5 Styrofoam Peanut Packing Alternatives

Pressure is mounting on business owners to do away with plastic and non-biodegradable methods of packaging. While it was once socially acceptable to tip tonnes of non-recyclable Styrofoam peanuts into your delivery boxes, people today are quite rightly calling for a move towards sustainability.

Nevertheless, it can be difficult to know where to start when looking for viable alternatives to packing peanuts. So, here are the five best styrofoam peanut alternatives we believe business owners should trial packing their products in.

Avoid packing material completely

While this is an obvious one, many people feel that packing material is a necessity. However, by having the perfect sized boxes for your products, you can eliminate, or at least reduce the amount of packing material you need. You can purchase on-demand cardboard boxes which are made to fit the product you want to pack, so you don’t need excess packing material.

Alternatively, if you can’t afford to get your boxes personalised to fit your products, consider collecting waste paper and cardboard for shedding. Though it won’t look quite as smart, it will still be an effective packing mechanism, and you could even leave a little note in each of the boxes to customers detailing why you pack in this way – that way, if they are eco-conscious they will be aware about your companies caring, good nature and might buy from you again. Many people will appreciate this more than they will unnecessary packing peanuts exploding onto their kitchen floor.

Unbuttered Popcorn

Putting unbuttered popcorn into your boxes sounds like an odd thing to do. Since it isn’t a particularly well-known method either you might be worried about what your customers will think. However, it’s just as effective, often cheaper, and once again you can always leave a note explaining why you use popcorn to pack products.

The only drawback for using this method is that the popcorn is easily crushed and can become quite messy if the box is bashed around too much. You could always wrap your product in recycled paper first if you want to ensure no popcorn-dust collects on your product. This is especially important if you are packing any form of technology, where there are charging port nooks that you wouldn’t want dust to collect in.

Corn Starch

Corn starch packing peanuts are now widely used as an alternative – and it’s nearly identical to Styrofoam peanuts. These strong peanuts look and feel almost the same as Styrofoam and will keep your product safe.

Moreover, it is easy for your customer to dispose of them after they have unpacked their goods. Leave a note to let them know they can simply run them under cold water and watch them dissolve. They will appreciate this easy method of disposal and the space you have saved in their bins or recycling requirements.

Coconut Husk

Coconuts have innumerable benefits, both as a food and drink source and as a packing material. The husk of the coconut is not only incredibly strong, but the fibre it contains is also non-flammable. However, while that is fantastic for durable packaging, it can mean they are difficult to dispose of after their use.

Some companies have begun combing thermoplastic with the husk to make it compostable, too. Whichever option you choose though, you will be doing more good for the environment than you would have been using Styrofoam peanuts.

Sphagnum Peat Moss

The natural material, Peat Moss, will provide a springy protective layer around your product. It’s extremely adaptable since it mushes together easily so it will work with your product no matter its shape or size. You could either purchase this versatile plant in bulk, or you could make a name for yourself as an eco-company by growing it in-house.

There will be no need to worry about where it will go after its use either since it is a natural source of packaging. This means it is compostable and therefore it will be just as easy for your customers to dispose of it as the dissolvable corn-starch peanuts.

Business owners want to know that the alternatives will just as efficiently prevent damage to your product as the Styrofoam peanuts did. These alternatives will undoubtedly be just as capable. Moreover, though it might take your customers a little bit of getting used to, if you keep advertising the reason for your strange packaging solutions you may even become more memorable due to your whacky packing unique selling point

4 Reasons Why Corrugated Board Is The Answer To The Plastic Problem

It is estimated that eight million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the oceans every single year. With marine life threatened as well as seabirds, with their inadvertent consumption of plastic, it is no surprise that there has been a sharp increase in concern lately. More and more people are becoming worried about the threat of plastic and the environmental devastation that plastic is causing.

With demand for the reduction in plastic growing, consumers are desperate for businesses to come up with better ways to package products. However, what is the solution when almost all packaging seems to use plastic in some form? Well, surprisingly, corrugated board may be the answer to the plastic problem that the world is facing. Here are just four of the reasons why.

