Here at Complete, we often have brands coming to us asking for help with eco-friendly packaging. Sometimes brands think that there is no way to improve their packaging so that it is more sustainable (and also keeping the cost as low as possible!). However, we believe there is always a way and our expertise can help you find the right eco packaging solution for your products. You might even be surprised as to what solutions we can find.
Why is it important to use eco-friendly packaging?
The terrifying reality of climate change is looming over our everyday lives. Reducing our waste and its impact on the environment is one of the fundamental ways to help this. Businesses have much more power than an individual to make a change too so it’s important that we all do our bit. Also, many customers are demanding that businesses change and are putting pressure on those who do not use sustainable materials.
So what are some of the eco-friendly options available?
One of the most obvious ways you can make your packaging more eco-friendly is by making it recyclable. Recyclable packaging is often a very straight forward option but people often get it very wrong (tip: cardboard doesn’t automatically mean recyclable). Elements like plastic linings and mixed materials can make packaging immediately non-recyclable but this is often overlooked in the design. Often the tape you choose to use on your boxes and packaging can immediately make them non-recyclable too. If you use things such as gum tape you can make it much easier and easier for your customer to recycle your packaging.
Some of the things you can do include being conscious of the ‘additional’ parts of your packaging design can make it much easier to ensure that the packaging can be recycled after use. You can also use corrugated boxes and choosing paper void fills are also very useful as reducing some of the non-recyclable elements to your packaging. Also, another top tip, adding small reminders for your customers to recycle their packaging can increase the number of people who bother! It’s easy to forget and bung it all in the same bin...
Another way that you can ensure your packaging is more eco friendly is by ensuring that it has a reusable purpose. If you provide your customers with a high end box or container to package your products it means that it is likely to be reused and repurposed and is therefore more sustainable and better for the environment. Unfortunately this is likely to be a more expensive option but for higher ticket items or for customers that you want to impress (i.e. first time customers or very loyal ones) you can easily create something that they can reuse time and time again.
Along similar lines, creating refillable packaging is a great way of creating more eco-friendly packaging. Many reputable brands have done this with their products and made them very successful. The idea is that you provide customers with a long lasting container, let’s say for example it’s hand soap, this long lasting container can then be refilled using bulkier and larger orders, meaning there is less waste! Simple really! Many brands also decide to give customers a discount for returning containers that brands can they recycle effectively, this is common with high-street retailers like The Body Shop and & Other Stories.
Biodegradable and alternative eco-friendly materials
Another material option is to choose something that is biodegradable. Nowadays there are many plastics and cardboards that are biodegradable and are therefore a much better option. There are even some incredible paper materials that you can use for liquid items, such as the materials that this company produces.
Alternative eco-friendly materials can include things like cornstarch packaging and seaweed packaging (yes you read that right), as there are many new options on the market becoming increasingly popular alternatives to plastic.
Think outside the box
Pardon the pun but eco-friendly packaging doesn’t have to be a cardboard box, there are many innovative ways to make sure your packaging is sustainable. There are new materials, new designs and new ideas every day - the difficult part is finding what’s right for you and your product. At the end of the day you still want your item to reach your customer safely and to have a high quality finish.
If you’re overwhelmed by the number of choices there are, get in touch with us at Complete Packaging today. We know how to find the right eco packaging for your products and ensure that your items are still packaged to the highest quality.
You can read our blog on the plastic packaging tax coming into force in 2022 if you'd like some more info, or do get in touch.