Reduce Your Environmental Impact with Sustainable Packaging
Environmentally-friendly packaging solutions are no longer completely optional. In many cases, government policies, consumer preferences, and corporate standards are demanding that businesses implement sustainable packaging practices to reduce their environmental impact. These environmental concerns are demanding the use of more eco-friendly packaging options, but fortunately for business owners, these solutions can actually help to save you money in the long run.
Sustainable Packaging Offers an Environmentally-Friendly Alternative
Sustainability is about more than just using recycled materials. True sustainability is concerned with promoting an increased use of life-cycle inventory and life-cycle assessment as a way to reduce the environmental impact or the ecological footprint of the packaging that you choose. It also involves the complete life of the materials, from sourcing to recycling. There are several other key characteristics of sustainable packaging:
Beneficial, healthy, and safe for both individuals and communities during its life cycle
Materials are sourced, manufactured, shipped, and recycled through the use of renewable energy
Meets market criteria for cost and performance
Packaging is manufactured using clean production practices and technologies
Physically designed to optimize both energy and material
Regardless of what you need to package or ship, there is some eco-friendly option available that can meet your needs.
Benefits of Sustainable Packaging
So, why should your business bother with sustainable packaging? The main aim of these environmentally-friendly packaging solutions is to preserve the world’s ecosystems, ensuring human life quality and viability in the long-term. Other benefits include:
Environmental benefits. Eco-friendly and sustainable packaging is often made from recycled materials, reducing the waste of resources during production. The manufacturing process also tends to be more efficient, further minimizing resources and reducing the negative impact that your business has on the environment.
Improved brand image. Environmentally-friendly packaging will improve your brand image, as you will show clients that you are a responsible organization that cares about the environment. This can lead to increased sales, furthering your company’s revenue stream and profits.
Versatile. Sustainable packaging tends to be incredibly versatile, and it can be used in almost every major industry that utilizes standard packaging. Regardless of what you need to package or ship, there is some eco-friendly option available that can meet your needs.
Key Factors for Environmentally-Friendly Packaging
Full life cycle management can also build efficient recycling into production, reducing environmental impact and overall costs at the same time.
If you are interested in designing or choosing environmentally-friendly packaging solutions, there are a few key factors that will significantly reduce your organization’s environmental footprint:
Durability. Materials that are stiffer and stronger will support down-gauging, and they will allow converters to cut through the material while reducing waste and product damage. The end result is smaller, more convenient packages that are optimized without compromising protection.
Processability. Materials that allow for more efficient processing and better output can minimize energy and waste while reducing labor and material costs.
Recyclability & Renewability. Using materials that are able to be recycled can save you money while letting your customers know that you are environmentally-conscious. Full life cycle management can also build efficient recycling into production, reducing environmental impact and overall costs at the same time.
Weight. The weight of packages can make distribution and transportation more efficient, and lighter packages are optimal. Each year, millions of tons of packaging materials are used, so even reducing the weight of your packages by a few grams can add up quickly for both your bottom line and the environment.
Designing Sustainable Packaging Solutions
Developing a sustainable packaging solution is a journey – there is no such thing as a completely sustainable package. Instead, the goal is to make incremental package sustainability improvements over time as a way to reduce its overall environmental impact. If you are designing a new sustainable packaging solution, keep some of the following tips in mind:
Consider natural materials. Sustainable packaging has become more popular than ever over the last few years, as many companies have recognized that materials that are healthy for the environment attract a growing consumer audience. These may include recycled, dye-free, or virgin materials that present a lesser burden on the environment than other options.
Evaluate your distribution system for opportunities to save space. Wasted space when it comes to packaging can result in excess materials, storage, handling, and transport. To reduce the size of a package while maintaining its integrity, it is important to understand the known size of the chosen transport mode and then to minimize the package size to hold everything at the lowest cost.
Trim the fat. A significant amount of packaging waste occurs at the retailer and warehouse levels, and to minimize this, you should consider creating custom packaging boxes that will preserve materials and space. By putting less emphasis on the use of bulky packaging, your consumers might also gravitate toward your product, believing that it provides a better value.
Look for opportunities to make your packaging recyclable or reusable. One of the most effective ways to preserve energy expended during the manufacturing process is through recycling. Many materials – including PET and paper – are widely recycled, but other elements that might be added to your package for functionality might be unfit for recycling. New options are constantly emerging, so it is important to consider them when designing your packaging solution.
Choose corrugated materials. Otherwise known as cardboard, corrugated paper products are some of the most recycled items on the planet. These containers and boxes are easy to recycle, and they are highly reused by consumers and businesses alike for moving and storing various items.
Run a packaging sustainability audit. Understanding the lifecycle of your packaging materials and products can help to improve the overall process. An audit can help you get to the root of your packaging problems, allowing you to better examine the true performance of your packaging system.
Let Nefab Help You Create a Sustainable Packaging Solution
If you are looking to create or introduce new product packaging, there is no better time to incorporate ideas of sustainability into your operations. Sustainable packaging can reduce the amount of packaging you use, encourage packaging reuse, and minimize your ecological footprint. These benefits are crucial for both the environment and your bottom line, and at Nefab, we are committed to helping you take advantage of them. We are here to help you design a sustainable and eco-friendly packaging system that will best benefit your unique business, products, and operations.