Ways to Make Your Packaging More Sustainable

ways to make your packaging more sustainable

Is sustainability on your mind? Maybe you’re wondering if the packaging materials you use for your business could be more environmentally friendly. If this is the case, you could always consider recyclable packaging. Recyclable packaging materials have several benefits, including saving space in landfills, conserving water, preventing deforestation and reducing greenhouse gases. 

Learn more here about how to make packaging sustainable with the following sustainable packaging strategies:

1. Share Recycling Best Practices

There are various ways you can educate your customers on recycling best practices. Even though the types of products your customers might recycle may depend on the city they live in, you can still share with them best practices by labeling recyclable packaging, uploading articles about the topic on your website or businesses’ blog or even printing recycling instructions on the box itself. 

2. Choose Sustainable Materials

If you want your business to have more environmentally friendly practices, consider choosing sustainable packaging materials. Corrugated cardboard is 100% recyclable and customers can even use it in their compost to create a renewable source for healthy soil. If you need different boxes for different uses, you can customize several boxes that differ in dimensions and structural design. With a design like this, not only do you get a box that’s modeled to work perfectly for you, you get to support the environment as well. 

3. Ship in a Smaller Package

If you’re concerned about your packaging practices being environmentally friendly, consider reducing the size of your boxes and the amount of filler material that goes in them. These practices will also reduce shipping costs for you. You can always place different products in different-sized boxes to see how small of a box each product can feasibly fit in. 

Fitting your products into a smaller box might be as simple as arranging different parts into a new pattern when packing them into a box. For example, if you sell disassembled furniture, play around with ways different parts can be fit together to reduce the size of the box they’ll need to be placed in. 

4. Order Product Samples Before Buying in Bulk

If you’re considering using different packaging materials for your products, also consider ordering samples of any new packaging materials you’re looking at. If you end up ordering hundreds of new boxes that ultimately don’t fit your needs, these boxes might end up as unnecessary waste. 

When your samples arrive, try physically placing your products within them to make sure they fit your needs. That way, you won’t end up with boxes that are too small for your products. You can always use boxes that are too large, but you can’t shrink your products!

reducing unnecessary packaging

5. Avoid Unnecessary Packaging

There are various ways you can fill a box. A box might be filled with bubble wrap, cardboard dividers or even packing peanuts. Reducing unnecessary packaging is a great way to reduce your company’s carbon footprint. Some filling is necessary, like material that adds fun to the unboxing experience or materials that share information about your brand. However, some material might be extraneous when you try to assign it a purpose. For example, shipping a box inside a box would be unnecessary. 

Here are a few more ideas to help you avoid unnecessary packaging:

  • Use digital packing slips and order summaries.
  • Opt for SpiroPack or Hexi-Flex instead of packing peanuts.
  • Avoid plastic wrap.
  • Reduce the number of paper inserts or choose recycled materials.
  • Print on the inside of your box instead of including an insert.
  • Eliminate void fill altogether by using custom-sized boxes.

6. Compostable Alternatives

Compostable packaging materials that break down in at-home compost bins or commercial facilities are typically made out of plant-based materials. However, even though paper products are compostable, they do not degrade as quickly when left out in the environment — a compost pile brings specific organisms and chemicals that help break down organic material more quickly. If your packaging is compostable, be sure to discourage littering.

Depending on the particular materials used to make a package, its breakdown time when composting will differ. Paper products, including paper packaging and cardboard, can take around 3 to 6 months to degrade. Plastic may take millions of years to break down — if it ever fully breaks down at all. 

The compost facility also impacts the time it will take to break down. For example, it may take 90 days for a commercial compost facility to break down paper packages, while it may take a domestic compost pile around 180 days. 

7. Multiple Purchases

As a part of your sustainable packaging strategy, encourage your customers to make multiple purchases at once instead of making separate purchases for different items. A discount on shipping can incentivize customers to buy fewer, larger orders. Ultimately, if your customers make multiple purchases at once, you’ll be able to reduce the number of boxes you send out for each purchase as well as the amount of filler material you use. 

When you reduce the amount of material you use, there will ultimately be less waste for the environment to deal with. Also, when a box gets delivered, it needs to be transported. Unfortunately, delivery vehicles typically use fuel to get to their delivery point. This fuel consumption then sounds harmful emissions out into the atmosphere. If your customers order several products at once instead of several products separately, they are reducing the amount of fuel used to bring them those products. 

8. Go With a Packaging Supplier That Cares 

If sustainability is at the forefront of your mind, it’s best to work with a packaging supplier that can claim the same. For example, here at Custom Boxes Now, we can offer your corrugated boxes that are made of recycled paper, pine timber and wood chips. With these materials, you can avoid a big carbon footprint. 

Why go with corrugated packaging? Only 75% of the energy to make new cardboard from scratch is needed to make corrugated cardboard from recyclable materials. 

When you customize the structural design of your boxes with us, you can ensure that you won’t be left with waste that you won’t need.

create 100% recyclable boxes

Create a 100% Recyclable Box with Custom Boxes Now!

Here at Custom Boxes Now, we can provide you with a structurally customized box that fits your needs. We also help businesses who want to become more environmentally friendly by offering 100% recyclable boxes. Keep sustainability in mind with our corrugated packaging!

Get your fully customizable and 100% recyclable box today while keeping the Earth and your customers happy. 

To learn more about us, check out our work on our website or contact us with your packaging and shipping box questions