Sustainable Packaging Tips for Small Business

According to Packlane, product packaging makes up 28.1% of generated municipal solid waste every year. That’s nearly 83 million tons of waste a year. As e-commerce continues to rise, so will packaging waste. But reducing your business’s packaging impact is easier than it sounds and is possible with a few small shifts in your packaging processes.

Use recyclable, recycled or biodegradable packing materials
There are a few environmentally friendly alternatives to the usual options of packing materials. They include biodegradable packaging peanuts, corrugated bubble wrap, recycled paper and cardboard, recycled plastic and eco-friendly plastic, biodegradable fabric bags and inflatable air pillows made of recycled materials. And (believe it or not) there are now packaging materials made of cornstarch, mushrooms and seaweeds. Also, use a packaging supplier that offers recyclable, reusable, compostable, biodegradable products.

Reuse packaging whenever possible
Instead of throwing them away, save the boxes and packing materials that you receive yourself and reuse them in the same way. Unless they’ve been damaged in transit, they’re great to be reused. Of course, you won’t be able to use a box that’s dented or has several labels on it that can’t be easily removed without tearing the surface. Be sure you can easily remove (all) old labels or cover them. You want the box to look clean and fresh.

Reduce the size of your packages when possible
Use the correct size boxes for the item you’re shipping. This may not always be an option if the item inside is oddly shaped or fragile and needs packing material to secure it, but when you’re able to fit the right-sized item in a comparably sized box, it uses less packing material and can also reduce the cost of shipping in a larger box, thus saving you money.

Maintaining a healthy planet and environment is an important issue, and consumers want to know that the businesses they support are doing their part to help. Using sustainable packing products is just one way to be part of that effort.

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