According to a new OECD report, the world is producing twice as much plastic waste as it did two decades ago, with the majority of it ending up in landfills, incinerated, or leaking into the environment, and only 9% successfully recycled. To address this global waste crisis, we must begin using eco-friendly packaging. As a result, we’ve put together a list of eco-friendly packaging for small businesses. You’re sure to find a package that meets your needs, from recycled materials to sustainable materials.
1. Bubble Wrap packaging
Bubble wrap packaging is an economical and eco-friendly way to package small items. It is a common packing material used to protect fragile products.
The plastic material is pliable and transparent, with air bubbles that provide cushioning. The bubbles are regularly spaced and protrude from the surface of the plastic.
This packaging is an excellent insulator against impacts. It is reusable, lightweight, and can be stored easily. Bubble wrap can protect objects from damage during transport, storage, and display.
Bubble wrap is often recycled, as it is a material that can be easily broken down and turned into new pieces.
You can get your bubble wrap packaging on Amazon.
2. Paper Bubble Wrap packaging
Paper bubble wrap is a 100% recyclable, recycled, and biodegradable material with deep indentations to mimic the air bubbles of the plastic version.
The deep indentations in the paper make it a suitable protector for delicate, fragile, and expensive goods. These “bubbles” act as shock absorption, effectively cushioning items against the impacts that can occur during transit.
This eco-friendly paper packaging is for lining boxes too. The roll configuration makes this recycled paper wrap a highly versatile packaging solution for products of varying sizes; cut to your required length to best economize the material, then wrap it around the object.
It is suitable for safely shipping items such as pottery, glass objects, and frames. So if you’re looking for environmentally friendly packaging that doesn’t rely on harmful plastics, try this paper bubble wrap packaging.
You can get your paper bubble wrap packaging products on Amazon.
3. Mushroom Packaging
Mushroom packaging is sustainable packaging manufactured from hemp hurds and mycelium, making it a more environmentally friendly alternative to the plastic foams used in protective packaging.
The mushroom packaging is compostable and has a low environmental impact because it is 100% biodegradable and helps reduce waste in landfills, which is good for the environment.
You can request a specific size and shape to meet your requirements. Customers will also find this solution even more appealing because it is inexpensive.
Mushroom packaging is popular among larger businesses, such as Ikea and Seedlip. So it won’t be a bad idea if you start using it.
You can get your mushroom packaging products on Mushroom® Packaging.
4. Seaweed Packaging
Seaweed packaging is a sustainable and eco-friendly product designed to protect delicate items from damage during transportation.
It is high in fiber and vitamins and does not need chemicals to grow. As seaweed is biodegradable, even if it ends up in a landfill or the sea, it will break down without damaging consequences.
It also has a natural barrier against oxygen and moisture, making it ideal for keeping food fresh during shipping.
In addition to being biodegradable, seaweed packaging is more sustainable than other packaging options, such as paper and plastic.
Evoware is one company trialing using seaweed to create a plastic-like packaging that is also edible.
The material is for wrapping sandwiches, burgers, and other snacks and replacing plastic sachets for instant coffee and noodle seasoning.
Due to its many benefits, seaweed packaging has been gaining popularity among small businesses as an affordable way to package their products.
You can get your Seaweed packaging products on Notpla Limited
5. Corrugated cardboard packaging
Corrugated cardboard packaging is a type of packaging material made from corrugated paper. This paper is made by folding and cutting sheets of paper into thin strips.
The strips are then stacked and held together with metal or plastic supports. These supports allow air to flow through the packaging material and help it to keep its shape.
Corrugated packaging is lightweight and clean, lowering shipping costs with fewer trucks, less fuel, and lower emissions.
About 96 percent of the paper used for packaging is recycled to make new boxes and other paper products. It combines structural rigidity with cushioning qualities to protect heavy or fragile contents from damage.
Corrugated paper can be used for many purposes, including shipping items, storing documents, protecting products, and transporting food.
Corrugated cardboard packaging is easy to use and inexpensive compared to other materials.
You can get your corrugated cardboard packaging products on Larsen Packaging
6. Packing Peanuts packaging
Peanut-packing peanuts come from smaller pieces of recycled peanut shells. These peanuts have textured surfaces to help hold items in place while protecting them from damage during transport.
Packing peanuts are for different types of packaging, including shipping and storage. They are also a good choice for businesses that want to be eco-friendly.
Because it is 100% from recycled materials, it is an environmentally friendly product. It is biodegradable and compostable, so it does not take up extra landfill space. They are also affordable and easy to find.
