Packaging and Design

Sustainable Packaging for your E-Commerce Company: 4 Ways to Take Environmental Responsibility

As e-commerce grows, so does the need for sustainable packaging solutions. Here are four ways your e-commerce company can take environmental responsibility by choosing eco-friendly options.

Sustainable packaging matters

Every year, e-commerce is growing by double digits, and that growth has major implications for sustainability. One study indicates that the demand for protective packaging in the U.S. alone will rise 4.9% per year, up to $6.8 billion by 2019. One major reason for this spike in demand? Internet shopping.

When you send a product out, it’s essential that it arrives intact, unbroken, and in pristine condition. Your customers demand it. But increasingly, customers are also demanding something else—something that, at first glance, may seem at odds with their desire for convenience and fast fulfillment.

Sustainability. It matters tremendously to your customers. In fact, a full one-third of customers will actively choose brands that they believe are doing “environmental good”. Moreover, the Unilever study that revealed this statistic isn’t simply based on consumer interviews; it mapped their actual purchasing behaviour.

With over 8 million tonnes of plastic dumped into the ocean each year and carbon emissions impacting health and safety across the planet, sustainability matters. It especially matters to your customers. Fortunately, there are many ways to accommodate for the benefits of e-commerce in an environmentally responsible way.

Four hallmarks of sustainable packaging

When they are creating sustainable packaging solutions, our technical professionals abide by these four measures of environmental responsibility:

  1. 100% recyclable
  2. Requiring less time to manufacture
  3. Requiring less energy to manufacture
  4. Requiring fewer raw materials to manufacture

Their training in life cycle analysis allows them to assess the impact of a product at every stage of its production. When they create a sustainable packaging solution, they know it will truly reduce the amount of waste and environmental harm that less responsible packaging causes.

Here are four approaches to sustainable packaging that reflect what our technicians have learned in their quest to reduce waste.

100% Recycled Material

Four ideas for sustainable e-commerce packaging

Sustainable packaging for your e-commerce business need not be prohibitively expensive or complex. With these simple ideas, you can reduce your eco-footprint and deliver the more sustainable business that your customers expect.

1. Custom Corrugated Cardboard – Choosing to package your products in custom corrugated cardboard is a win on several fronts. First, it is recyclable and can be made from recycled materials. Second, customization allows you to create packaging with maximum efficiency, reducing the number of boxes and protective materials you need to use. Overall, it’s a cost-effective solution that results in less breakage and less waste.

2. Compostable Protective Packaging—Styrofoam peanuts are a notoriously wasteful product, but they have been essential for protecting certain products from breakage. Fortunately, there’s a great solution: compostable, plant-based peanuts. Ours are made of starch, making them compostable and non-toxic. Best of all, they cost the same amount as Styrofoam.

3. Recycled and Recyclable Materials– Corrugated cardboard is just one example of a packaging solution that can be made out of 100% recycled materials, and then easily composted or recycled at curbside. Other great examples are plant-based bags, compostable stickers, and paper tape.

4. Recycling Messages – Another advantage of customized packaging is the ability to encourage environmental responsibility. If you print-friendly reminders to recycle right onto your packaging, it’s much less likely to end up in the trash.

Sustainability matters—especially to your customers.  At GLBC, we are always ready to innovate more sustainable packaging solutions. Because we can design and manufacture every component of your e-commerce company’s packaging, we can help you make serious headway in your quest to reduce waste. Contact us today to brainstorm solutions.

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