Top 9 Environmental Packaging Products Saving The Planet

Nowadays, a good product is no longer enough to satisfy the ever-demanding consumer. Customers are much more aware of the whole package, and many have an eco-friendly conscience. With this in mind, more and more commercial businesses are looking at ways they can include their green credentials into their products. One of the best ways to showcase environmental responsibility and awareness is through innovative environmental packaging.

Throughout the retail world, organisations are looking at the best eco-friendly packaging products to suit their needs. Here are nine of the best eco-friendly packaging products that your business should consider.

What is environmental packaging?

Environmental packaging is designed to be eco-conscious. It uses products and materials that can be easily recycled and is safe for both the environment and people. Ideally, green packaging will use both renewable and recycled material.

Nine top environmental packaging products

  1. Popcorn

Popcorn is the ideal packaging for protecting fragile items. It protects products in a comparable way to foam nuggets or polystyrene chips. However, it is much lighter, saving energy during transport. Also, popcorn is entirely biodegradable, customers can simply put the popcorn into their compost bins, and it will degrade and become compost for their plants next year.

With popcorn, you can include another environmentally friendly packaging product, such as recycled cardboard for a full solution that completely eliminates the need for harmful, plastic packaging.

  1. Bamboo

Bamboo grows particularly fast and has strong fibrous properties making it the ideal green material for packaging. Naturally, bamboo can have a use in a range of products from socks to baby wipes. However, the waste bamboo that can’t be transformed into a product can be turned into a pulp which can then be moulded into the packaging.

Bamboo packaging is wholly natural and requires no toxins in its production making it safe to produce and throw away after use. What’s more, bamboo packaging has been shown to be ideal for food packaging as it is safe to be used in microwaves, ovens and freezers. Even better, throughout this, it still maintains its strength and durability and can be used again and again.

  1. Biodegradable carrier bags

Using flax fibres from industrial waste can be used to create non-woven carrier bags that naturally biodegrade after a specified period of time. Not only do these bags utilise waste products but they also do not require expensive recycling processes or need to be added to ever-growing landfills.

These bags are ideal for retailers who want their customers to join with the eco-friendly revolution. The can also help to differentiate their business away from typical retailers who use wasteful and damaging thick plastic bags. Biodegradable flax bags are a great way of being noticed for your ethical principles.

  1. Sea plastic

Incredibly, we can save the planet with packaging. Companies are now retrieving the plastic waste from the oceans to create brand new packaging. The plastic that is collected from the sea can then be combined with durable sugar cane for strength to help make strong new packaging.

Not only does this packaging help to reduce the amount of plastic being produced, but it also is an excellent incentive for fishers and those at sea to capture the plastic and clean up our oceans o help protect the wildlife and keep the waters clean.

  1. Biodegradable custom moulds

Fragile products often require excessive packaging to help to keep them in position during transportation. Usually, this packaging is costly due to its custom design and uses a high quantity of packaging material to keep it safe.

Now you can find customised moulded packaging that is completely natural and biobased which, with the addition of a natural thickening agent, grows around your product to cradle it into position carefully. These custom moulds can then be reused or your customers can add the packaging to the compost bin as it is entirely biodegradable.

  1. Air

Air is a lightweight, protective packaging that can be used for all manner of products. Inflatable air packaging can be used for electronics, pharmaceutical products and even glass bottles. Air cushioning fully protects products with its shock absorbing characteristics as well as being customised for the right shape and size.

Air packaging is also lightweight, cutting down energy costs required for transport. What’s more, air packaging needs less space than other packaging methods so you can cut your transport costs too.

  1. Disappearing envpackaging

There is a growing trend for eco-friendly packaging material that creates no wastage and is utterly convenient for consumers as it completely vanishes. You can now find environmentally friendly packaging that produces absolutely no waste and doesn’t even require any recycling.

Packaging products are made from tree pulp, and bioproducts such as starch and corn can then be manufactured so that they disintegrate in water. The non-toxic residue can be safely washed down the drain which is entirely harmless in water. Many products can utilise dissolvable packaging from the food industry to electronics.

  1. No-packaging packaging

For every retailer, where possible, they should be looking to eliminate packaging altogether. For many products, it is surprisingly easy to get rid of packaging. For example, food outlets can ask customers to bring in their own reusable containers and rolls of bin bags can be stored in the last bag of the pack. Grocery companies are also waking up to the fact that packaging is no longer required.

Zero-waste packaging may soon be the thing of the future. Many products may have an original packaging element to them, which just needs creative tweaking to keep it safe from damage and present it as a quality product.

  1. Recycled cardboard environmental packaging

For bulk packaging and items of all shapes and sizes, cardboard may still be the answer. However, cardboard can still be environmentally friendly, providing you choose cardboard from sustainable sources. At Ribble Packaging, all of our cardboard packaging solutions are made from 100% recycled packaging, which is then encouraged to be recycled again.

Despite being recycled, the cardboard is still versatile and durable which makes it ideal for a range of packaging solutions. Ribble Packaging provides all manner of recycled cardboard solutions from bespoke designs to on-demand corrugated card machinery.

