3 Ways to Make Your Packaging More Sustainable

The state of the environment is a topic that has concerned many governments, businesses, and families alike. With rising global temperatures that threaten food security, severe weather events that put our livelihoods in danger, and human activity that is eliminating the earth’s biodiversity, the pressure is on for everyone to contribute and save our planet.

But for many, trying to keep a business environmentally-sustainable is difficult, especially during these uncertain times. This is especially true if you are a small business owner or manage a business with minimal resources.

To help make the transition to sustainable packaging easier, The Packaging Company is sharing three tips that will benefit businesses of all sizes and industries. Learn more below!

1. Choose a Local Packaging Supplier

An often-overlooked issue when it comes to sustainable packaging is not the actual packaging material itself, but where it comes from. Even if products are developed from sustainable materials, the eco-friendly benefits of doing this are quickly negated if the packaging has to travel from overseas to reach your business. This is compounded even further if your packaged products then must travel back to its country of origin.

Businesses of all sizes can mitigate this pitfall by partnering with a local packaging supplier. For businesses across North America, a supplier based in Canada or the US is much more likely to offer a sustainable solution than those located in Asia or South America. Just by selecting the right supplier, this will significantly reduce your company’s carbon footprint and help to cut out the harmful air and water pollution caused by long distance shipping.

There are also many other benefits of working alongside a local supplier, including lower transit fees, smoother operations management, and easier communication.

2. Opt for Recyclable Packaging Materials

Unlike our first tip, the idea of using recyclable packaging materials is well-known. Unfortunately, it is often ignored or attempted and then abandoned because it is too complicated and expensive. This is particularly common for smaller businesses, who might not be able to place larger orders from packaging companies to make the materials cost-effective. Similarly, many business managers are not aware which packaging materials are recyclable and may accidentally order packaging products that are not eligible for recycling.

Nevertheless, making your packaging recyclable is easier than it may appear. Firstly, identify the most common packaging materials that are recyclable in your area. Many boxes made from corrugated cardboard or chipboard are frequently recycled and enjoy the environmental benefit of already being made from recycled wood and paper products themselves. Protective materials such as plastic wrap is also easily recyclable.

Secondly, remember that recycling is a two-way process. This means that even if the products are made from recycled sources or are able to be recycled, the consumer still might not be able to recycle the products in their local area, especially if the packaging lies in the ‘grey area’ where recycling technology is still being updated. Though it is impossible to guarantee all your consumers will be able to recycle your product packaging, paying attention to your target market’s local recycling regulations and habits can help reduce packaging waste that enters the landfill.

3. Consider Smart Packaging Products

If you have both tips above already in place in your business, that’s excellent news. But there is still plenty more to do to help reduce packaging waste. This time it is to do with packaging technology and its future.

One interesting movement that has emerged over the last decade in the packaging industry is known as Smart Packaging. This experimental and innovative market is developing plenty of interesting additions into our relationship with packaging. From smart labels that indicate freshness to scannable recycling instructions, consumers will soon be able to interact more with a product’s packaging than ever before.

There are many benefits to smart packaging for the environment, including extending shelf life of food products, reducing wastage, and boosting consumer engagement with recycling.

While this trend is still relatively new and in development, it is definitely something to keep in mind!

Get Support with Sustainable Packaging from The Packaging Company

No matter your industry, recyclable packaging solutions are available for you. If you are interested in discovering how you can make your product packaging more sustainable and environmentally responsible, contact our team at The Packaging Company today. We remain dedicated to innovating packaging and giving our US and Canadian clients plenty of eco-friendly options that will reduce their environmental footprint without compromising on their budget.