Sustainability and seeking environmentally safe alternatives in the business industry would have seemed like a silly idea just a decade or two ago.
But now, more than ever, companies have started engaging in better and eco-friendlier practices, especially with a lot of countries requiring company health standards to keep up and proper waste management to be carried out as not to harm the environment.
But if you want to make decisions towards creating more sustainable packaging to make your company greener, or you already have a health-conscious business and are looking to find better, low-carbon techniques and ideas, then you’re in the right place.
What Type of Packaging Material to Use
If you physically want to alter your company’s packaging in a more sustainable way, then the packaging material is an excellent way to start.
There has been a wave of innovative, tough, and sustainable alternatives to standard packaging materials. Here are a few flexible packaging options to consider:
Recycled Cardboard and Paper
Recycling cardboard and paper has been a viable and widespread practice for higher sustainability for decades, and most people don’t even realize it.
While most companies use recycled cardboard for their boxes as their primary packaging material, they should think outside the box, literally and figuratively. You can use shreds of paper while designing the packages or pack them in recycled paper bags.
If you have a new, smaller business, you might not even need to purchase these materials. You can work with old newspapers and unused boxes around the house, or you could try to obtain unwanted cardboard from other people and recycle them for your use.
Corrugated Bubble Wrap
Everyone should be familiar with bubble wrap packaging. It is a pliable plastic used for fragile packaging items, and it helps protect and cushion them during shipping. It may seem harmless, but it’s still plastic.
Plastic is notoriously difficult to recycle, and its resistance to natural deterioration is unmatched. You might ask, “but what if we use bubble wrap that doesn’t include plastic?” and that right there is our solution.
Fortunately, there are substitutes like corrugated bubble wrap, which uses recycled cardboard instead of plastic. That way, cardboard gets another chance of traveling in the delivery truck.
Cornstarch is an organic material that many have considered to be somewhat of an alternative to plastic. It is derived from the maize or corn plant and has plastic-like characteristics.
It can be used to make biodegradable packaging materials, cutlery, bowls, plates, bottles, food bags, and such. However, it should be mentioned that there is a considerable downfall when it comes to using cornstarch, which would be the possible shortage of or rise in prices of corn and maize.
How to Become a More Sustainable Business
Now that you know the various eco-friendly substitutes and alternatives you could use instead of the harmful and wasteful traditional options, you can take steps towards implementing tactics to increase the overall sustainability of your business. Here’s how:
Eliminate Unnecessary Materials
Doing your business more environmentally friendlier doesnt have to be expensive or time-consuming. In reality, it can even save you money.
Look at your product and determine which components do the most harm and if they are even helpful to your overall plan. Some sustainable alternatives can work better than the original while costing much less.
Packaging is often a significantly easy area to improve on to increase your brand’s sustainability. You should research and explore decisions to see which packing materials you can eliminate or substitute.
Ask Your Customers
Swapping your packaging and making sudden substantial changes to an essential element of your brand’s recognition deserves the approval of the people who buy it from you, your consumers.
Surveying your consumers and acting upon their feedback should save you from lowering your brand’s image, and it could even build a deeper connection with your audience. Seeing that their words can make a change will increase your brand’s reputation and customers’ loyalty.
Find the Right Suppliers
Sustainability starts from the source. You should associate your brand with suppliers and providers that are familiar with obtaining materials through eco-friendly methods.
Forming strong bonds and relationships with these suppliers can help you integrate more sustainable techniques when making product packaging. These days, most consumers choose not to support brands that don’t align themselves with such suppliers.
How You Benefit From Sustainability
Sustainable packaging isn’t only beneficial for the environment, but it can also be a profitable investment for your company.
Eco-friendlier packages are cost-effective since they require fewer materials, and they can increase your image in the customers’ eyes. Here are some other advantages they can bring:
Easily one of the most sought-after advantages of sustainable materials is that they are recyclable and compostable.
If you want to free up more storage or want to get rid of extra unused materials, instead of throwing them into the trash, you can give them to your local compost station or send them in for recycling.
Biodegradable materials are just easier to handle. Whether you’re looking for compressible materials or an easy-to-dispose, sustainability is the way to go.
Safer For Your Employees
If you have to worry about your packaging materials being environmentally safe and non-toxic for your consumers, you should also think about them being harmless for your employees.
You need to determine how they are created and how they can potentially damage or harm the well-being of the people that handle them.
Improves Brand Image
Not only does using safe and sustainable material does matter for their health and safety, but it creates more incentive for your consumers to buy your product and keep supporting your business.
Changing your packaging and its materials won’t be an overnight change. But it’s something that could be worthwhile and extremely valuable to the future of your business. Ultimately, it will expand your brand’s horizon, reduce the amount of money you’re spending on materials, and reduce your carbon footprint.