By utilising recycled products, we can convert the recycled goods into new packaging and save the planet every single day as the cycle continues.

Green Packaging Solutions: What Is Fanfold?

For businesses looking for cost-effective and green packaging solutions, then fanfold should be a serious consideration. Fanfold is effectively a long sheet of corrugated cardboard that can be used to protect and package a variety of products. The fanfold aspect comes into play as the long piece of corrugated cardboard is scored at regular intervals so that it can be folded neatly and compactly, like a fan.

Fanfold packaging seems simple enough, but it comes with many benefits for your business.

Fanfold, a green packaging solution:

Firstly, the fanfold packaging is a green solution for your business. Every business should focus on reducing waste, for their own cost-efficiency as well as helping to lessen the impact on the environment. If you’re looking for an eco-conscious solution for your packaging needed, then fanfold, coupled with a Box on Demand machine, is an excellent way for your company to go green.

Other benefits of fanfold packaging

  • Reduce your packaging inventory

Why have multiple packaging products when you can have one?  Regardless of your products and their various shapes and sizes, just using a Box on Demand system with fanfold corrugated cardboard can suit a range of packaging requirements and reduce your packaging stock to only one product thanks to its flexibility and versatility.

Green benefit: by swapping your packaging to fanfold only, you can stop using harmful plastic packaging and switch to an entirely recyclable packaging option.

  • Safe transit

Corrugated cardboard offers an excellent level of protection for goods while they are in transit. By using fanfold packaging, you have a supply of cardboard that you can score to size to ensure every product is well protected. With fanfold packaging, you reduce the need for extra filling materials, therefore saving on cost, but you still provide an exceptional level of protection. What’s more, fanfold packaging can be customised for your bespoke needs.

Green benefit: having customised packaging ensures you receive maximum efficiency, reducing the waste your business creates.

  • Simplified administration

With only one product for your packaging needs, you instantly simplify the administration process for your packaging department. Fanfold packaging means you have just one product to stock take and only one product to order. If you choose bespoke fanfold packaging, you also streamline the whole packaging process, making it much quicker to parcel goods and get them into transit.

Green benefit: Using customised fanfold green packaging solutions means each product is packaged to suit its size. By using tailored packaging, you reduce wasted space meaning you can fit more items in transit through space utilisation, reducing the transportation needs and lessening the effects on the environment.

Discover the uses of green packaging solutions

With tailored widths, shapes and scoring, fanfold packaging can be utilised for a range of different packaging needs when used with the right equipment. As well as this, it can be an excellent surface for high-quality print to ensure your high-quality packaging is printed to allow your brand to shine. The practicality of fanfold packaging meets its green credentials with a wide variety of scoring options as well as being able to score on site your own needs.

Ultimately, fanfold packaging ensures a high-quality product, cost-efficient packaging with green benefits that give your business an eco-friendly boost.

Is Plastic Packaging Destroying Our Environment?

Plastic, a material that has now caused worldwide controversy after a global spread of pollution across our oceans; all thanks to its poor bio-degradable properties, human misuse and overall promotion of irresponsible environmental initiatives. Plastic packaging is causing issues for the environment.

Plastics that contain virgin resins, are a cheap alternative produced from petroleum or natural gas into small pellets known as ‘nodules’. The manufacture of these pellets alone is contributing to the depletion of natural resources, consuming 4% of the world’s oil supply. Although, it should be identified that plastic materials can be energy efficient, as it takes less energy during its manufacture then its rival glass material, including low transportation costs due to being lightweight and results in 40% less fuel for transportation.

Is there a more sustainable solution to plastic packaging?

It is without doubt plastics are a ‘wonder material’ they are adaptable and durable for most products, which has accelerated their production, but is there a more sustainable solution?

Over the last 65 years or so scientists have predicted 8.3 billion tonnes have been produced, with approximately 70% of this production present in our current waste streams – mostly sent to landfill.

Half of this material has been made within the last 13 years and current trends point to 12 billion tonnes of plastic waste by 2050. Waste deposited in landfill can reach harmful chemical levels, that spread into groundwater resources and contribute to contamination of the natural environment. When plastic products enter a water source whole, it can float around almost forever and endanger marine life.

It has been identified that most commonly used plastics are not biodegradable, providing few alternatives for disposal, following a decomposition process known as either pyrolysis or incineration through a thermal recovery facility. Although, the latter is further complicated by health and air quality concerns. Many animal studies suggest a developing link between exposure to chemicals and negative health outcomes, with findings of ‘micro-plastics’ in the bodies of marine life which demonstrates the reality of our environment.

Packaging is a short-use product that has poor recycling statistics, with only an estimated 9% of disregarded plastic being disposed of environmentally.

With raw material prices increasing, it is becoming more financially viable to recycle polymers. Including investment into innovative engineering and biological initiatives to create a more sustainable solution.

What is the solution to improving plastic packaging?