They are lightweight, easy to handle, and less expensive than plastic bags. So it could be a good packaging option.
You can get your Packing Peanuts packaging products on Amazon.
7. Bio-Plastic packaging
Manufactured from renewable raw natural materials like plant-based oil and natural fibers, bio-plastic packaging is more environmentally friendly than traditional plastic packaging because it doesn’t release toxins, is recyclable, and doesn’t create marine pollution.
Bio-plastic packaging is an alternative to traditional plastic packaging for food and other products. It’s also a good option for small businesses because it’s less expensive and customizable to the specific needs of your business.
For example, some foods are sensitive to moisture, so you may want to use biodegradable packaging.
Bio-plastic is becoming an increasingly popular option for packaging because it’s environmentally friendly, affordable, and customizable.
It is also less likely to break, which can be important for businesses that ship products to different places.
You can get your Bio-Plastic packaging products on ALPAGRO Packaging.
8. Green form cell packaging
The Green Cell Foam packaging is made from corn grown in the United States and is suitable for industrial and home composting.
It is an excellent choice for products that must be shipped and stored for an extended time, such as medicines or food.
This material provides better cushioning and thermal insulation while being environmentally friendly. It is not a recyclable material.
Instead of wasting space in your home or garage, you can discard it with confidence that the earth will safely absorb it.
Green Cell Foam’s multi-shock absorption properties are handy, especially when shipping delicate or sensitive products.
Not only does it help to protect the product, but its naturally anti-static properties also give added peace of mind to businesses that deal with electronics as part of their operations.
This foam is also perfect for small businesses that ship to different locations.
You can get your Green form cell packaging products on GreenCellfoam.
9. Cornstarch packaging
Manufactured using polylactic acid (PLA), cornstarch packaging is a biodegradable polymer made from plant sugar and starch.
Cornstarch packaging uses the cheapest commercially available sugars, so there is no need to worry about overuse and limited supplies when producing custom cornstarch packaging.
The polymers from alkene are mixed with cornstarch to create packaging solutions like plates and takeaway containers.
The main benefits of using cornstarch packaging are that it is recyclable, inexpensive, and readily available, making it easier to use in the long run.
Cornstarch packaging materials are also 100% biodegradable and compostable, meaning they have little negative impact on the environment, will degrade on their own, and can be used in agricultural fertilizers, giving the packaging a life beyond products.
Furthermore, it is also suitable for printing with low flammability, allowing businesses to brand their packaging without causing harm to the environment and offering a high-quality customer experience.
You can get your Cornstarch packaging products on Alibaba,
10. Cellulose packaging
Aside from being a plastic alternative, cellulose packaging is made 100% from cellulose harvested from plants. It is a sustainable product sourced from bio-based, renewable resources.
Cellulose packaging is biodegradable. It degrades in water in 10 days or less when uncoated and up to a month when coated.
Uncoated cellulose packaging biodegrades in 28–60 days, and coated packaging biodegrades in 80–120 days.
Cellophane is also safe to put in your compost pile at home, and it does not require a commercial facility for composting.
Cellulose packaging materials are biodegradable and resist moisture and water vapor, making them an excellent choice for displaying and storing food items.
They naturally resist oils and fats and are great for baked goods, nuts, and other greasy foods. Cellophane has a low cost too.
You can get your Cellulose packaging products on natureflex.
11. Glassine packaging
Glassine is a more recent packaging material. It is completely recyclable and biodegradable because it is made entirely of paper and no other materials.
It meets the criteria for an eco-friendly plastic substitute due to its environmentally sound disposal practices and use of renewable resources.
Because it is entirely made of paper and contains no plastic, glassine packaging can be an effective marketing tool and a great way to promote your brand.
Glassine is unique for its translucent, glossy finish and gives your product a premium feel with its gloss finish.
Because of its transparency, it is suitable for many applications previously available only on plastic. According to the material’s claims, it is air, water, and grease resistant, protecting the contents during transit from any external factors.
You can get your Glassine packaging products on EcoEnclose,
Glassine packaging is an excellent choice for items that must be moved and stored quickly, safely, and dryly. It is ideal for small businesses because it is eco-friendly, inexpensive, user-friendly, and customizable.
To wrap up
The world is becoming more environmentally conscious, and customers now prefer eco-friendly packaging that allows them to reuse, recycle, or repurpose items. One of the most effective eco-friendly actions you can take as a small business is to upgrade your packaging and shipping practices. The suggestions above should inspire you to step up your environmental efforts.