Sustainable Packaging Alternatives
October 15, 2020 • 3 min read
Creating change can be as simple as switching products, from one supplier to the next. While we might not think our actions have profound impact, collectively, they can significantly alter the way the world works.
Who and what we choose to support comes down to almost every purchasing decision we make. From corporations to mom and pops, the decisions we take when sourcing product or in this case, packaging, can make all the difference on a large, global scale.
There are many giant corporations out there who aren’t taking their massive responsibilities seriously, choosing to contribute to global wastage, unsustainable packaging solutions, and questionable ethics. While it might seem like all packaging is relatively made equal, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Taking a look into what happens BTS is important, as is knowing where your hard-earned dollars are going and who they’re supporting.
Did you know that 40% of the world’s waste comes from packaging?
With a huge uptick in online shopping happening these days, and with this trend only set to increase, as a business, it is vital to consider your product’s packaging, and how you can opt for a solution that is kinder to the earth. Consumers are looking for sustainable brands that have thought of all areas of their supply chains, not just the final result (the product).
PRO TIP: To separate out the greenwashing brands from the legitimate ones, pay attention to wording. If a brand only mentions that their poly mailers are “biodegradable”, this isn’t enough, as it just means that the plastic will break down into micro-plastics, which is actually much worse for the environment and wildlife. If it only mentions that it is “compostable”, again be wary, as often times “compostable” is a buzzword that actually means that the product needs to be taken to a special facility to break down (as it won’t break down in your backyard or compost bin).
Terms you want to look out for:
Biodegradable and (Home) Compostable
FSC Certified (for paper and cardboard packaging)
Post-Consumer Recycled Material / Waste
And always, go into the details and check out what the materials are!
Here is a list of vetted brands that are making incredible, sustainable packaging alternatives, from boxes to poly mailers.
You might also like: What is Greenwashing?
HQ: Global Offices
Why They’re Great: With a product range that includes beautiful acid-free tissue papers and their signature compostable corn mailer bags, noissue revolutionized eco packaging. Their corn mailers break down in home composting (your garden works great!) in a matter of just 6 months, whereas traditional plastic mailers can take up to 400 years. Waterproof, strong, durable and well-made, noissue has also created their own alliance – their Eco-Packaging Alliance plants trees in areas of need for every order made, ensuring sustainability on all fronts. Read more here.
HQ: British Columbia, Canada
Why They’re Great: The Slot Box is a Canadian e-commerce solution for sending small items that can go as regular post, instead of a parcel, saving your business money, as well as the consumer. Their products are well-made, easy to fold, 100% recyclable and reusable, made in Canada and from a renewable source, and use up to 60% recycled content. The Slot Box was created as a sustainable alternative to wasteful bubble mailers, that mostly end up in landfill. These slim boxes are durable and look great, perfect for getting your product out the door and easily into your customer’s hands.
HQ: Chicago, USA
Why They’re Great: A hands-on brand, Elevate Packaging works with brands to provide them with the knowledge and freedom to make the most sustainable choices possible. They provide custom compostable flexible packaging and labels. They’ve also created compostable blank stock options (home printable label sheets, cellophane bags, blank pouches) to help smaller businesses access sustainable packaging. Having been exclusively dedicated to sustainable packaging since their launch in 2000, Elevate only sells 100% compostable packaging, not compromising on sustainability in any way. Their PURE Labels are the first and only pressure sensitive labels that use compostable adhesive to stick.
HQ: New Zealand and Global
Why They’re Great: Having seen firsthand the amount of plastic waste generated by e-commerce, Better Packaging’s founders, Rebecca and Kate, decided to start tackling this issue themselves. Their packaging solutions are customizable, and designed to support the eco-onomy, as they like to say. By creating a circular economy in which generating waste is not an option, Better Packaging’s products are high-quality, conforming to the most rigorous of global certifications. With a large product range spanning labels, gloves, compostable bubble mailers, and compostable mailer bags, this brand is a leader in fun design that is sure to get your brand noticed, while also being kind to the earth.
HQ: Ontario, Canada
Why They’re Great: A small-scale operation out on Ontario, Canada, Wolfpack offers a large range of products to choose from, for any business and industry. Their affordable rates, family-style run company, and dedication to better quality packaging solutions makes this a local business to support. Wolfpack has packaging for e-commerce, food and beverage industries, large-scale packing, as well as customizable options.
HQ: Louisville, USA
Why They’re Great: EcoEnclose understands the responsibility they have for the earth, and that to preserve the beauty, biodiversity and livability of this planet is to run their business with consciousness. With a thought process that is forward thinking, EcoEnclose doesn’t believe in short-term benefits and a disposable lifestyle, instead choosing to provide options that are high quality, thoughtfully produced, and long-lasting. They are a leader in eco-conscious packaging, with 100% of their offerings being earth-friendly. Supplying packaging to giants around the world, as well as small businesses, this is an affordable, accessible and truly sustainable option.
This post was partly sponsored by some of the brands mentioned. With stringent requirements, I only work with brands whose visions and ethos align with my own. All thoughts and opinions remain my own.
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