- 12 Feb 2021
The global focus on becoming more sustainable means that demand for sustainable packaging, products that are made from recycled materials, as well as those that are easy to recycle are on the rise. In this post, we’ll be looking at the reasons why sustainable packaging matters. How you can source sustainable packaging for use in your business and how you can create profits by adding sustainable packaging to your inventory.
It is evident why recycled packaging matters the resources that are required to create single-use plastic are limited, and using additional trees for paper-based and cardboard packing is not sustainable. Since the eCommerce industry is definitely not getting any smaller, alternatives that don’t use virgin plastics, and that are better for the environment are essential for the long-term health of the planet. We’re not saying recycled materials (particularly plastics) are perfect, because they do still have some environmental influence but they are an awful lot better than continuing to use new materials.
Polythene is a valuable, and a limited resource, which means it is essential to utilise what we have as well as possible – the need to reduce, reuse, and recycle is necessary. However, with the latest technology, recycled polythene film can be just as strong as non-recycled products – which means all businesses can easily make the change.
Packaging materials have to be robust enough to stand up to rough handling by shipping providers and couriers, as well as keeping items safe, clean, and dry. In the past, recycled materials weren’t strong enough to stand up to this type of handling, but today, developments in technology mean they are as good, if not better than not recycled options.
With that said, some types of plastic are not able to be recycled yet. Single-use plastic is widely used for food trays, and flexible pouches, and technology to recycle these types of plastics has not been sufficiently developed – so work is ongoing to find alternatives, and for ways to recycle them.
About our sustainable packaging
We specialise in packing materials for eCommerce businesses and we are based in the North West. With more than 15 years of expertise and factories in China, we both create our products and distribute them, and we are able to print customised packaging materials for brands that want greater exposure. The prices that we can offer are unbeatable, and the quality of our products unparalleled, with exceptional quality control.
One of the main aims of our business is zero waste – particularly to reduce the amount of plastic waste that the eCommerce industry generates. Five of our aims over the next few years include:
- Developing a new range of 100% recycled grey mailers
- Increasing the number of biodegradable packaging options, we have available.
- Packaging products will be recycled and recyclable as standards
- Providing more information about recycling options for those products by printing information on packets
- Minimising the use of materials used, and the amount of waste on our premises to near-zero
We have committed to reducing, repairing, re-purposing, and recycling, composting and recovery wherever possible. The plastics that we are using and recycling are shipped back to our plants for processing and turning into new materials, to complete the cycle and to minimise the use of raw materials.
When we send packaging to be recycled, it isn’t just packaging products that the waste plastic gets turned into. Other products include:
- Rubbish bags and carrier bags
- Underground drainage systems
- Products for the horticultural industry such as flower pots, seed trays, composting bins
- Car parts including wheel arch liners and bumpers
- Items for the construction industry such as guttering and window profiles
- Reusable crates and pallets
- Wheelie bins and food waste caddies
- Drinks bottles and food trays
- Polyester for clothing
With so many alternative uses for recycled packaging, it becomes really clear why it is essential to recycle.
One final thing you’ll love about selling sustainable packaging from SR Mailing: We don’t sell their products on marketplaces, so you won’t be competing with us if you decide to sell our products on Amazon, eBay or OnBuy.
What types of recycled packaging products are available?
Although there have been challenges to creating really great recycled packaging, today there are loads of different options. Here’s a quick roundup of the items SR Mailing has available to buy for your business, or to source and sell to your customers.
Businesses that are sending smaller, unbreakable items through the post require bags that keep the contents secure. Mailing bags have to be made from durable, waterproof materials so that they are resistant to wet weather – which is why plastic is ideal. Today there’s no reason that recycled materials can’t be used to make mailing bags, drastically reducing the overall impact on the environment.
Small items that are fragile require packaging with additional padding if they are to be sent by post. Bubble envelopes have been the go-to for eCommerce businesses for many years, because the cushioning that the air bubbles provide helps to ensure the delivery arrives intact. With recycled padded envelopes, they can be recycled and as long as the glue strip has been removed, these envelopes can be composted – making it even easier for recipients to dispose of responsibly.
Many of us that were involved in wrapping gifts over Christmas noticed that there is a lot of wasted plastic in the form of tape – and the same has occurred to many retailers too. Packages dispatched from Amazon now are sealed with paper packing tape, and where Amazon leads, most retailers follow. Paper packing tape made from 100% recycled content, and is now available that features solvent-free adhesive, which is even better for the environment – and can be recycled with mixed papers. Look for SFI certification on paper packing tapes to ensure the Sustainable Forestry Initiative approve the product.
Royal Mail PiP Box
Businesses that send orders via Royal Mail need packing solutions that allow them to send using the best price. The Pricing in Proportion (PiP) guidelines mean that businesses can post items using boxes that are exactly the right size for large letter, which should fit through standard letterboxes perfectly. The advantage of posting this way is that they not only look more professional, but they can also be made from recycled cardboard – which can be easily recycled too.
Void fill in packaging has become a huge industry. From air-filled plastic cushioning, to crinkled paper and wood wool (excelsior), there are plenty of options to help improve the sustainability of your packing. Paper packing materials may be recycled, reused, or added to compost bins to break down. Products that are easy to use within businesses include paper rolls, and offcut filler paper, which means there will always be demand for those products.
There’s a reason that businesses use so much cardboard. Not only is it strong enough to withstand the rigorous of passing through the shipping system, it packs down flat for storage, and it is easy to recycle and reuse. Cardboard boxes might not be exciting products, but they are the type of product that you can sell thousands of, regularly and reliably – which is just what you want for your business.
You can’t send items through the post without a shipping label – it is essential! But there is no reason that shipping labels can’t be made from recycled paper, and use more ecologically responsible adhesives. Your business isn’t the only one that needs shipping labels, so this is another opportunity for you to make sales on a regular basis, by selling them to other businesses.
Sustainable packaging isn’t just a great option for the environment – it can be an excellent option for retailers to sell on their sales channels, and to increase profits.
- Less plastic waste is much better for the future of the planet
- Ethical businesses want to buy sustainable packaging options at competitive prices
- Sustainable packaging is easily sourced for your business
- Sell sustainable packaging with no upfront investment in stock required
- We don’t sell on marketplaces, so there’s no fight to the lowest price