Four reasons why corrugated board is the answer to the plastic problem

 

  • Food packaging

 

Plastic is prevalent in supermarkets where lots of food are wrapped or stored in plastic containers for customer convenience. When it comes to fresh food, plastic can help to provide a stable base for the food to prevent damage; it can also help to make it easier when shipping and transporting goods. However, corrugated cardboard can offer the same benefits without the burden of adding more plastic to the environment.

Corrugated board is stable and provides a secure base for food and well as being easy to carry, transport and ship. Lots of fruit suppliers already use corrugated card for this reason. However, corrugated card can be used for a range of different food items. Especially as corrugated board can help to keep moisture away from products, which can increase their lifespan and ensure foods can withstand a long shipping journey.

As corrugated board is incredibly versatile with different thicknesses, shapes and sizes, it makes it incredibly versatile for a range of food items. This means customers can avoid unnecessary plastic when loading up their trolleys.

 

  • Custom creations

 

Plastic is often chosen for packaging as it can be moulded into a range of shapes to suit a range of products. However, corrugated board is just as versatile and customisable. The thickness of corrugated cardboard can be altered to suit different products while the fact it can be cut to any size and create a range of shapes mean it is easy to create a bespoke packaging container using cardboard alone.

What’s more, the corrugated board can receive a range of treatment and coating to help bolster the strength and versatility of the packaging. For safety, corrugated cardboard can be coated with a waterproof material as well as flame resistant material to make it an ideal packaging choice for a range of different industries.

Cardboard can then be printed using digital and screen printing to create a vibrant design for your packaging. This can help you to increase visibility for your brand, become a powerful marketing method and ensure your products and packaging stand out from the crowd. While plastic can also be customised, the fact that you can print directly onto corrugated board means it is cheaper, quicker and more convenient to produce.

 

  • Sustainability

 

Corrugated board can be made from 100% recycled material. Furthermore, it can be completely recycled after use. As well as being recycled, corrugated board is strong enough to be reused many times. In most cases, corrugated cardboard can be folded down flat for storage and then be used again when it is needed.

With sustainability at the forefront of people’s minds, it has never been so important to promote greener materials, products and packaging. With more and more people wanting to veer away from non-degradable plastic, the corrugated board provides the perfect sustainable packaging alternative to plastic.

By printing messages directly onto the cardboard, you can make it clear to customers how sustainable your packaging is and how they can dispose of your packaging after use.

 

  • Cost-effective

 

Corrugated board can be a cost-effective packaging solution for many businesses. Firstly, corrugated cardboard is relatively cheap to produce and budget-friendly to purchase. Secondly, it is lightweight for packaging which may help to lower the total weight of products when shipping. This means that you can achieve savings in shipping costs, whether you use a third-party supplier or by saving money on the fuel used to transport goods.

Furthermore, corrugated cardboard can be shaped to fit custom product sizes, which means you can save space when shipping, helping you to send more items for the same cost which will help your bottom line.

How Much Paper Comes From One Tree?

Many businesses try to achieve the goal of a paperless office.

However, this is usually because of the mess and confusion that paper documents create, rather than the fact they are striving to reduce the impact on the environment. However, by using less paper, we can help to save the number of trees from being felled, but just how much paper comes from one tree? How many trees can we save by limiting our paper usage?

Can we accurately work out how much paper comes from one tree?

Paper manufacturing uses a mix of different tree types.

While the majority of paper is made from pine trees, often other trees are used to create the pulp that will then become a sheet of paper. As well as the different types of trees used, another consideration is the fact that trees will always vary in the size and shape. Some trees will be tall with thin trunks while others may be shorter and wider. Of course, trees will always vary depending on their age, environment and type of tree.

How much paper comes from one tree, on average?

It is estimated that a standard pine tree, with 45ft of the usable trunk and a diameter of eight inches, will produce around 10,000 sheets of paper. To consider this in another way, one ream of paper (which is 500 sheets) will use 5% of a tree. Using only 5% of a tree for a ream of paper may seem like a small amount, but when you consider the number of boxes of paper that offices use on a regular basis it quickly added up.

In fact, on average, an office will use the equivalent of one tree every year, even in offices that limit their paper usage and strive for a paperless office.

