Sustainable shipping packaging is a great way to improve your brand, among other benefits. Keep reading to find ways to use sustainable shipping packaging to improve your business.

6 Tips for Sustainable Packaging and Shipping

  1. Change Your Packaging size
  2. Limit returns
  3. Optimize your shipping process 
  4. Resealable packaging
  5. Recycled and eco-friendly packaging
  6. Mono packaging

Change Your Packaging Size

Making a few changes to how you ship your products can make things easier for you and your customers.

You Can Send Items in Bulk

Instead of shipping one item, sell items in bulk so that they can be shipped all at once. Offer customers an incentive to buy in bulk, like a discount. Sending multiple items in one shipment reduces the number of materials used to ship the items. 

Don’t Send Extra or Unnecessary Boxes

Have you ever received a product in a box that was shipped in another box? We all have. Using extra boxes is an unnecessary and wasteful shipping habit. Instead of shipping boxes in other boxes, customize your shipper and mailer boxes. This can reduce boxes and provide beautiful branding on shipments to your customers.

A quick visit to YouTube can show you what a great unboxing experience can look like [add new link].

Ensure Packaging Is the Right Size

Too many items are shipped in packaging twice their size using styrofoam peanuts and other unsustainable packing materials to fill the space. To avoid this issue, use packaging that fits closely around items. 

Rightsizing equipment creates custom-sized boxes made from cardboard sheets. This helps minimize the need for wasteful packagings, like bubble wrap. Some distributors offer rightsizing equipment; ask yours if they offer this option for shipping cartons. 

You can also optimize your box size to fit your products perfectly. By having the correct size box and limiting excess material, you can save on the cost of the box and shipping as the reduced size and weight will lower your shipping costs. Did you know you could also add custom inserts to your boxes that help secure your products but also help in getting the ideal box size to ship your products? Visit Box Genie to learn more.

Limit Returns

Customers will return items if they are damaged or not represented correctly by retailers. To limit the number of returned items, ensure that items are packaged carefully, have correct descriptions, and are as they appear on your website. 

Do not use deceptive packaging (packaging that misleads the consumer). Deceptive packaging falsely represents product dimensions, quantity, shape, and more.

Ensure that all product details are correctly represented. There should be no errors in descriptions of product sizes or materials.

This is another area where custom inserts can make a huge impact. Since they are customized for shipping your products with maximal security and protection, they can help reduce the number of returns due to broken products.

Optimize Your Shipping Process

You can always improve the shipping process. Follow these tips to optimize your sustainable shipping process.

Optimizing Last-Mile Delivery

Last-mile delivery describes the final part of the shipping process–when a package travels from the method of transportation to its final destination. Although it’s the end of a package’s journey, last-mile delivery might be the most important part of shipping. 

Choose shipping companies focused on proper route planning and creating fewer emissions to optimize last-mile delivery. Properly planned routes make the logistics of delivering packages much smoother. It is also eco-friendly because it reduces the fuel used to transport products. 

Some companies, like FedEx, even offer zero-emissions fleets for last-mile delivery using electric or hybrid vehicles. This cuts the amount of polluting greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted.

Choosing the Best Shipping Carrier

Look for shipping carriers that offer eco-friendly programs. These programs might include paperless tracking and invoicing. Some examples of eco-friendly programs are USPS’ Blue Earth, FedEx’s EarthSmart, and UPS’ Eco Responsible Packaging Program.

Resealable Packaging

In America, package returns make up 25% of items being shipped. When selling items, there is always a chance that the products will be returned because they don’t meet customer expectations. The return process isn’t always sustainable.

To make the return process sustainable and easy for customers, send initial orders in resealable packaging. This way, the customer won’t have to go out and buy additional packaging to ship your items back to you. They can just reuse the original packaging.

Resealable packaging not only makes your customers’ lives easier, but it also counts as a reusable, eco-friendly shipping practice.

Eco-Friendly and Recycled Packaging

There are more recycled and eco-friendly packaging options today than ever before. Recycled cardboard boxes, compostable packaging and compostable mailers, biodegradablefiller chips, and plant-starch packing peanuts are just a few examples. 

