• Sydney Maisel-Straitman

Where to Begin with Sustainable Packaging?!

Updated: Apr 28

Sustainability. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Biodegradable. Eco-friendly. Compostable.

There are so many terms out there related to “sustainable” packaging, and the process can seem overwhelming to transition to more earth-friendly packaging options. So, we put together a quick “How to” for the most commonly used e-commerce packaging products and how to ensure they are as friendly to the earth as possible:

If you’re currently using a standard poly mailer bag for your e-commerce packaging...

Consider switching to a branded kraft mailing envelope, which is a fantastic curbside recyclable solution. Even better, paper mailers can be ordered in smaller quantities in a range of sizes, so it's a great option for start-ups as well as larger businesses! Alternatively, if you want to stick with a poly based material, make sure that the poly bag is comprised of post-consumer recycled content.

If you’re currently using a bubble mailer to protect your products during shipping...

Consider a paper padded mailer (either printed or unprinted) that can be curbside recycled at the end of use. These padded envelopes are stuffed with paper ensuring that the entire product is recyclable.

If you’ve already made the switch to reusable tote bags, that’s fantastic! If you want to ensure that your tote bag is made of recycled or natural materials...

… consider having your tote made of RPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) materials, also known as recycled plastics. The bags function the same way a standard PP-Non woven bag and come in various material weights and substrates. Using RPET materials is an amazing branding opportunity and a great option to eliminate the use of less -eco-friendly materials.

Or, consider making the switch to a 100% cotton tote! Cotton also comes in a range of different weights so you can find the right fit for your products.

Finally, if you’re using a shipping box to mail your products and want to ensure it’s recycled and recyclable....

.... Remember to ask that your boxes be made of recycled paper (they often are!) and consider including messaging on the boxes about recycling again.

Lastly, and perhaps the coolest and most earth-friendly option of all: fully home-compostable plastics! Typically, this product requires larger quantities, but if that’s a possibility for your brand and you really want to leave zero waste from your packaging, compostable plastics are the way to go! Think compostable mailing bags, sealable and zipper pouches, garment bags and more!

At the end of the day, remember that even small incremental changes to more eco friendly packaging products make a big difference! So, ease into it and ask questions! We’re here to help. Photo Courtesy tipa-corp.com