If you’re considering switching to eco-friendly packaging but are concerned that doing so will cut your profits, you may need to re-evaluate your line of thinking. In the past, using eco-friendly packaging over conventional packaging was often more expensive and would cut your profits as a result. 

However, that’s not the case these days, and on the contrary, eco-friendly packaging can help increase your profits. Here’s what you need to know: 

What Does Eco-Friendly Packaging Mean?

Everyone seems to have a different idea of what eco-friendly packaging means. Some think it is compostable packaging; others feel that it’s anything that’s not plastic packaging or anything that will linger in landfills for all time.

However, the widely accepted definition of eco-friendly packaging that it is:

  • Easy to recycle
  • Safe for the environment
  • Safe for individuals
  • Made out of recycled materials

Some types of eco-friendly packaging may also be biodegradable, and while that’s a great feature to have, it’s not completely necessary. 

What Are Some Examples of Eco-Friendly Packaging?

Eco-friendly packaging has come a long way, and new products are constantly being developed. This means that there are tons of options to choose from. Here are just a few examples of eco-friendly packaging that you may want to consider for your business:

1. Corrugated Cardboard Packaging

The most popular example of eco-friendly packaging is corrugated cardboard. Yes, your basic cardboard boxes are eco-friendly. You can easily recycle cardboard, and most existing cardboard boxes are made of recycled materials

Corrugated cardboard also gets bonus points for being lightweight but durable enough to ship heavy and bulky items. 

2. Cellulose Packaging

Another example of eco-friendly packaging is cellulose packaging. Cellulose is made from hemp, wood, or cotton to create a plastic-like material that’s more sustainable than the real deal. Unlike plastic, cellulose is biodegradable and compostable. 

Food items commonly use cellulose packaging since it is more moisture-resistant than other eco-friendly packaging solutions. 

3. Cornstarch Packaging

You can find cornstarch in your kitchen and also in your eco-friendly packaging. Cornstarch is an eco-friendly packaging component as it is sustainable, affordable, and easy to produce. 

Cornstarch comes from corn and is safe for humans since it contains no toxins. These factors make cornstarch packaging biodegradable and improve its compostability and sustainability

Cornstarch packaging is increasingly used in to-go food containers instead of less-eco-friendly alternatives like styrofoam or plastic accessories. Cornstarch also offers a biodegradable alternative to the traditional styrofoam packing peanuts that are horrible for the environment. 

So the next time you reach for a styrofoam container, consider cornstarch instead. 

4. Mushroom Packaging

Another kitchen item companies use in packaging is the mushroom. Mushrooms contain a fungus that can create sturdy yet sustainable packaging products.
The fungus mycelium comes from the root of mushrooms and can be manufactured into unique packaging solutions that are durable yet lightweight — plus fully compostable. 

5. Glassine Packaging

Plastic is a commonly used packaging material that’s cheap but bad for the environment. A more sustainable alternative to plastic is glassine — a material manufactured from the wood pulp resulting in a smooth and glassy paper-like material. 

Glassine also gets bonus points for being recyclable, biodegradable, pH neutral, and acid-free. 

6. Seaweed Packaging

Last but certainly not least, seaweed has recently become a popular eco-friendly packaging alternative. Seaweed packaging contains agar, a gelatinous substance found in various seaweeds and algae. 

The result is a bioplastic material that’s incredibly sustainable and even vegan-friendly. However, seaweed packaging is a relatively new concept that may take some time before it can be economically and efficiently produced. 

What Are Some Misconceptions About Eco-Friendly Packaging?

Before we get into the benefits of eco-friendly packaging, it’s important to address some of the misconceptions surrounding it. 

Eco-Friendly Packaging is More Expensive

One of the biggest misconceptions about eco-friendly packaging relates to cost. Contrary to popular belief, eco-friendly packaging isn’t always more expensive than regular packaging. 

These products have come a long way in recent years and can now be made more efficiently, which drives down the cost and makes them a more realistic option for most companies. 

Consumers Don’t Care About Eco-Friendly Packaging

Another misconception about eco-friendly packaging is that consumers don’t care about it. However, surveys show that that’s not the case. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the environment and are changing their purchasing habits as a result. 

60 to 70% of consumers said they are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging. 52% of consumers said that they would be willing to buy more products with sustainable packaging so long as those products didn’t cost more than similar products using conventional packaging. 

Finally, 35 to 36% of consumers said that they would buy more sustainably packaged products if they were more widely available and if they were better labeled to indicate that they were sustainable. 

Eco-Friendly Packaging Isn’t That Much Better for the Environment

The final misconception about eco-friendly packaging is that it’s not that much better for the environment. We’ve all heard the theory that the items we put in the recycling bin usually don’t end up getting recycled, so is it the same with eco-friendly packaging? Not in the slightest. 

