Looking to provide an environmentally friendly face for your business? Whether you’re looking to upgrade your packaging or you want to do your part and turn to sustainable business practices, switching to eco-friendly packaging alternatives helps your business to go green!
Global warming is very much a real issue, and as we try to reverse the effects of climate change, we have to consider how we conduct our businesses as well. Keep in mind that businesses don’t have to be gas-guzzling, or overly wasteful to maintain increasing sales. Consumers are now concerned over how brands are handling the waste problem.
This list includes seven different packaging options that you can consider for your business. Find one or two that resonate with you, and integrate them into your products for fully eco-friendly business operations that promote sustainability!
1. Aluminum Bottled Water
Plastic bottles are some of the most common pollutants in landfills, oceans, and wildlife areas. Because they are portable, consumers would often bring plastic bottled water on their trips, only to dispose of these plastics wherever it is most convenient. Unfortunately, plastic takes decades to decompose, if at all. Every single piece of plastic produced is still in the environment today.
As we look for alternative packaging materials for bottled water, aluminum has become a top contender as the metal is endlessly recyclable, keeping its purity throughout the recycling process. A refillable aluminum water bottle is the perfect solution, and the next go-to packaging option for bottled water.
Not only is aluminum better for the environment, it is also better for consumer health as aluminum does not leach any harmful chemicals into the water. Much like plastic bottles, aluminum bottles are customizable, portable, and can be used for promoting your business. As a bonus, you can serve both hot and cold drinks in an aluminum bottle too!
2. Eco-Friendly Bubble Wrap
Eco-friendly bubble wrap comes in a variety of materials and types. You may have noticed some eCommerce stores you purchase from wrapping their fragile items in a kraft paper packaging that is meant to cushion any impact during delivery, or large bags filled with air that fills the box so the items don’t roll around.
These materials are often made with recycled paper or plastic, and are optimized to use up less resources, while still providing the same security as bubble wrap during transportation. Similarly, you can opt to use eco-friendly bubble wrap for your eCommerce store or business to ship out items in an environmentally friendly way!
3. Compostable Mailer Bags
As online commerce grows, so does the waste of mailer bags that consumers simply throw away with every shipment. These plastic bags are littering landfills, and making their way into oceans and lakes, polluting the environment through leaching toxic chemicals into the surrounding area.
The solution is to make use of compostable mailer bags that can biodegrade in much less time than plastic bags do, and do not leach any harmful substances into the environment. Compostable mailer bags can be made of cassava root starch, corn starch, or other plant-based materials to create a plastic-like bag that will biodegrade easily once disposed of.
4. Mushroom Foam Packaging
Ever looked at a mushroom and thought that it would make a terrific foam? Well, companies like Myco Foam have, and they created a mushroom foam packaging that presents an alternative to greenhouse gas emitting styrofoam. Mushroom foam is made from the waste products in processing mushrooms for consumption, and is a biodegradable option to pack fragile items.
Select stores in popular furniture store IKEA have even made the switch to package their glassware and small, fragile products in mushroom bioplastics instead of styrofoam. Mushroom foam has the same insulation properties as styrofoam, and is just as lightweight and effective as styrofoam packaging.
5. Edible Food Packaging
Edible food packaging is in constant development as companies strive to find the next revolutionary food packaging option that is completely sustainable. Some edible packaging that has already been developed includes edible water pods made from seaweed, dried pasta packaging, and food carriers made from byproducts in wheat processing.
Could edible packaging be the future of the food and beverage industry? We’re not too clear about that, but restaurants have stepped up to provide sauces and salads in rice paper packaging, as well as utensils made of biscuits.
6. Banana Leaf Packaging
Countries in Southeast Asia have started to put a heavily-abundant resource to good use: banana leaves as the packaging for their food, fruits, and vegetables! The flexible, waterproof leaf has been found to be an efficient and cost-effective packaging solution that does not need any special liner or lamination to work well.
Using banana leaves as packaging stems back from when ancient groups would use banana leaves to store their items, as the leaf can be cut and shaped to fit any item. Modern use for these banana leaves are starting to replace plastic bags in grocery stores for wrapping up fruits and vegetables with an eco-friendly packaging that is compostable and biodegradable!
7. Beeswax Food Wrappers
Cloth wrappers coated with a thin layer of beeswax or soy wax is a great alternative to the usual plastic wrap and foil packaging. Wax food wrappers are reusable, and washable with just some mild soap and cold water. Plus, you can customize your food wrappers by printing out your company brand and logo on the cloth!
These food wrappers offer a sustainable way of keeping your leftovers, and can be used to wrap up restaurant leftovers, drink cups, plates, and more. Similarly, the food wrappers can be used to wrap other non-food items such as clothes and small trinkets. You’ll save the environment while giving your customers unique, reusable packaging at the same time!
Not every company makes the decision to go green with their packaging, but focusing on sustainability is what keeps our earth alive. Companies should be looking into how they can minimize their carbon footprint, and switching to alternative packaging is a good first step into maintaining an eco-friendly business!