Below we’ve listed a handful of top ideas for eco-friendly packaging materials, some of which you will already be familiar with and some of which you likely have never heard of before. These solutions range from recycled cardboard to kraft paper to biodegradable packaging peanuts and more!
1) Mushroom packaging
A variety of brands across the globe are choosing mushroom packaging over standard product packaging.
So just what is packaging made out of mushrooms? As the name suggests, this type of packaging is fashioned from fungi varieties – in other words, mushrooms! It’s a great, environmentally friendly packaging alternative to non-recyclable materials and is highly beneficial for the environment.
In between 30-90 days, packaging crafted from mushrooms completely decomposes. It can also be ingested by living things without harming them. This makes it a popular choice for those looking for a plastic alternative that won’t harm biodiversity.
Most using this packaging will use it to pack smaller items or products that are odd shapes. Why? Because materials made from mushrooms can be fashioned into various forms yet still provide maximum protection.
Another selling point? It can be composted in the office or at home and broken down into a chemical-free matter. This makes it a great option for companies selling household items that wish to appeal to planet-loving supermarket customers.
2) Cornstarch-based packaging
Cornstarch packaging is a low-cost alternative to polystyrene materials and one that can biodegrade without harming the environment, providing you dispose of it correctly, which, thankfully, is easy to do.
Crafted out of polylactic acid (an amalgamation of fermented sugars), cornstarch packaging is not only biodegradable, it’s extremely easy to create, making it an effective planet-friendly solution and one that can be sourced easily in bulk.
It’s an ideal option for food items, and as such, is being utilised by more restaurants offering a takeaway menu, as it can withstand both oils and food fats, making it both a green and practical option.
3) Recycled packaging
Recycled materials are another top choice for eco-packaging material options and an excellent choice for businesses wishing to up their eco-initiatives. Bioplastics are crafted out of biological substances as opposed to fossil fuels. This makes them very planet-friendly!
Want to go one step further? Pick biodegradable plastics, which can decompose when they are placed in direct sunlight. This type of plastic is often used to make envelopes and is particularly popular with companies that send out mail in bulk.
Pinpointing your business’ use of alternative packaging is a great way to heighten your customer retention and loyalty.
4) Compostable packaging
Compostable boxes use materials that can easily be placed in a home compost bin. The result? Less waste and nutrient-rich soil – all it takes is a little time.
In addition, top-rate compostable materials break down in their entirety, irrespective of whether they feature printing ink on the packaging or not.
5) Cardboard cartons
Several foods and beverage companies have replaced plastic bottles with cardboard cartons. From soups to juices, smoothies, milk, and even wine, a cardboard carton looks trendy. And, it’s also much better for the environment – it lessens the amount of plastic making its way to our oceans, which, as we all know, has a detrimental effect on marine animals, birds and fish.
Cartons are made from recycled newspaper and cardboard, which features a thin, recycled plastic liner on the interior of the carton. This allows them to hold liquid without disintegrating.
Another benefit? They’re easy to ship and can be transported as bigger loads, which also reduces shipping costs.
6) Shred old packaging for protection
This is a great way to recycle any old boxes you may have and one way to ensure the product is protected when in transit.
7) Air pillows
Instead of bubble wrap, use air pillows. These are an effective eco-alternative to polystyrene and bubble wrap. As well as protecting the product inside the box, air pillows take up less room than other cushioning materials. The best part? They can be recycled or reused.
8) Biodegradable packing peanuts
Biodegradable peanuts are a great deal better for the environment compared to polystyrene beads. Asides from being biodegradable (they break down when they come into contact with water), they’re non-toxic and leave no waste behind.
These are an excellent investment for larger shipping companies and an ideal alternative to spill control pallets.
9) Single strip packaging for delicate items
Smaller items are often packed in much bigger boxes than they require, with a great deal of plastic to ensure they arrive undamaged. To avoid excessive use of plastic, companies are now opting for single strip packaging instead, which is fashioned out of recyclable cardboard.
As well as being a good option for the environment, it’s also a lot cheaper.
10) Reuse cardboard boxes
If you can, reuse cardboard packaging instead of investing in new boxes. As a company, you likely receive an array of goods daily, from general kitchen items to products and office stationery.
When it comes to sending your products to customers, re-using these boxes is an easy way to do your bit for the environment.
Making the planet a priority when it comes to shipping or storing goods is a must today. Besides attracting an eco-conscious target market, adopting an eco-approach through recycled material packaging options ensures you heighten your reputation whilst doing your bit for the planet.
We aim to create packaging that replaces the many plastic shipping materials on the market deemed harmful to the planet, instead opting for plantable packaging, reusable bags and eco-friendly packing materials.
Not only do we assist you in creating packaging that captures your brand identity in its entirety, but we also use environmentally friendly materials that show your customers you take their packaging needs seriously.
You can find out more about us and our journey here.