As individuals, there are many small things we can do to do our part for the environment. If you own a business, it should give you many more opportunities to choose eco friendly packaging, and to help your customers reduce their carbon footprint as well.
More and more people want to purchase eco friendly products, and they are more likely to purchase something if they know it was manufactured, and packaged, with sustainability in mind.
How can you create and use green packaging? Is it possible to effectively reduce the amount of waste generated by your business, without sacrificing the quality of your product packaging? These 8 eco friendly packaging ideas will show you how it can be done:
Idea #1: Unnecessary packaging should be eliminated
Many products come with a lot of unnecessary packaging. If a product is already packaged inside a box, for example, does it really need to be wrapped in a plastic liner inside this box?
By eliminating what is not necessary, you can focus on the essential: packaging that will protect your products and do what it needs to do without generating unnecessary waste. And if your packaging is made from recycled and recyclable materials, it will be even better for our beautiful planet.
Idea #2: Reuse products packaged in a cardboard box
A great eco friendly packaging idea is to reuse cardboard. Cardboard boxes can be recycled, but they also can be reused to package other products, or to store different items. But what if the cardboard box packaging your product was designed to be reused in a fun or useful way?
A box that can become a coffee table, a file cabinet, a jewellery box, a board game, or a storage chest for toys after it has served its purpose will produce no waste. Plus, it will advertise your brand and earn it an eco-friendly reputation.
Idea #3: Flexible packaging that can be recycled
Flexible packaging is usually made from 3 different layers of plastic materials, which makes these pouches pretty much impossible to recycle.
Fortunately, it’s possible to customize and purchase flexible pouches that can be recycled because they are made from a single material. These are perfect for food items, but can be used to package a variety of products.
Unfortunately, not all recycling facilities are able to process recyclable flexible packaging properly. This is expected to change in the future.
Idea #4: Reusable bags can be a part of your packaging
Reusable bags can be used to package different products, and they could even replace cardboard boxes in some situations.
Everyone likes reusable bags, as they can serve different purposes. Plus, if your customers carry a piece of your eco friendly product packaging with them whenever they go shop, or when they want to bring something to a friend’s house, your brand will be advertised as an environmentally conscious brand that created some clever reusable packaging.
Idea #5: Compostable packaging returns to the earth
Eco friendly product packaging can be reused or recycled, but it can also be composted. Compostable packaging is made from organic materials that will slowly decompose and turn into rich soil you can use to fertilize your garden.
Cardboard and paper are compostable, but compostable packaging can also be made from bioplastics. Boxes, bags, flexible pouches, and plates can all be made from compostable materials that will not stay long in a landfill if they ever reach one.
Idea #6: Plantable packaging creates no waste
Plantable packaging takes things even further. Made from paper or cardboard that contains seeds, plantable packaging can be soaked in water and planted in the ground.
Imagine if your packaging, or a part of your packaging could be turned into beautiful flowers, fine herbs, or even a tree! This type of packaging doesn’t create any waste: instead, it creates new plants that will grow in your customers’ gardens or yards.
Idea #7: Packaging created from organic materials
Product packaging can be created from different organic materials, including leaves, cornstarch, mushrooms, hemp, cotton, and more.
Of course, one of the main advantages of organic materials is that they are compostable, and therefore produce no waste. These materials represent a truly eco friendly alternative to plastic, styrofoam, and other man-made materials that won’t decompose so easily.
Idea #8: Bubble wrap & packing peanuts can be eco friendly
Bubble wrap and packing peanuts are harmful to the environment. Or are they?
If you need this type of packing materials, you can turn to an eco friendly alternative. Plastic bubble wrap can be replaced with wrap made from upcycled corrugated cardboard, and biodegradable packing peanuts are as effective as the regular ones, but more gentle on the environment.
As you can see, many eco friendly packaging options are available, and many of your customers will be happy to see you use some of them to package your products.