For the most part, packaging materials are behind the troubling amount of waste found throughout the world. This doesn’t just include wrappers, but all manner of tough-to-break-down materials people use to transport goods as well. Awareness of this global problem is increasing, though. And due to this, companies around the world are seeking solutions to curb wasteful habits.
Small businesses have their part to play in helping the planet, starting with their packaging and shipping practices. Here are a few ideas to make your shipping materials greener, including using less packaging when possible, reducing plastic-based materials, and using compostable or recycled packaging.
Reduce Material Quantity
While the safety of your items is essential, there are many advantages to reducing materials in your packages. Besides helping you save money on shipping costs, using less material will create less waste. Rather than wrapping an item a dozen times over with bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and air pillows, try to be more strategic.
Target only the most delicate areas with defensive packaging items like pillow packs. If you find yourself filling a lot of space with materials, try finding or ordering a package size that will be a more snug fit so that the box itself can do a better job protecting your items.
Use Less Plastic-Based Materials
Avoiding or actively using less plastic-basic and synthetic material is a great idea to make your shipping materials greener. To start, check how much plastic tends to make up your packages. As noted, there are many plastic packing material options that businesses purely choose based on preference. Besides this, many companies are in the habit of using plastic-based tape to seal packages. Only using the necessary amount and avoiding too much overlap will save you money and help the planet.
Focus on Compostable Materials
A majority of shipping supplies that aren’t plastic just happen to be primarily compostable materials. Choosing items that will break down naturally ensures that your supplies won’t cause any harm to the environment when they end up recycled. Compostable materials are those that are primarily organic.
The most accessible ones are typically paper products or are otherwise plant-based. It’s becoming increasingly easy to source paper packing material, besides the standard rolls of newsprint. Shredded and recycled paper and cardboard are two effective and common alternatives. String-reinforced paper tape is also becoming increasingly available and affordable.
Reach out to your favorite packaging material supplier and ask about their greener selections. Making even small changes in our everyday choices will add up to meaningful moves toward a more sustainable future.