Another consideration is that coated paper that is used for high-quality printing and magazines will require more pulp. In fact, one tone of coated magazine paper uses over 15 trees. For paper used for newspapers, it takes around 12 trees to create one tonne of newspaper. When you consider how many magazines and newspapers are printed and distributed across the world, it is difficult to visualise the number of trees being used.

Considerations for calculations

As well as estimating the typical size and type of tree used for paper creation, there are other considerations that can impact the calculations. These include the quality of paper, with a variety of thicknesses and quality, the amount of wood pulp required to make a tree increases. Other aspects to consider is whether the paper uses recycled material within the pulp and what percentage the recycled material is.

How many trees are felled for paper?

In the last 40 years, paper usage has grown 400%. This means that over two million trees are felled every day for global paper consumption, meaning four billion trees are cut every year to serve our paper needs. When you consider this, it makes you question whether that document is really worth printing.

Seven Ways Wasteful Packaging Is Hurting Our Environment

While many consumers are more environmentally conscious, there is still a lack of recycling.

In the UK in just one year, only 17% of the total waste was recycled. Recycling is essential; it can help to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in a landfill.

Many people want to contribute to reducing waste, in fact, 90% of people say they would recycle more if it is easier. However, would it be easier to recover and reduce the amount of waste if there was less packaging in society?

Excessive packaging is seen daily across the world.

Food products considered gourmet might have three different types of packaging to add to its luxury feel. While seven million takeaway coffee cups are thrown away every day and 38.5 million bottles of water are consumed and thrown away without a thought. As a society, we become almost blind to the amount of wasteful packaging because it is so apparent in daily life. However, it is dramatically affecting our environment in many different ways.

Here are just seven of the ways that wasteful packaging is damaging our environment.

Seven ways wasteful packaging affects our environment

  • Litter

In terms of the total waste, litter is only on a small scale, with a small percentage of packaging waste accumulating as litter. However, litter is a major concern for many people. Wasteful packaging such as food and beverage containers make up the third most abundant component of litter. Packaging sits behind cigarettes and food for the highest amount of litter.

While many people complain about the litter because it is unsightly, it can actually be a health hazard to humans too. Broken glass, for example, can cause injuries while excessive cardboard packaging can be a fire hazard (the risk is heightened when you consider the main proportion of litter are cigarette butts).

Litter can also attract vermin which then creates a breeding ground for bacteria which can threaten public health as well as risk the health of pets and wildlife too. Wasteful packaging as litter can also lead to clogged storm drains and can even increase algal blooms in water which can, therefore, affect the water quality impacting aquatic life and wildlife which use the water.

Not only is litter damaging the environment, but a great deal of money is spent combatting the litter problem. With less packaging, this money could be better spent developing recycling schemes which can reduce waste and lower the amount of litter too.

  • Air pollution

Air pollution can be caused by two major concerns dust and dry particles which hang in the air and fumes such as smoke, gases and vapours. Excess and wasteful packaging can contribute to air pollution in a variety of ways. For example, wasteful packaging leads to more waste incineration activities. This type of processing leads to the production of harmful gases which infiltrate the environment. These gases include vinyl chloride, CFCs and hexane.

The electricity use and transportation emission of excessive packaging also contribute to the increasing air pollution problem. Another aspect of air pollution from packaging is through landfill sites. As material decomposes in landfill sites, the decomposition process can release carbon dioxide and methane gas which can contribute to the global warming effect.

  • Birdlife

Worryingly, plastic kills over one million marine birds every single year. Birds ingest plastic packaging both directly and through the food chain. Birds can also be killed or injured by plastic packaging by getting caught up or tangled up in plastic. This is prominent with plastic can holders and six-pack rings.

Unfortunately, the excessive amount of plastic in the environment is having a severe and detrimental impact on bird life.  In fact, plastic wastage is now found in over 90% of seabirds due to the amount of plastic waste in the oceans. Furthermore, plastic is a contributing factor to the fact there has been a 67% decline in seabird populations in the last sixty years.

