Creating sustainable packaging is an important strategy for businesses and consumers alike. It is not only a good way to reduce your impact on the environment, but it can also lower your shipping costs and help you keep a loyal customer base. Here are some ways in which you can do sustainable packaging.
1. Use Fewer Materials
Using fewer materials in your packaging will save you money by reducing your waste and allowing you to reuse it more often. This is particularly true for paper, which can be recycled or composted.
2. Avoid Exaggerated Claims and Greenwashing
Many brands will exaggerate their eco-friendly claims and make false promises. For example, they might claim that their biodegradable plastic will break down in 1,000 years, but that’s unrealistic. Likewise, they might claim their paper packaging will be compostable, but only in specialized facilities.
3. Recycle Every Material You Can
Recycling is another key strategy for sustainable packaging. It’s a simple process that can cut down on your waste and lower your shipping costs by keeping the materials you already have instead of buying new ones every time an item needs to be shipped out or returned.
4. Reuse More Than Once
Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, there’s always a chance that a product will need to be packaged again. That’s why reusable packaging is becoming more popular.
5. Design Your Packaging to Work With the End of Life Option
This is a critical aspect of sustainable packaging. Packaging design and materials must work well with your end-of-life option, such as recycling (curbside or other drop-offs), Compost (industrial or home), or Landfill.
6. Find Suppliers that are Responsible for the Raw Materials They Use
The raw materials used to create your sustainable packaging can be a significant source of sustainability. Look for suppliers committed to replenishing nature and using only raw, natural resources. This can mean sourcing raw materials from certified and non-certified sources or asking detailed questions about how the raw materials are produced and whether they are responsible for deforestation and other environmental impacts during production.
7. Invest in Better Line Analysis
A line analysis is an essential part of any sustainable packaging strategy, and it will help you ensure that your current processing methods are working as efficiently as possible. It can also provide insight into how your packaging lines are being damaged at various points in the process and can lead to areas where improvements need to be made.
8. Reducing Costs
The upfront costs of sustainable packaging may be higher than that of traditional packaging. Still, the savings you’ll enjoy in the long run will help you recoup your initial investment quickly. Additionally, you’ll be able to recycle your sustainably packaged products more frequently than their non-sustainable counterparts and lower your shipping costs.
9. Partner With Manufacturers that are Sustainability-Focused
As a small business owner, you can’t control everything that goes into your packaging. It’s not impossible to avoid cushioning and protection materials necessary for transporting your products, but these items can’t be eliminated without damaging them.