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Eco-friendly packaging: a buzz phrase, but what does it really mean?
8 July, 2020
| 2.5 minute read
Sustainable packaging is becoming a high priority for brands and consumers, more now than ever before.
Eco-friendly packaging isn’t just a way to ship your products, it’s how businesses are broadcasting their values and showing they care for the environment.
But what does ‘eco-friendly’ really mean when it comes to packaging? We’ll break it down for you…
What is eco-friendly packaging?
Eco-friendly packaging is also known as ‘sustainable’, ‘green’ or ‘environmentally-friendly’ packaging. Names aside, what makes it better for the planet remains the same. To be considered eco-friendly, the packaging must be either one or a combination of the following:
Why does it matter? Almost half the amount of recyclable packaging waste produced in Australia ends up in landfill each year, and 91% of Australians are concerned about the impacts this has on the environment. With packaging being one of the biggest contributors of waste, implementing as many easy-to-recycle eco-friendly alternatives into your supply chain is becoming more important.
Eco-friendly packaging can range from a humble cardboard box to a complex state-of-the-art mailer that turns into a wearable item. Two of the most widely known environmentally friendly materials are paper and cardboard. However, there are plenty of other packaging solutions that are made from sustainable materials or are able to be reused.
Advantages of eco-friendly packaging
1. Reduce your carbon footprint
As the packaging is made from recycled or natural materials such as bamboo, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) approved paper or cardboard, this means less energy, resources and chemicals are used in the production process.
2. Easy to reuse or recycle
By finding new uses for the packaging or recycling, it stays within the closed-loop cycle, whereby waste is repurposed or turned back into products that can re-enter the supply chain. This can reduce the need for new materials, eliminate future waste and further lower its carbon footprint.
3. It is either biodegradable or compostable
When it decomposes, it is less harmful to the environment. Additionally, some eco-friendly packaging is designed for optimised protection and efficiency, resulting in fewer wasted materials in the packing process.
4. Good for the planet and your brand
Increasingly, consumers are aligning themselves with businesses that share the same values as them. By shifting to more sustainable practices, this may result in existing and prospective customers looking to your business as being socially responsible.
5. Improves your bottom line
Incorporating eco-friendly packaging into your supply chain may positively impact your bottom line and increase throughput and output.