Another frightening statistic of how much damage plastic is causing to the birdlife is that 40% of Laysan Albatross chicks die before flying the nest. The reasons for the 40% mortality rating is the fact that their stomachs are filled with harmful plastic waste. Albatrosses are more likely to be affected by plastic packaging due to the way they hunt. An albatross will skim their beak across the surface of the water to catch fish and will often ingest plastic that is floating in the process.

  • Landfill space

In 2017, the UK generated 9.3 million tonnes of packaging waste. Unfortunately, many types of packaging take a long time to degrade. For example, plastic bags and Styrofoam cups will take from 500 years to forever to degrade. Glass bottles take up to 1 million years to degrade, and aluminium and tin cans can take up to 100 years to degrade.

With this in mind, the UK is rapidly running out of landfill space. Creating landfill areas has not been a priority for the UK as they have been making the most of the European energy-from-waste initiatives. However, as Britain leaves the EU, it remains doubtful whether the UK can still utilise these schemes. In fact, it is believed that by 2020 there will only be 50 landfill sites left in the whole country.

  • Sealife

The ingestion of plastic can be fatal for sea life. In fact, 100,000 marine animals die as a result of waste pollution every single year. A Sei whale was killed because of a laceration in the stomach caused by a plastic DVD case. A sperm whale died in Spain because of an intestinal blockage caused by 37 pounds of plastic from 59 pieces of wasteful packaging.

Plastic bags can also be incredibly harmful as they can look like jellyfish to the unsuspecting turtle. Sadly, there have been 693 different marine species that have been found to have ingested or become entangled with plastic waste in the ocean.

  • Water pollution

The production of packaging can have a high water use as well as causing water pollution. To create just one plastic water bottle takes three bottles of water as well as a quarter of a bottle of oil. It is not just water bottles that use a high amount of water, many packaging production methods use a high volume of water, wasting precious water resources.

Plastic pellets used in packaging can also affect the water. The pellets release toxic chemicals which can leach into the water. Research has found that the concentration of toxic chemicals in the pellets becomes a million times higher when in water.

  • Loss of species

Landfills are a result of a high amount of wasteful packaging and can be incredibly dangerous to the environment. Landfills not only release large amounts of methane and other toxic chemicals which can contribute to global warming, but they can also result in a loss of species.

Research has shown that between 30 and 300 species are lost per hectare of landfill site which can significantly impact the biodiversity of our planet.

Landfills also have a damaging effect with waste materials leaching toxic chemicals which leads to groundwater pollution. Furthermore, it can reduce the soil quality and fertility which can mean that plants cannot grow or thrive in the area, effectively wasting the environment and playing a key role in the food chain.

 

How To Get Rid Of Void Fillers Packaging In Your Business

For manufacturers, businesses and customers across the globe, void fillers packaging is one of the biggest irritations.

Void fillers packaging can help to protect products and can serve as a vital armour for logistic problems that can affect products such as dropping, shaking, impact, crushing and shock. However, there are many negatives associated with void fillers too.

What is void filler packaging?

Void filler packaging is the added material that is used to fill any empty spaces in packaging to help protect a product. Void filler effectively fills in any gaps in boxes and packaging to help keep the product in its place and to stop it moving. The protection can also help the product during transport.

There are many different types of void fillers packaging, some of the most common materials used for void fill include;

  • Cardboard strips
  • Board honeycomb
  • Polystyrene pieces
  • Paper
  • Bubble wrap
  • Shredding
  • Packing peanuts
  • Airbags.

The problem with void fillers packaging

1. Expense

One of the main issues with void packaging is the additional expense that it brings. Void filler means that you are using packaging that is too big. Your business is, therefore, paying unnecessary postage or logistics costs to transport empty space. Furthermore, you are not only paying for the privilege of shipping empty space, but you are also paying for the void filler material itself.

2. Time-wasting

Filling packaging with void filler is a task which takes valuable time. In fact, staff could be using the time with wasteful void filler by packing more products into better packaging solutions. With the right packaging, you do not need to fill spaces in boxes and packages. This time spent ensuring that there is adequate filler protecting the product could be spent so much better.

In fact, with the right packaging for your product, you can reduce the packaging and fulfilment time. You can then, therefore, increase your delivery cycles and better utilise staff time for value-adding activities rather than non-value adding activities such as void filling.

