Plastic waste in our oceans and the countryside is littered with rubbish; this damage to our environment is driving a change in priorities. Most consumers are now conscious about the packaging that goods are supplied in. They are looking to manufacturers and retailers to opt for sustainable packaging options.
Reducing Plastic Packaging
At the start of 2022, France implemented the decision to ban plastic packaging from the majority of fruit and vegetable packaging. The aim was to encourage the mass adoption of recycled and recyclable substitutions. This was a dramatic and controversial move, yet it reflects changing attitudes to packaging and waste. Research carried out by the Chartered Institute of Marketing at the end of 2021 revealed that 78% of respondents felt that more should be done to promote sustainable packaging. 42% recognised that brands were making efforts to reduce the environmental impact, but 82% still felt that excessive packaging was an issue.
Customers are favouring brands that use packaging that comes from renewable sources and can be widely recycled. Where there is a viable alternative to single-use plastic, customers are seeking it out.
Eco-friendly Void Fill
Cardboard boxes have always been a sustainable packaging option. They are made with at least 60% recycled fibres, are lightweight and durable for transportation and are widely collected for recycling. Used for shipping goods to retailers and e-commerce orders direct to the customer, the issue with deliveries is not the box, but the supplementary packaging materials.
When filling e-commerce stock boxes with different orders, there is a need for void fill. Packages are roughly handled by machine and man as they travel from business to customer, so fillers protect the products inside the box.
Until recently, bubble wrap, plastic air pockets and polystyrene nuggets were widely used and some companies still rely on these solutions. The good news is, biodegradable void fill is available. You can still protect your goods, yet do it using alternatives to plastic fillers.
5 Alternatives to Plastic Fillers
To make it easier for e-commerce businesses, manufacturers, Barton Jones Packaging Ltd offers eco packaging options. Here are 5 ways to make your packaging more sustainable:
- Try 100% recycled paper void fill
Recycled paper is low cost and widely available. We offer Eco Nutz – shaped paper fill or rolls of textured and perforated Tardis paper, ready for scrunching into your shipping cartons. Both options are made from 100% recycled paper and can be disposed of in standard recycling bins.
- Switch polystyrene nuggets for corn starch chips
Corn starch chips or nuggets are produced using fermented sugars derived from corn starch, rather than the synthetic polymers used in polystyrene. It is estimated that polystyrene takes 500 years to break down, but a corn starch alternative can biodegrade in a couple of months. Corn starch nuggets offer low flammability and reduced static electricity in comparison to polystyrene. They are also food safe. These features make it suitable as void fill for a wider range of products.
- Use corn starch airbags instead of plastic
Pre-inflated airbags are a good means of cushioning. Some products on the market are made from plastic, others from corn starch. They look and perform much the same, yet one is made from sustainable sources and will biodegrade, whilst the other isn’t and won’t. It makes sense to switch!
- Use internal cardboard dividers
Internal cardboard dividers can be a practical way to prevent items in a box from knocking together and damaging each other. Pieces of corrugated cardboard, cut to the right dimensions can be slotted together to form these internal barriers.
- Remove the need for void fill
The final option is to design custom boxes that provide the perfect fit and presentation for your products. You may think that custom boxes are a more expensive option, however, they remove the need for void fill and increase the efficiency of packing processes. In addition, the risk of damage to goods is minimised, which lowers the volume of returns. When you consider the full cost implications, custom boxes offer great value.
So, customers want companies to use sustainable packaging and they favour brands that do. Alternatives to plastic packaging are available, so win favour and make the switch!
Contact Barton Jones Packaging Ltd on 01462 680888 or [email protected] to discuss the best options for your business.
|Eco-friendly void fill|
|Biodegradable void fill|
|Alternatives to plastic fill|