No matter where you are shipping or what you are shipping it is important to reduce our carbon footprint. Savvy business owners continue to move toward environmentally friendly alternatives for packaging and shipping their products. Whether you ship directly to consumers or ship products to retail businesses, there is a new wave of innovative eco-friendly packaging alternatives. Here is a look at the top four great environmentally friendly options available.
Corrugated Bubble Wrap Alternative
Kids and adults alike love bubble wrap! It has provided many hours of entertainment following the opening of packages. But the plastic presents a huge negative impact on the environment. The good news is that there are now several eco-friendly packaging alternatives that protect valuables just like bubble wrap but without the harmful effects.
Up-cycled corrugated cardboard is one example. It’s made from post-consumer cardboard waste and instead of getting tossed, it gets another chance at life as cushioning material. Its special design involves a series of small cuts that produce a concertina-type effect. This allows it to protect against shocks just like bubble wrap. Of course, the only downside is that there are no bubbles to pop after the unwrapping.
Cornstarch Packaging Alternatives
You may have a box of cornstarch in your pantry. This organic material has become essential to the eco-friendly packaging industry. Cornstarch has plastic-like properties which makes it useful in many settings that have formerly relied on plastics. Molded forms, bottles, and loose-fill packaging materials are just a few of the uses so far. This environmentally sustainable substance gives petroleum-based packaging a run for its money.
Seaweed Packaging as an Eco-friendly Alternative
Seaweed and algae have found their way into many substances over the last few years. The food industry has used the gelatinous substance agar from corn, mushrooms, seaweed, and algae as a thickener and as a vegetarian option for gelatin. More recently, a team of top designers won an award for prototyping seaweed’s use as packaging material. It looks to be the next big thing when it comes to sustainable, eco-friendly packaging alternatives.
Better Than Styrofoam: Biodegradable Packing Peanuts
Many regions have banned the use of Styrofoam. This light, airy material makes wonderful packing material. It is often used as loose-fill packaging. The problem is that it is neither economically recyclable, nor biodegradable. It often wreaks havoc on marine life since it finds its way into the waterways.
Styrofoam has long been the standard for loose-fill packaging for sensitive or fragile items. It’s perfect for preventing movement and providing cushioning against shocks. The good news is that there is an eco-friendly packaging alternative that is just as effective. Biodegradable air peanuts are presently available to replace the old Styrofoam packing peanuts. The new environmentally sustainable peanuts work the same way, but they don’t stick around to pollute the environment. And even better than all that – they are less expensive!
Many areas around the globe are banning specific materials derived from fossil fuels. The tide is turning on the use of plastics. But there are many new eco-friendly alternatives on the market and they are available at competitive prices, making it easier for businesses to recognize the opportunity to make the switch. Eco-friendly packaging is becoming mainstream and smart business owners continue the process of changing to stay ahead of the game.