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The Best Sustainable Packaging Materials to Use in Your Business

by Olufisayo
Sustainable Packaging Materials

With so much emphasis on product packaging making its way into the coastal and marine environment and piling up in our landfills, using sustainable packaging materials is at the forefront of consumer attention. It isn’t easy to imagine what life on Earth will be like in two to three millennia.

Although the future is difficult to predict, one thing is sure: billions of plastic bottles, containers, and cartons will continue accumulating in landfills and leaching into our oceans. Plastic packaging waste takes 450 years to degrade fully, so it’s time for businesses to consider sustainable packaging options.

As people’s concern for the environment has grown, so has the need for sustainable packaging solutions and the need for businesses to reduce their carbon footprint by using environmentally friendly packaging. This guide will look at eco-friendly packaging options.

Compostable packaging materials

The capacity of raw materials to dissolve back into the ground, preferably without leaving any hazardous trace, is referred to as compostable materials. Plant-based packaging materials (such as cornstarch, sugar cane, wood pulp, or bamboo) are commonly used in eco-friendly packaging materials.

It is vital to note that for a material to be declared biodegradable, it must be able to decompose in home compost in 180 days and 90 days in commercial composting settings.

Biodegradable packing peanuts

In New York, Styrofoam, the light, airy material used for takeaway cardboard boxes and loose-fill packaging, was recently banned. Similar legislation in the other states has prohibited using Styrofoam, often known as EPS (expanded polystyrene foam). Because EPS is neither biodegradable nor eco recyclable, it commonly ends up in waterways, endangering marine life.

Styrofoam is a traditional packaging material used in filler materials for fragile or otherwise sensitive products, aiding in movement prevention and shock absorption. Biodegradable air peanuts are also used as cushioning materials for shipping boxes in eCommerce packaging. These eco-friendly materials work the same way as Styrofoam, except they are less costly and do not affect the environment.

Corrugated bubble wrap

Corrugated packing is made of box fibers derived from trees and discarded corrugated containers. They can be used as reusable packaging up to seven to ten times to create new eco-packaging materials.

Instead of being discarded or recycled, post-consumer cardboard waste is used as a cushioning agent. Small perforations are used to generate a concertina-like effect that, like bubble wrap, acts as a shock absorber that protects the products with the corner protectors.

Recycled paper and cardboard packaging material

While cardboard and paper are organic materials, their use may have an impact on the environment if they are not produced for sustainable solutions.

Paper and cardboard boxes, fortunately, are two of the most recyclable materials available. To make your packaging as eco-friendly as possible, try to obtain post-consumer or post-industrial recyclable cardboard and paper from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC-certified) materials. It’s worth noting that you can recycle paper and cardboard five to seven times.

Mushroom eco-friendly packaging

Mushroom packaging, another popular alternative to Styrofoam, is manufactured from mycelium, a fungus found in mushrooms. As a result, the green packaging is strong enough to retain things and maintain them in place.

Photo by Mildlee on Unsplash

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