3. Space utilisation

Another irritation of void filler is the use of your valuable space on your premises. Often void filler packaging can take up premium warehouse space that could be utilised for storage of products, machinery or other profit-making activities. Often void filler is large and cumbersome, making it difficult to store, especially when it is needed close to hand for packaging on the process line.

4. Environmentally-unfriendly

Void fillers packaging will significantly lower your green credentials as a business. Using excess cardboard which needs recycling and process or harmful plastic which is often not recycled can be damaging to the environment.

Many consumers will not know how to process void fillers, which means they may not be recycled. Regardless of whether you are using recyclable materials or not, the fact is that you may still be wasting material which is unnecessary and does not showcase a business as being eco-friendly.

How to reduce void filler

1. Choose the right-sized packaging

Instead of choosing a generic box or envelope to pack your products into, consider offering a range of packaging sizes to suit your product needs better. It can be much more efficient to use the right sized packaging rather than a generic box and adding the necessary void fill to reduce the space.

Using right size techniques which give you the right sized box for every product can be a significant cost-saving investment for your business. Alternatively, taking the time to find a more suitable sized package may be worthwhile.

2. Seal boxes correctly

By sealing products with strong materials such as pressure sensitive tape, you can significantly enhance the strength of the packaging as well as its stability. By sealing products, you help to protect them from harmful conditions such as moisture and odour. Furthermore, it can help with the balance when the product is in transit, assisting the package to maintain its shape and reducing the risk of crushing and compression.

3. Test your packaging

If you feel void fillers are inevitable, then you may still be able to reduce the amount you need. It is worthwhile conducting a range of ‘stress’ tests with your products to see how they fare and therefore work out what is the optimal packaging that you need. It may surprise you to find that your product is just as protected without void filler as it is with it. By checking your products and packaging in a variety of situations, you can then standardise your packaging process which can help you to save money and become more efficient.

Fifteen Plastic Packaging Statistics That Will Scare You

In a world where we are all trying to lessen the impact we have on the environment, one of the most significant influences that seem almost unavoidable is plastic. Going plastic is virtually impossible as it infiltrates so many aspects of life. From a plastic casing on a smartphone, to a plastic computer keyboard, to plastic bags, food wrap and bottles, it is hard for a day to go by without encountering plastic.

While plastics have been around for less than a century, they have dramatically changed the way we live. The benefit of plastic is it is incredibly hardwearing and designed to last for a very long time. However, this benefit has quickly become a problem for our ecosystem.

While some plastics can be recycled, a significant proportion ends up in landfill sites.

The plastic pollution can be dangerous for our health and the environment. Many plastics are toxic and can have an adverse effect on our health. Furthermore, with so much plastic waste in the oceans, it is affecting marine life, birds, the food chain and the ecosystem as a whole.

Due to the significant impacts that plastic has on the world, ecosystems and environment, it is essential to reduce our plastic use as much as possible. If you need further encouragement to limit your plastic waste, here are fifteen plastic packaging statistics that will scare you into thinking more about your plastic consumption.

15 scary plastic packaging statistics

1. One million plastic bottles are sold every minute

Drinks bottles are one of the most popular forms of plastic packaging which ends up as wastage. Frighteningly 20,000 plastic bottles are bought worldwide every single second. Sadly, less than 50% of these are recycled. Just 7% of the plastic bottles are transformed into new bottles.

When you consider that 480 billion bottles were sold in 2016 and less than 50% of these bottles were recycled, that means there were over 240 billion bottles that went into a landfill in a single year.

2. Yearly plastic waste can circle the earth four times

The amount of plastic packaging that is thrown away every single year is enough in length to circle the globe four times over. Furthermore the rate of plastic wastage is growing at a rate of 9% every year. Naturally, landfill does not help the problem, it just delays the problem for future years.

3. 12 billion tonnes of plastic waste in landfill by 2050

Since the beginning of plastic production, it is estimated that at least 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic have been produced. From this, at least 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste has been created and almost 80% have been put to landfill or is in the natural environment, such as the oceans.

