Let’s start with an overview of the ‘types’ of void fills that you can use.
If both your items are quite heavy and fragile you need something to wrap and protect them. This is usually something quite sturdy that won’t move around too much.
Block and Brace
This is the kind of void fill you use when you have a heavy item. The void fill is used to wedge an item in the box to stop it from moving around.
Loose fill is the kind of void fill that you may associate with packing peanuts - something that generally protects your packaging.
There are lots of other little nuance types of void fill, but these cover most of the general uses. So, what can actually be used as a void fill?
First up is paper. It is one of the most frequently used void fills for various reasons. Mostly because it’s relatively cheap and it can be recycled - what more could you want?! It is very useful for eliminating any empty space in your box which could cause your products to move around and get damaged. Fragile and delicate items can also be protected by being wrapped in paper.
Tissue paper has similar functions to paper in that it can be used to fill space and protect fragile items. However, as it is much thinner it is often used when the void fill is used to improve the presentation of the over packaging. However, one issue with tissue paper, which is not often known, is that it usually can’t be recycled. Therefore, if you’re looking for sustainable options, this is not the one for you!
Foam cushions can be used in many ways to tightly secure an item or protect it from any bumps but what is really great about the use of foam cushions is that they can be cut to any shape so are very versatile.
Packing peanuts aren’t actually peanuts (believe it or not!) but rather peanut shaped bits of foam-like material that are added loose to packaging in order to protect the items inside. They are able to do this because they are engineered to interlock when compressed! Clever huh?
Air pillows are always great fun to get rid of after a package has been delivered and they essentially cushion the items within your packaging to protect them. They are cheap and easy to get hold of so are often a good option. Another benefit to air pillows is that it is usually possible to get your hands on them made out of sustainable materials now. Previously made with plastic that couldn’t be recycled, there are now many businesses that provide biodegradable options.
Another popular option that can be used as an alternative to a traditional void fill is an internal insert. Using an insert to hold all your items in place can be a great way of ensuring that nothing moves around and gets damaged. Plus this can be done pretty cheaply simply using cardboard. It is particularly useful for gift-like items to improve the overall presentation of the packaging.
There are many more void fill options we could explore and often it pays to get creative, particularly if you have niche items to ship. If you want to find out more about the basics of void fill, read our blog 'Void Fill: The Basics'. If you need some detailed advice on what void fills you should be using to ensure the safe transit of your items, please do get in touch with us today.