Green initiatives used to be a rather naïve idea in the business world. Just a few years ago, being green and sustainable was something that only niche or forward-thinking companies would promote. However, in today’s era, sustainable or green measures are no longer unusual but a new standard for companies around the world. In terms of industrial impacts on the environment, one of the biggest culprits is the packaging material and accessories that accompany products. We all know how important and urgent it is to reduce our environmental impact. Many companies are switching to more sustainable ways of doing business. There is a constant search for the best packaging options. In this blog, we will review some of the eco-friendly packaging options that sustainable businesses can opt for; these include metal containers and cans, corrugated bubble wrap, cardboard packaging, and recycled plastic options.
Before we begin to explain the best sustainable packaging, we need to know what sustainable packaging is. The term refers to the sourcing and development of packaging solutions that have a minimal carbon footprint and a sustainable product life cycle. Simply put, sustainable packaging is eco-friendly packaging that does not harm the environment and reduces the depletion of natural resources.
Tinplate containers have been around in the industry for a long time. Tin-coated steel was traditionally used to package everything from food, cosmetics and more. Then came the era of aluminum, which is now widely used across the board to package products. Aluminum is a lightweight, strong, widely available and inexpensive material. Because it is 100% recyclable, it is an excellent sustainable and environmentally friendly choice over other packaging materials. It is commonly used for packaging food and home care products. Aluminum is also BPA-free, making it an ideal choice for food companies to package their food and beverages in aluminum tinplate containers.
Aluminum has other advantages that make it one of the dominant choices in the sustainable packaging industry. It can be recycled over and over again without degrading in quality. Its low melting point is one of the reasons it is one of the most energy-efficient materials to recycle. It is estimated that only 5% of the energy is required to recycle aluminum compared to extracting aluminum from raw virgin ore. Recycling aluminum reduces a huge amount of the industry’s carbon footprint and also proves to be a better financial option. In addition, due to its malleable yet strong characteristics, it can be easily molded into different shapes and sizes. Companies can make custom cans and add a whole new look and meaning to their product line with minimal additional costs.
Corrugated Bubble Wrap
In addition to aluminum, many other packaging materials have emerged that promote green and sustainable businesses. For example, “corrugated bubble wrap.” We’re all familiar with bubble wrap, our favorite packaging as kids, which protects fragile products during shipping. It’s fun to play with, but it’s not an environmentally friendly material since it’s made of plastic. The good news is that corrugated bubble wrap is replacing traditional bubble wrap. Corrugated bubble wrap is made from shredded corrugated, usually made from the unusable part of our corrugated sheets after cutting them into shipping cartons. Therefore, corrugated bubble wrap is 100% recycled, but most of it is recycled. This helps decrease the burden on landfills and reduces the carbon footprint of the packaging industry.
Another option that can help companies practice green and sustainable moves is the use of recycled cardboard and paperboard. Cardboard has been used for decades to make boxes and store items in them. While cardboard and paper are organic materials, they can have a significant impact on the environment if they are not sourced sustainably and are overused. They can generate a considerable amount of carbon footprint. Fortunately, paper and paperboard are some of the most recyclable materials compared to other packaging materials. To ensure that a company uses sustainable packaging materials, it is best to use post-customer or post-industrial recycled paper and cardboard.
In fact, sometimes it is not possible to avoid plastic packaging. No matter how controversial plastic is, shipping some products requires plastic packaging. In these circumstances, companies should select plastic composed of 100 percent recycled plastic; this may be a slightly more expensive option, but the environmental cost of virgin plastic is considerable. Recycled plastic, in addition to its environmental benefits, is also great for brand image. Many customers are now aware of their carbon footprint. A product made from recycled plastics is sure to stand out as a marketing campaign and gain the interest of these customers.
Many companies and businesses are now improvising with new ways and designs to produce their product and package it in such a way that it lessens their environmental footprint. There are many ways to go green with packaging, and the right approach depends on a company’s business. More and more environmentally friendly packaging alternatives are emerging on the market at competitive prices. The sustainable and environmentally friendly badge in the brand name is becoming mainstream, and many savvy business owners are making the switch today to stay ahead of the curve.