10 Eco Friendly and Sustainable Packaging Ideas

We understand the importance of reducing our environmental impact. Many businesses are now developing innovative strategies to design and package their goods in order to decrease their carbon footprint while also saving money.

Packaging is an essential part of how a company presents its products to the world. It can be used to entice customers with a sense of luxury, or it can simply provide necessary information about the product. In recent years, eco-friendly packaging has become more and more popular as people become increasingly aware of the importance of sustainability.

There are many different ways to make packaging more sustainable. Some businesses choose to use recycled materials, while others use biodegradable or compostable materials. There are also a number of innovative ideas that don’t rely on traditional materials at all.

As the world becomes increasingly more environmentally conscious, it's important for businesses to find sustainable and eco friendly packaging ideas.

Here are a few examples of sustainable packaging ideas:

1. Biodegradable bubble wrap

One way to reduce environmental impact is to use biodegradable bubble wrap. This material is made from cornstarch, which breaks down over time and doesn’t release harmful gases into the atmosphere.

Another benefit of using biodegradable bubble wrap is that it can be composted after use. Whilst it would be great for businesses not to use bubble wrap at all, it is often crucial when packaging fragile items.

You can find biodegradable bubble wrap at most online stores. We always use biodegradable bubble wrap when shipping our dried flower arrangements interstate.

2. Returnable Packaging

Many businesses are now using returnable packaging, which can be reused multiple times. This type of packaging is made from durable materials such as cardboard or recycled mailers.

One benefit of using returnable packaging is that it reduces the amount of waste produced by businesses. It also helps to reduce transportation costs, as products can be moved between businesses using the same packaging. Returnable packaging is a great option for businesses that produce a lot of waste or that have a geographically dispersed customer base.

You can often find returnable packaging from stores like The Iconic when you are needing to return an item.

Companies are more commonly starting to provide a re-usability platform to those that want to contribute to sustainability. These companies give consumers the opportunity to bring their packaging back to a store for a free refill, or simply return it online, free of charge.

3. Biodegradable Packing Peanuts

Another option for eco-friendly packaging is to use biodegradable packing peanuts. These peanuts are made from starch and other sustainable materials, and they easily dissolve in water.

Biofill is a great eco friendly packaging alternative to regular packing peanuts or bubble wrap. It's made in Australia and composed of corn starch, making it completely biodegradable. It dissolves in water rapidly, making it an ideal packaging option for your more fragile items.

One downside of using biodegradable packing peanuts is that they can be more expensive than traditional packing peanuts. However, the environmental benefits make them well worth the investment.

Our Milla Rose team uses biodegradable packing peanuts to secure our vases in a recycled cardboard insert during transportation.

4. Plantable Packaging or Paper

Some businesses are now using plantable packaging or paper. This type of packaging is made from biodegradable materials such as bamboo, corn, or wheat.

When the package is opened, the recipient can plant it and the seeds will grow. This is a great way to promote sustainability and raise awareness about environmental issues.

You can find plantable packaging and seeded paper at some great online stores.

5. Compostable satchels

Compostable satchels are an excellent way to reduce waste from your business. These satchels are made from biodegradable materials such as starch and cellulose.

When you open your package, you can simply compost it and the material will break down over time. This is a great alternative to traditional satchels or mailers, which often take years to decompose (or never quite get there).

Compostable mailers are a great choice for businesses that send soft items like clothing. These can be found at numerous online stores such as Hero Packaging.

6. Using QR Codes

A lot of people are now using QR codes as an alternative to printed business or thank you cards. A QR code is a two-dimensional barcode that can be scanned with a smartphone. When you create a QR code, you can embed your contact information, such as your business website, email or socials.

QR Codes are a great way to reduce the amount of paper that is often used for business cards and discount codes.

You can easily create QR codes for free using online tools such as QR Code Generator. We created two QR codes that are added to each of our orders which explain how to care for dried flowers and how to dispose of our packaging.

7. Recycled Air Pillows

Air pillows are often used to ship or store products to reduce movement during transit. These pillows are made from recycled materials and are a great alternative to bubble wrap or styrofoam.

One benefit of using air pillows is that they are lightweight and can be compressed easily which makes them ideal for shipping products over long distances.

Air pillows are great for filling gaps when packaging products and they are very lightweight which is great for keeping shipping costs down.

Another benefit of using air pillows is that they are reusable. You can simply deflate them and fold them up for storage. You can find air pillows made from recycled materials at a number of online stores such as Officeworks.

8. Recycled Paper

If you're looking for a packaging option that is both eco-friendly and affordable, recycled paper is a great choice.

Recycled paper is made from post-consumer waste, which means that the paper has already been used once. This reduces the amount of trees that need to be chopped down in order to create new paper.

Whenever we use tissue paper, we use 100% recycled, acid free tissue paper which you can buy in bulk at any great packaging supply store.

9. Using Furoshiki

Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth that can be used to wrap a variety of items. It’s made from 100% cotton and is completely biodegradable.

Using Furoshiki cloth is a great alternative to traditional wrapping paper, which is often made from non-renewable resources. It can also be used multiple times, which reduces waste.

Furoshiki relieves the usual stress of having to measure and cut your wrapping paper so that it covers your present completely.

You can find Furoshiki cloths in a variety of designs and sizes online.

Alternatively, we have seen many people getting creative and using old tea towels or even t-shirts to replicate the traditional Furoshiki wrapping cloth technique.

10. Soy Based Ink

Soy-based ink is a type of ink that is made from soybean oil. It is a non-toxic, environmentally friendly alternative to traditional petroleum-based ink.

Soy-based ink is often used in printing because it dries quickly and doesn’t smudge. It also has a high contrast which makes it great for printing text.

The downside of soy-based ink is that it is not as durable as traditional ink and it can fade over time.

You can find a soy ink stamp at a number of online stores such as No Issue - which is where we purchased our soy ink stamp from.

5 Benefits of sustainable packaging include:

1. Reduced waste: 

Sustainable packaging options such as recycled paper and biodegradable materials can help reduce the amount of waste your business produces. This can lead to savings on garbage collection costs and less material ending up in landfills.

2. Reduced energy consumption

Sustainable packaging can also help reduce your business' energy consumption. For example, using recycled paper instead of virgin paper can save up to 90% of the energy that would have been used to make new paper.

3. Reduced emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and distributing products can be reduced by using sustainable packaging. For example, using recycled paper rather than virgin paper can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 74%.

4. Improved branding

Sustainable packaging can also help improve your business' branding and image. Consumers are increasingly interested in companies that prioritise sustainable practices, so using sustainable packaging can set you apart from the competition.

5. Cost savings

In addition to the environmental benefits, sustainable packaging can also save your business money. For example, using recycled materials instead of new materials can save up to 50% of the cost of manufacturing.

Conclusion

There are many different ways to make your packaging more sustainable. By using recycled materials, biodegradable materials, or plantable materials, you can help reduce environmental impact and promote sustainability.

You can also take part in some amazing initiatives like our team has done. We have teamed up with One Tree Planted to plant a tree in an area in need, with every dried flower order that is placed on our store.

FAQ

What is Sustainable Packaging?

Sustainable packaging is defined as any type of packaging that is environmentally friendly and reduces waste. This can include using recycled materials, biodegradable materials, or plantable materials.

What are some benefits of sustainable packaging?

Some benefits of sustainable packaging include reducing environmental impact, promoting sustainability, and reducing waste.

What are some common types of sustainable packaging?

Some common types of sustainable packaging include recycled paper, biodegradable peanuts or bubble wrap, and plantable paper.