Incorporating Environmentally Friendly Packaging for Your Products

by J.B. Maverick

3 min read

Incorporating environmentally friendly packaging for your company’s products is a way to help your company go green, cutting down on your costs and your impact on the environment. If you’re making the shift to going green, plan ahead for packaging changes to minimize the short-term costs of switching to eco-friendly packaging materials and processes. The switchover can get your company a number of benefits besides just enhancing its public image.

Recyclable Materials

Nonrecyclable paper and Styrofoam material used to package and ship your goods piles up in landfills and costs time and money to break down and dispose of, and has a substantial negative impact on the environment. Try using only recyclable materials to pack and ship your goods. Certain plastics, cardboard, paperboard, and a variety of other materials can be collected and repurposed. Take a look at your packaging needs to find the recyclable materials that fit into your budget and meet your company’s value guidelines. Recyclable materials are usually available from several sources, and a little thought and planning can help you pick the best materials to fit your company’s particular packaging and shipping needs.

Minimalist Packaging

Eco-friendly packaging can be environmentally friendly in terms of the type of materials used, and also in terms of the amount of material used. Consider talking with your team about redesigning packaging for goods so less material is needed in general. Discuss these new designs with your packaging manufacturer and work to create a set of custom-designed packaging boxes that conserve on materials and space throughout the entire distributing process. Customers often prefer products that don’t come in excessive and bulky packaging. Presenting clean lines and uncomplicated packaging may ultimately boost your bottom line by having a favorable impact on your customer relationships.

Watch the Padding

Some of your products may not need padding at all, but in many cases, your goods need at least minimal padding during the shipping process to prevent damage. Styrofoam is a very popular packing pad, but it’s nonrecyclable, what’s referred to as an “unsustainable material” that requires the use of petroleum during its production. There is a wide variety of padding options you can use in place of Styrofoam. Among the possible replacements are recyclable paper, corn starch cushioning, or biodegradable bubble wrap.

Functional Packaging

The types of products your company sells may be a major factor in determining the types of eco-friendly packaging and shipping materials you can use. If you’re struggling to find environmentally safe packaging options within your company’s budget, consider redesigning your packaging to increase the number of suitable substitutes. One option you might be able to use is designing your packaging to be part of the product. For example, if you sell a custom marker set, see if you can create packaging that doubles as a durable case to store the markers. Dual-functioning packaging not only makes your product more eco-friendly but also adds extra value for your customers. There’s a variety of ways to go about making the packaging for your company products more eco-friendly. Putting new packaging in place involves some short-term switching costs, but in the long run, it usually more than pays off as an investment, benefiting the environment, your customers, and your business. Once you make the switch, don’t miss out on the public relations benefits from becoming a more environmentally friendly company. Publicize your company’s environmentally conscious choices on your website, through social media outlets, and with a prominently displayed statement on your packing and shipping policies or frequently asked questions page.

References & Resources

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