The Top 4 Sustainable Packaging MaterialsSeptember 16, 2020
We’ve covered the benefits of sustainable packaging before, but there are still other factors at play when deciding on the materials you want to invest in. Namely, learning about what your options are for sustainable packaging materials, and how they would be best used in your shipping process. We will go into detail about some of the best sustainable packaging materials available and their advantages.
The Top Sustainable Packaging Materials To Consider
- Air Pillows Made of Recycled Materials
Inflatable air pillows are a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to bubble wrap or Styrofoam. You can find them in a range of different sizes, and they are great for filling empty spaces or providing cushioning for packed products.
Air pillows are small bags filled with air. As they consist primarily of air, not as much plastic is used to produce them, meaning they consume less resources than traditional packaging options. Even better, some air pillows are reusable, recyclable, and biodegradable. If you want to use the most sustainable air pillows, make sure they are 100 percent made of recycled materials and are proven to be biodegradable.
- Mushroom Packaging
Mushroom packaging uses cleansed and ground agricultural waste that is bonded by a matrix of mushroom roots, also known as mycelium.
This waste cannot be used as a food source – making it less controversial than cornstarch packaging, which uses edible corn grains that compete with the food supply for animals and humans. Mushroom packaging can be formed into any shape desired. Not only is it a material that does not require petroleum or a food source to make, but mushroom packaging is also incredibly biodegradable.
- Recyclable and Eco-Friendly Plastics
Plastic is often portrayed in a less-than-favorable light, but there is no denying some shipping requires a sturdier, more reliable packaging material that won’t break and can support heavier items. Many organic raw materials are great for filler or cushioning, but there will still be times you need to use plastic. However, this does not mean you cannot remain eco-friendly.
Many types of plastic packaging are now made from more sustainable materials such as 100 percent recycled petroleum-based plastic and plant-based bioplastic. From spill trays and spill-control pallets to drums, you can still choose eco-friendly plastic materials for your shipping needs.
- Recycled Cardboard and Paper
Cardboard boxes and paper are among the most recyclable materials available. Cardboard boxes are an industry standard for many fulfillment operations, able to house all sorts of items and accompanying filler materials. However, be wary of how they are sourced – as unsustainable production can negate many of their environmental benefits.
To ensure your cardboard and paper is eco-friendly, try to source post-industrial or post-consumer recycled cardboard and paper. You can also look for materials marked as FSC-certified that are sourced from sustainably managed forests and can potentially be an even better choice.
Adapting To The Future of Packaging
As customers around the world begin turning away from traditional packaging materials like plastic, it is now more important than ever to invest in sustainable packaging materials and strategies. Taking steps to become eco-friendly will improve your brand and cut costs in the long run.