Packaging: sustainable options that will save money
Many businesses are recognising the part they have to play in working towards a more sustainable future. Many are also discovering that as well as communicating ethical values to customers, sustainable packaging options can also help to cut costs.
Product packaging is a valuable platform to share information and promote your brand. Choosing sustainable materials can also communicate environmental sensibilities, and with more and more consumers actively seeking out companies with eco friendly ethics, more and more options are becoming available. More good news is that some of these options can save you money.
How much packaging do you need?
Most businesses begin choosing sustainable packaging materials without considering how much packaging is actually needed. As a first step, consider the amount of materials used in your packaging and whether these are actually really needed to ensure products arrive undamaged. Perhaps you can switch from boxes to biodegradable polyolefin shrink wrap which is made from 100% recyclable materials and generally low cost in comparison to similar options. Or, you might try making the packaging for all of your products a uniform size in order to cut down on waste. Some food manufacturers, for example, have started to cut down on the size of their boxes. They still offer the same volume of product, but where they might once have made larger boxes to attract more attention they are now cutting down on the size and notifying customers that they have done this to help protect the environment. It is also, of course, an immediate way to save on the cost of packaging.
Many companies are finding ways to make their packaging reusable. If you’re a B2B supplier, you could offer discounts for returning crates or reusable bags. If products are going out to consumers, you can use reusable packaging to improve brand awareness. For example, Puma now pack their trainers in bags instead of boxes, meaning that consumers get a tote bag branded with their logo that they can use again and again rather than discarding the packaging.
Switching to recycled paper or plastic packing options is one option. Another is making use of excess waste offcuts, such as our paper offcuts below. As well as being more sustainable, making use of waste materials also makes your organisation more efficient. If products need cushioning to avoid damage, styrofoam has been a standard loose-fill packaging. This material, however, tends to break down into micro plastics, entering marine ecosystems and even the human food chain. For businesses looking for an alternative, biodegradable air peanuts are now available to replace them.
White news offcuts,
There are times when printed labels are important, but thinking, quite literally, outside the box when it comes to labelling can help you find some solutions which will also cut costs. Using markers such as our omnigraph crayons rather than printed labels, for example, will mean that you can use recycled boxes, crates or even glass for shipping. This also saves on printer ink and the paper and electrical energy needed to run the printer.