According to Forrester Research Inc., online sales in the United States reached 335 billion in 2015 – and that’s nowhere near the number it’s predicted to reach in 2020! But with so many people getting their favorite products online – from gifts to clothing to even toilet paper – eco-friendly packaging solutions are more important than ever. Luckily, these days, it isn’t hard to be kind to the environment and run a successful online business at the same time. All it takes is a little initiative and a sprinkle of creativity! As an online packaging company, we get a lot of questions about eco-friendly shipping methods – so to help you get started, here’s how we usually respond…
First, start with corrugated boxes
Did you know corrugated cardboard is the most recycled material on earth? No doubt due to the big spike in online sales. Due to its popularity, most countries have the recycling process down pat – clean, corrugated boxes are collected, compacted, and sent to the repulper to create new boxes. One thing to keep in mind though – if the cardboard is damaged by grease, metal foil, wax, etc, it’s no longer recyclable. Those pizza boxes we always throw in the recycle bin? The grease actually makes them impossible to recycle. Also, just because you’re using corrugated boxes doesn’t mean you have to be boring. Often we associate the material with plain, nondescript boxes. But Packlane makes it super easy to design a corrugated cardboard box that’s still branded and eye-catching. In other words, your business will get all the benefits of a gorgeous box, while still being eco-friendly.
Protect your product (and the environment!)
When it comes to securing fragile items, there are so many great options to use instead of styrofoam! Geami paper, for example, is a 100% recyclable material that can replace bubble wraps and foam wraps to protect your items. There’s also biodegradable packing peanuts and a company called GreenCell, which makes foam for electronics with an eco-friendly twist. In this day and age, there’s really no reason not to make your packaging materials recyclable. If you’re concerned about style, try shredding brightly colored recyclable paper, or using pea straw or biodegradable coffee bags (aka burlap) for a rustic feel. Whatever style fits with your branding, you’re bound to find an environmental option to match.
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