Taking care of the environment is a responsibility that we all share, but it can be difficult to strike a balance in the world of shipping. Many businesses rely on plastic-heavy shipping supplies but fear not! There are ways to reduce your impact on the environment while still properly protecting your shipments. Here are some tips for environmentally friendly packaging.
Packaging Made of Recycled Materials
Nowadays there are many companies making boxes and envelopes out of recycled material. This practice takes materials destined for landfills and re-purposes them for new packaging. While you may want to recycle your own used boxes for your packaging, there are a few things you should be mindful of.
Packaging supplies made of recycled materials are constructed to specific standards, whereas reused boxes can become structurally unsound and may result in damaged shipments.
Before recycling a used box, double-check that it is still sturdy enough to protect your items.
TIP: Ensure that the recycled box is free of other labels or markings that indicate the box once contained food, alcohol or other prohibited items.
It may surprise you just how much plastic is used when shipping. There are packing peanuts, other packing fillers, tape and even plastics found in some envelopes! Some of these materials are easy to avoid while others are not.
- Try to avoid or limit the amount of plastic used. Opt for recycled paper envelopes or boxes.
- Reduce the amount of plastic or replace with biodegradable or recycled materials whenever possible.
Investing in environmentally friendly packaging for your shipments is only half the battle. The other half begins when your shipment is delivered.
Encouraging your customers to properly dispose of packaging is another way to help minimize your footprint. Although this is beyond your control, educating or sharing how to recycle and safely dispose of your packaging never hurts! Leave notes on how your customer can dispose of your packaging or suggest ways that it can be repurposed. You can even surprise customers with biodegradable packaging that they can plant in their gardens!
Additionally, when you lead by example, your customers are more likely to follow suit. With a greater push for sustainability worldwide, showing your commitment to the environment could help ensure a client’s commitment to you!
Less is More
No matter the type of packaging you choose, using excess packaging is wasteful. Package items as small as possible as this not only produces less waste and reduces supply costs, but also helps keep shipping costs low. By spending a little extra time optimizing your packaging you may find that the savings are great for both you and the environment!
While the options and methods for shipping products in environmentally friendly ways are still evolving, do your research to find what works best for you and your business.