Some filling materials are made of elephant grass, bamboo, and seaweed.

Mono Packaging

When packing materials and shipping boxes are made of the same material and shipped together, it’s called mono packaging. Mono packaging is a customer-friendly packaging solution because it is easy to separate. 

Using the same material for the packing and boxes also makes the overall package more recyclable. It’s much harder to recycle packages that use two types of materials. 

An example of mono packaging includes using cardboard inserts to prevent items from moving around in a cardboard box.

What is Sustainable Packaging?

Sustainable packaging is packaging that reduces harm to the environment. When you think of sustainable packaging, you might picture recyclable cardboard boxes, but there are plenty of other types of materials used to create sustainable shipping packaging. Some of these materials include:

  • Cellulose
  • Cornstarch
  • Kraft paper
  • Corrugated paper
  • Mushrooms

Being able to reuse and recycle the materials used is important. It’s also ideal if some of the sustainable shipping packaging is biodegradable, just in case it ends up in a landfill.

What’s the Difference Between Sustainable Packaging and Non-Sustainable Packaging?

Sustainable packaging is environmentally friendly, and non-sustainable packaging is not. Non-sustainable packaging can only be used once, whereas sustainable packaging can be recycled or repurposed. Sustainable packaging can also be biodegradable.

What are the Benefits of Sustainable Packaging?

  • Reduces your carbon footprint
  • Increases sales for your brand
  • Helps your brand image
  • Reduces shipping costs
  • No allergens or toxins

Reduces Your Carbon Footprint

Sustainable packaging materials are usually manufactured and shipped using renewable energy. In turn, the emissions emitted during the manufacturing and shipping process are much lower than those of non-sustainable packaging. Reducing emissions lowers your carbon footprint, which is integral to being climate-friendly.

Increases Sales for Your Brand

Eighty-three percent of consumers aged 44 or less are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging. This move toward sustainability isn’t surprising – customers favor environmentally friendly brands. This willingness to pay more for sustainable packaging helps cover additional costs that your business absorbs due to the packaging manufacturing. 

Helps Your Brand Image

For eCommerce businesses and small businesses, it’s no secret that branding is essential — and brands that offer environmentally friendly services are very popular with consumers. Many consumers have changed their shopping habits by selecting eco-conscious brands. Implementing sustainable, custom packaging practices will elevate you and make your brand stand out.

Reduces Shipping Costs

Sustainable packaging is lighter than non-sustainable packaging. This difference in weight equates to lower shipping costs. Eco-friendly packaging reduces material waste, which is important to customers who are concerned about the environment.

No Allergens or Toxins

Most sustainable packaging is free of allergens and toxins. Some of the best materials used to make the packaging are biodegradable. Offering allergen- and toxin-free packaging eases customers' minds concerned about products or packaging being harmful to their health.

Wrapping Up

Making the switch to sustainable shipping packaging is worth it. The number of consumers who want to shop sustainably increases by the day. Don't get left behind – switch to environmentally friendly packaging today and watch your business increase sales and gain popularity.

BoxGenie is trusted by top brands worldwide to offer sustainable packaging. Our assortment of custom boxes is practical, manufactured quickly, and visually stunning. We have what you need to ship your products while being eco-conscious.

Take that next step – try BoxGenie.

 

Sources:

4 sustainable shipping practices your business needs to implement | Sustain Life

HOW TO: Wrap a package to mail through USPS, UPS, DHL, OnTrac, or any other US service | YouTube.com

10x Tips for sustainable packaging and shipment | Recycling.com

The Easiest Way to Go Green That You're Overlooking: Green and Sustainable Shipping Practices | Kabbage

Sustainable Packaging that reduce your environmental impact | News & Insights

Consumers Demand Sustainable Packaging | NACS

True packaging sustainability: Understanding the performance trade-offs | McKinsey

Committing to Eco-Friendly Packaging Practices Can Save Your Company Money | Business.com

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