One solution is to treat plastic as a reusable material rather than a disposable commodity that can be carelessly discarded. Efforts towards increasing recycling facilities for this material and providing treatment to ensure it is suitable for its next process. Creating a sustainable culture through knowledge is highly advantageous and would increase recycling efforts for all our materials to ensure we reducing pollution rates.

How Etailers Save The Planet With Ribble Right Size?

The Ecommerce market increased by 16% between 2015 and 2016 carrying on the year on year growth pattern which has shown no signs of stopping any time soon. This huge increase in customers purchasing online has led to Etailers reviewing their logistics processes in order to handle the increase in traffic.

One of the single, greatest issues that arise with logistics is how to save time, money and space when transporting products from point A to point B. However, many Etailers have also perfected the concept of saving the planet with Right Size solutions.

This incredibly innovative system produces a box for every product so that there is no excess packaging waste. Transportation and logistics are optimised because more space becomes available and of course, the cost is reduced for everyone involved.

This is how efforts to save the planet are improved with the Box on Demand process;

  1. Every box fits the product

Every single item is measured before packaging, and a box is automatically produced to fit that particular product. This means that there is no lost space inside the box. The product is firmly packaged with little or no room for movement which will dramatically reduce breakages. Reduction in damages reduces the quantity of products that need to be replaced, which in return reduces the unnecessary additional emissions from the vehicles used to transport the items. Reduced emissions take us one step closer to keeping our planet inhabitable. The safer packaging also means there are fewer returns thus preventing the quadrupling of emissions for any given transaction.

  1. Reduced lost space means greater transport volume

By reducing the lost space in a cardboard box, more boxes can be transported in a single journey. Effectively this means that the emissions produced can be reduced dramatically for each individual item, not only by reducing the unnecessary repeat trips but also by reducing the number of original journeys substantially, which means our planet will enjoy some relief. Truck emissions, aircraft emissions and even heavy traffic emissions are all reduced thanks to compact packaging and space-saving solutions.

  1. Less to recycle

Although good cardboard products are biodegradable, and repeat use of cardboard is encouraged some of it will always end up in a landfill. When you start to add up how many excess square centimetres of a box containing lost space will end up in landfill especially when considering the millions of annual deliveries made by Etailers, the rescue effort of our planet becomes incredible. Tightly packaged products with fewer cardboard centimetres will literally save tonnes of cardboard from the landfill.

  1. Reuse of the packaging

The Box On Demand package is made in such a way that it’s easy to open and if it may need to be returned, the very same packaging can be reused. If every single return is made with the same packaging the item was delivered in, then the cardboard saving is immense, not only regarding landfill space saved but all the way back to the emissions produced when manufacturing the original box.


  1. The cost saving

A large amount of companies are using inappropriate box sizes for their item’s being shipped, this cost is carried over to the end user. What this means for the consumer is that they are more likely to purchase products from an online retailer that is saving them money while also saving the planet. The cost of delivery is a huge influence in online buying decisions, and the cost reduction will have a domino effect when influencing those decisions.

  1. On-site packaging

Because Etailers are using box on demand machines on site in their warehouses, no emissions are being produced to order and have boxes manufactured and delivered to their sites. The manufacturing quite literally takes place as the product is packaged. There are fewer processes involved in the production as the box on demand is a turnkey solution for every single size of product. Since cardboard is already an eco-friendly product, the impact on the welfare of the planet is remarkably low.

If you want your business to follow in the footsteps of these successful retailers and save the planet one box at a time while at the same time saving on your packaging costs, then consider Box on Demand. Box on Demand gives you on-demand and on-site packaging with a box-making machine allowing your business to save money and save the planet.

Ribble Can Save The Retail Industry Billions

It’s a bold statement but one that we know is true.

With customers demanding their products to be delivered faster, companies are struggling to keep up with the rapid evolution of how e-commerce now works.

Many companies have spent a large amount of time and money creating advanced logistics processes to support faster product turnaround in an attempt to keep up with demand. Addressing the logistical process is one thing but in many cases the packaging process has suffered as a result.

Countless large retailer systems consist of stocking a limited amount of standard size boxes and hoping that the products they offer will fit, adding void fillers to take up wasted space. These legacy systems produce the unnecessary costs of buying void fill and purchasing larger boxes than needed. These two items alone amount to serious costs, reducing profit margins and taking up valuable storage space.

Excess packaging is creating poor customer experiences

Further to this, excess packaging can be a nightmare for customers. Fillers such as bubble wrap and polystyrene are not accepted in UK recycling bins, thus creating an added headache when attempting to dispose of their waste environmentally. A simple Google search of excess packaging opens a whole world of images and news stories relating to absurd amounts of packaging and disappointed customer reviews.

As all businesses know customers (especially new customers), will make a judgement of your brand based on the full order experience. The products packaging plays a significant role in this process, as it is the first physical representation of your company that they will be able to hold in their hands.

How can you find a way to eliminate void fillers, reduce your corrugated spend, decrease your warehouse storage of box pallets and decrease your transportation costs?

Stephen Rector talks to The Business Reporter about how Ribble can help:

Find out more about Right Size and the benefits it could bring you.

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