In this day and age, consumers are more conscious than ever of the environmental impacts of packaging. In fact, 60% to 70% of global online customers said they would pay more for products or services provided by companies committed to an eco-friendly impact.
Criticizing packaging materials has been a popular topic of conversation. From too many layers and materials to too little branding, everyone seems to have an opinion. And now, more than ever before, customers are beginning to change brands if the packaging seems unnecessary or overly harmful to the environment.
As excessive packaging takes a back seat, businesses are focusing on how to create an eco-friendly solution to a global problem. By choosing the right packaging, businesses can reduce their carbon footprint, minimize overhead costs, and make a lasting positive impression among eco-conscious consumers.
Looking to go green? We’ve got you covered.
What Is Eco-Friendly Packaging?
Simply put, eco-friendly packaging refers to shipping materials that can be recycled, reused for shipping products, or turned into compost.
Once used as a gimmick to attract customers, businesses are now beginning to realize that packaging waste can be detrimental to the environment, as well as the brand loyalty from eco-conscious customers.
Ditch The Weight
Opting for lightweight materials is now common among businesses that champion transparency and sustainability.
Not only should you focus on using fewer materials, but try out practices such as ‘lightweighting’ – which is the process of using less plastic to create packaging. This not only reduces your carbon footprint, but it also saves you money from shipping expenses. However, keep in mind that some packaging manufacturers use non-recyclable materials when developing lightweight packages. You must be thorough when researching materials to ensure they follow the eco-friendly philosophy.
From cutting initial packaging costs to reducing shipping and transporting fees, choosing less bulky materials can make a huge difference to your bottom line.
Use The Right Packaging For Your Product Size
We’ve all been there – received an eagerly-awaited product in the mail, only to find it packaged in a box more suited for an item ten times its size. Not only is it super frustrating for trash day, but also a total waste of money and materials.
A simple way to introduce sustainability into your business is to limit unnecessary supplies. Investing in a box-making machine can go a long way toward making sure your business is reducing wasteful materials. This type of machine makes only what you need, when you need it, removing the unnecessary packaging and storage costs from bulk-buying boxes in multiple sizes.
Something as simple as a box’s shape can make a difference to your overall costs, too. Corrugated cardboard boxes make the perfect packaging solution due to its strength, and the ability to handle higher levels of tension. They also stack easily in vans and crates, meaning businesses can utilize freight and container space efficiently.
Choose Reusable Materials
One of the best ways to build brand loyalty and go green is to create reusable packaging. These materials could be reused as DIY planters, stationery, party décor, and more. Take it a step further and include a card with ideas on how to use your packaging materials.
Corrugated cardboard packaging can be reused multiple times and is also recyclable, so it’s great for customers looking to do their part.
Take It Slow
Some of these options require upfront costs (buying a machine, buying new (possibly more expensive) materials, and reworking your shipping operations. Take baby steps into the eco-friendly packaging space and see how going green works for your business.
Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published October 2018 and was updated in March 2021 to reflect more accurate and relevant information.