With current production rates and continued mismanagement of plastic waste across the world, there will be 12 billion tonnes of wasted plastic in a landfill by 2050. With a single plastic bottle taking 450 years to biodegrade, does the earth have enough space for all of our plastic waste?

4. Plastic outnumbers sea life by six to one

There is more plastic in the oceans than wildlife. In fact, plastic outnumbers sea life by six pieces for every one animal. Furthermore 90% of the pollution floating in the ocean is plastic which accounts for 46,000 pieces of plastic in every single square mile.

5. 10 million tonnes of plastic end up in the sea every year

Ocean plastic is significantly impacting the environment and marine ecosystems. Plastic has entered the food chain with toxic plastic being found in birdlife as well as fish and sea mammals. From a study in the journal Science, they found that 192 coastal countries are adding to 10 million tonnes of plastic ending up in the sea each year.

There are five gyres in which plastic waste accumulates in the ocean, these gyres have a much higher concentration of plastic than anywhere else in the ocean due to the circular currents.

6. All sea turtle species have plastic in their bodies

Due to the tiny fragments of plastic in the ocean, all sea turtle species and 44% of seabird species have been found to have plastic in their system or around their bodies. This also includes 22% of cetaceans too.

7. There are 718 pieces of litter for every 100m of beach in the UK

In a single 100-metre stretch of coast in the UK, you can expect to find over 700 parts of plastic packaging waste. With research conducted by the Great British Beach Clean Up, you can expect to see 42 packets, 32 plastic caps or lids and 225 plastic bottles or polystyrene pieces, amongst many other parts of plastic pollution that are washed up by the sea.

8. 50% of plastic is used only once

Incredibly, half of the plastic that is destroying the ecosystem is created for single use. This could include plastic bottle, coffee cup lids and food packaging. With such a throwaway culture, only 5% of plastic is recovered from what is produced.

9. 7 million coffee cups are thrown away in the UK every day

Love a takeaway coffee? So, do 7 million other people in the UK. In just a single day, 7 million coffee cups are thrown away every single day. Many of these coffee cups are made from polystyrene complete with plastic lids.

With hardly any coffee cups or lids being recycled or recyclable, the harmless morning coffee may be significantly damaging the environment. Regularly enjoy a coffee? Why not invest in a reusable coffee cup, your coffee shop may discount your coffee because of it too.

10. One million plastic bags are used every minute

Forgetting your reusable bag at the supermarket is easy to do. In fact, one million plastic bags are used worldwide every single minute. This means that 500 billion plastic bags are used across the globe each year. By remembering a cotton bag or shops using paper bags could significantly lessen the damage of plastic on the environment.

11. 93% of Americans test positive for a plastic chemical

The chemicals of plastic not only affect the environment, but they also affect our health too. In fact in tests for BPA which is a plastic chemical, 93% of Americans over the age of six tested positive for traces of the chemical found in the body.

The absorption of plastic into the body can be damaging to health. While research is still ongoing it has been found that plastic compounds can alter hormones in humans.

12. The ocean has a plastic mass that is twice the size of Texas

Named the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, there is a floating plastic mass that is considered the largest ocean garbage site in the world. The mass is collated from the North Pacific Gyre which is a circular tide that brings pollution together into one big mass of garbage. So far, it has reached an enormous size and is already twice the size of Texas.

13. Only one-third of UK plastic packaging is recycled

Despite being more eco-aware, consumers in the UK still only recycle one-third of their plastic packaging. Two-thirds of plastic packaging is taken to landfill while a small proportion is incinerated. With this in mind less than half of the plastic goods that are recyclable are actually recycled. Much of this wastage comes down to a lack of recycling provisions and not being sure whether a product can be recovered or not.

14. One million seabirds are killed every year from plastic

As plastic enters the food chain and can cause damage to birds, such as birds getting stuck in plastic can holders has resulted in one million seabirds being killed every year from plastic in the ocean. Furthermore, 100,000 marine mammals are killed per year as a result of plastic in the water.

15. Not recycling costs the UK £78 million

Recycling plastic packaging can be an essential way to save money in the UK. By not recycling products it costs around £78 million a year for landfill costs. This money could certainly be better used by local authorities to provide other services. It can also save energy and new plastic production.

