppers want businesses to “take the lead” in this area.

You likely know general tips for running a sustainable business, such as leaving lights off in rooms no one uses and avoiding excessive water consumption when possible.

But how sustainable are your company’s packaging materials? It’s understandable if you haven’t given this subject much thought. Making changes in the name of sustainability could help your business reap rewards while contributing toward a healthy planet. Win-win!

Let’s discuss sustainable packaging and how it can benefit your business.

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What Does Sustainable Packaging Mean?

Sustainable packaging is a catch-all term for packages featuring or wholly made from environmentally friendly materials. This type of packaging isn’t only used or seen once a product hits store shelves; it can also be used while wrapping or storing items.

The Immense Benefits of Using Sustainable Packaging Materials

Are you thinking about making eco-friendly changes to how you package products? If so, your business is making a wise decision for several reasons. Here are the main benefits of choosing sustainable packaging.

Causes Less Pollution

It takes many steps for a product to go from an idea to something ready for consumers. From manufacturing to transporting products, it’s nearly impossible for most companies to cause no pollution or emissions.

Businesses using sustainable packaging materials can significantly reduce their carbon footprints. Additionally, sustainable materials can be biodegradable. Biodegradable materials disintegrate over time, unlike non-biodegradable items that can stay in landfills for decades or longer.

Appeals to Customers

These days, companies need more than high-quality products and services to appeal to customers. Businesses can enhance their brand image by implementing sustainability in the workplace.

Being a more sustainable brand can resonate with like-minded consumers. According to a 2019 survey from Aflac, 77% of shoppers feel motivated to purchase from companies committing themselves to making the world better.

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Fewer Compliance-Related Worries

Compliance is a crucial aspect of operating a business. You might be unaware that your company’s packaging can lead to problems concerning non-compliance. Regulatory requirements concerning sustainability will continue to change.

However, your company can prepare itself by using sustainable materials. Utilizing eco-friendly materials in your packaging helps ensure your brand stays ahead of regulatory changes, such as potential bans on certain materials.

Less Supply Problems

Another benefit of working with sustainable packaging materials involves supply and demand. Unfortunately, the limited supply of natural resources could soon leave companies vying for the materials they need to stay in business. Using sustainable materials helps your company avoid this substantial problem.

When your business relies on plant-based inks, biodegradable packaging, or other eco-friendly solutions, it doesn’t have to fret about problems related to limited supplies and out-of-stock materials.

Potentially Lower Operating Expenses

Companies working to become more sustainable often make discoveries. Sometimes, this discovery is that your business can use fewer materials to ship products safely. Switching to environmentally friendly materials may limit the amount of material that goes into your company’s product and shipping boxes.

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Sustainable Packaging Solutions to Consider in 2024

So far, you have learned about sustainable packaging and its benefits. But how do you get started with eco-friendly packaging? Check out these popular sustainable packaging solutions.

1. Printing With Plant-Based Inks

In most cases, no product is complete without a printed package. Without print, your potential buyers will be staring at a blank box. Consider eco-friendly printing if you’re opting for a more sustainable company.

A popular movement within the realm of environmentally friendly printing is to use plant-based inks. Plant-based inks can come from various plants, including soy and corn. These inks can also contain sunflower, flax, and canola oil.

Don’t feel like your business gives up color or style options. Plant-based inks are available in many colors.

2. Using Compostable Packages

Some materials can organically break down, and others can’t. Compostable packaging only uses natural materials, including but not limited to palm leaves, fungi, and vegetable starch. Best of all, the make-up of compostable materials can still ensure protected products and appealing packaging.

When your business chooses compostable packaging, you don’t have to worry about contributing to overcrowded landfills. Instead, you’ll know that your product’s packaging can return to the earth and provide nutrients to its soil at the same time.

3. Choosing Eco-Friendly Ways to Fill Gaps

Companies usually need filler material to pack in with their shipped products. For example, you can probably think back to a time when you had to wrestle with foam to remove it from a product’s package.

Many companies are moving away from non-biodegradable fillers like foam and plastic in favor of more eco-friendly void- or loose-fill materials.

Paper is a popular choice as an eco-friendly void filler. Recycled paper is easy to transform into decorative tissue or crinkle paper. These materials can also provide substantial product protection. The formation of honeycomb paper is another great choice to protect items during transportation.

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4. Going the Recyclable Route

Recyclable materials are incredibly popular options for sustainable packaging. Everything from shipping boxes for wine to packaging filler for clothes can come from recyclable materials.

Your company can even further its sustainability commitment by using recyclable materials for your products. Ditch the packing peanuts and plastic for more sustainable solutions. Glass, recycled paper, and cardboard are several examples of recyclable items.

5. Opting for Biodegradable Packaging Materials

Companies are also opting for improved sustainability by choosing biodegradable packaging materials. Biodegradable materials can naturally decompose back into the earth instead of taking up landfill space or releasing harmful components as they disintegrate.

Biodegradable packaging looks indistinguishable from its non-biodegradable counterparts. Boxes, void-fill material, and bags can all be biodegradable.

Consumers can compost biodegradable packaging at home instead of throwing it into a trash or recycling bin. Properly disposing of biodegradable items is also possible through composting farms and other facilities.

6. Offering Reusable Packaging

Single-use packaging often strains a company’s efforts to be more sustainable. As a result, some businesses are encouraging their customers to choose reusable packaging solutions.

A notable example is the popular grocery store chain Aldi, which offers reusable tote bags for shoppers. By buying and using Aldi totes, shoppers aren’t wasting paper or plastic, and Aldi can save money on purchasing single-use bags.

Reusable packaging isn’t always possible for a business, especially when it ships goods to online shoppers. However, taking a closer look at your company’s procedures could unearth ways to implement reusable packaging.

Wrapping Up

The popularity of sustainable packaging shows no signs of slowing. Becoming a more sustainable company could take considerable time and effort. However, it also gives your brand a chance to help the planet while potentially winning more consumers over.

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