Take corrugated cardboard, for example. Corrugated cardboard is the most recycled packaging material since 96% of it is recovered for recycling and used to make new products. 

Furthermore, corrugated cardboard can be recycled up to seven times — making it extremely eco-friendly. 

How Can Eco-Friendly Packaging Increase Your Profits?

With these misconceptions in mind, you now know that eco-friendly packaging doesn’t have to cut into your profits. In fact, it can help increase your profits. Here’s how: 

Consumers Want to Buy From Environmentally-Conscious Businesses

For starters, consumers want to buy from environmentally-conscious businesses. 70% of consumers think it’s important for a brand to be sustainable or eco-friendly. 

69% of buyers are willing to pay a premium for recycled products, and more than half of these consumers would change their shipping habits to help save the environment. 

Brands are always looking for ways to get a competitive edge, and this is one particularly beneficial way to do it. 

Branding yourself as an eco-friendly company that uses eco-friendly packaging will set you apart from the competition and drive consumers towards your products based on that factor alone. 

Using Eco-Friendly Packaging Reduces the Amount of Packaging Material Used

By its very nature, eco-friendly packaging is very minimalistic and not very wasteful. So when you use eco-friendly packaging, you reduce the amount of packaging material you’re using. And when you use less packaging material, you’re paying for less packaging material

In this sense, using eco-friendly packaging can save you money in terms of packaging costs and boost your profits. 

You Can Then Reuse Your Own Eco-Friendly Packaging

Since eco-friendly packaging is reusable, you can reuse it yourself to save money on packaging. A great way to do this is to make it easy for customers to return their packaging to you. 

For example, you could set up packaging return stations where customers can simply drop off their used packaging. 

You could also make it easy for customers to send their packaging back to you once they’re done with it. 

How to Make the Switch to Eco-Friendly Packaging?

Hopefully, you’re now convinced by the benefits and overall profitability. So how do you go about making the switch? Here are three steps you can follow to make the process easy: 

Step 1: Evaluate Some of the Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Find the Right Packaging Solution

Each company requires unique packaging solutions to meet its needs. What works for one company may not work for another. 

You know your needs best, which is why it’s a good idea to first evaluate some eco-friendly packaging alternatives before moving forward with the process. 

You first need to consider what types of eco-friendly packaging would work well for your products during your evaluation process. For example, do your products require special care or protection? Are your products particularly heavy or bulky? Does your packaging need to be weatherproof? 

Each of these scenarios would warrant a different type of eco-friendly packaging. Particularly fragile or breakable products requiring extra protection would be well-suited for corrugated cardboard packaging — complete with multiple layers of protection. 

Corrugated cardboard packaging would also work well for heavy or bulky items that need thick and durable containers that won’t break or puncture. Products or packaging that require moisture protection would require eco-friendly options like recycled mailers or cellulose packaging. 

Step 2: Locate an Eco-Friendly Packaging Provider

Once you have a better idea of what type of packaging you’re looking for, you can locate an eco-friendly packaging provider that offers that specific type of packaging. If you’re short on leads, a good place to start is with a simple internet search. 

Just make sure that your packaging provider shares your eco-friendly philosophy — and isn’t shy about it. Also, make sure that they have significant experience with packaging in general and with eco-friendly packaging specifically, as it comes with unique challenges. 

Finally, make sure that their products are actually within your budget. 

Step 3: Make the Switch and Promote It

Now that you’ve found the right eco-friendly packaging provider, it’s time to place your order and finally make the switch. But don’t do it quietly. 

Make sure to promote your switch to eco-friendly packaging on social media and the packaging itself. That way, everyone will know your priorities and what sets you apart from your competitors. 

Wrap Up on Eco-Friendly Packaging

If you’re looking for the best eco-friendly packaging provider of recyclable corrugated cardboard, then you need to check out BoxGenie. Just like you, BoxGenie is completely dedicated to the sustainable manufacturing of eco-friendly packaging products

For example, our printing process uses odorless water-based inks that pass food-safety standards with zero UV-reactive chemicals. Our printing process also doesn’t produce any hazardous air pollutants. 

Our corrugated material contains recycled content to the highest degree allowed by the paper industry’s standards. And since we source our material locally and cut and print our products in-house instead of overseas, we can effectively decrease our carbon footprint

Check out BoxGenie’s line of eco-friendly corrugated packaging solutions so that you can make the switch and help save the environment. 


Sources:

What Are the Best Sustainable Packaging Materials? | Green Matters

Sustainability in Packaging: Inside the Minds of US Consumers | McKinsey & Company

Corrugated is Recyclable | Corrugated.org

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