Ribble take recycling seriously

At Ribble we want to do all we can to make packaging sustainable and as eco-friendly as possible. We use recycled material to create our cardboard for packaging solutions, we also make sure that our cardboard packaging is fully recyclable too. If you want to find out more about the Ribble commitment to the environment, and how we can help your business with eco-friendly packaging, get in touch by calling 0161 622 2302.

Reduce Your Environment Impact With Responsible Packaging

For every business, responsible packaging should be a goal and a priority. Consumers are now not only looking for quality packaging that suitably protects their products but is also eco-conscious too. For marketers, logistics and finance departments, choosing the right packaging must appeal to all departments internally as well satisfying customers too.

Packaging is an often overlooked by commercial businesses however it is a valuable branding tool. It not only ensures your product is attractively displayed and safely secured, but it also explains your brand message to the consumer; this means you can showcase your environmentally friendly credentials with eco-friendly packaging.

What is responsible packaging?

Responsive packaging is mainly aimed at saving the planet and being environmentally friendly; this could be from reuse and recycling to being made from recycled products or eco-friendly products. However, the responsible packaging does not just have to focus on its green credentials; it can also be innovative and social too.

Packaging designs should appeal, whether it is from its eco-friendly materials, its stylish or useful design or the secondary uses for customers after it has fulfilled its primary job of protecting products.

Ultimately, the primary aim of responsible packaging is to lower your carbon footprint.

Follow the three critical areas;

  1. Reduce

  2. Reuse

  3. Recycle.

With this, you not only reduce your environmental impact, but it can also help to save on cost too.

How to adopt responsible packaging

  1. Determine your key packaging requirements

Before you can find the right sustainable packaging that will lessen your environmental impact, you must first establish what makes good packaging for you and your needs. Packaging can have many uses and benefits, from extending shelf life to protecting fragile items to making transportation more manageable, to be able to post the product easily.

Before determining the most environmentally friendly packaging, you need to know what your goals for the packaging are.

  1. Reduce

The first way to lessen the environmental impact of your packaging is by looking at unnecessary packaging within the process. Does any part of the packaging not fulfil a purpose?

If any aspect of the packaging does not meet a requirement, whether it is protecting the product, increasing shelf life or providing the customer with information, then it may be worthwhile removing this step in the packaging process.

Consider the value each part of the packaging has, if it appears to have none, it is wasting money from your business. Once you have removed irrelevant elements, it is time to consider how else you can reduce the packaging. Typically, this will be through the size and shape of the packaging. By making it lighter and smaller, you can significantly reduce the energy costs during transportation.

  1. Reuse

Reuse can span many different areas in terms of packaging. You can reuse within your from the packaging given by your suppliers or from packaging returns if you have a reverse logistics system set up to receive packaging items once the customer has received the product.

Reuse can also occur after your product has been shipped by the potential reuse of your packaging for your customers. More and more businesses are becoming increasingly inventive with their reuse methods, changing from recyclable bags to creating seed pots for compostable planting. Some food packaging is now edible, so there is no wastage from the packaging.

  1. Recycle

One of the fundamental areas of environmentally friendly packaging is its recyclability. Customers are now more environmentally aware and will look for methods to be green, particularly when it comes to product packaging.

When choosing packaging products, businesses should now focus on whether it can be recycled and if so the measures people will need to go to in order to recycle. Packaging may have to be labelled as to which parts are recyclable and which are not, and to show your eco-friendly mission, should be relatively easy to recycle to encourage all of your consumers to go green.

Go green with Ribble

As an environmentally friendly packaging company – Ribble can help to lessen your environmental impact with 100% recycled packaging products which can then be recycled by your customers. Our continuous recycling cycle is a great way to reduce the damage to the environment and showcase your business as one that cares about their carbon footprint.

Not only do Ribble just use recycled cardboard for their recyclable packaging but they can help you to reduce your packaging amounts too. Right Size creates boxes to suit the exact shape and size of your product. This means there is less packaging waste, lower energy costs in transportation and a smaller amount of packaging to be used.

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.

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