As a small business owner aiming for ecologically sustainable business practices, you need to balance the cost of green shipping with your eco goals. Knowing what options are available and choosing the ones that best fit your products are the best ways to get your money's worth from your shipping products. The following can help you pick out your packaging.
Opt for recycled
In most cases, recycled boxes, envelopes, and packing paper are sufficient. In many instances, the recycled options are also lower cost. This is especially true if color doesn't matter, since the less post-consumer sorting and processing that occurs, the more inexpensive the recycled product. This means it is better to opt for brown or gray recycled packing materials rather than white or custom colors. This is because these items don't require bleaching or dying – which is both greener and cheaper. Recycled is also the best option if you must use some plastic in your packaging, such as if you ship food items that must be sealed.
Order to fit
It may look like custom shaped or sized boxes are more expensive initially, but over the long run, they can save you money and cut down on your packaging – which is also the greener choice. This is especially true if you have smaller items that would be swimming in the smallest standard box size. By opting for a custom box, your items won't need as much wasteful package filler. The custom fit can also make the items safer to ship, since they won't shift as much. You can further save on costs by ordering your custom packaging in bulk.
Skip the plastic
Plastic is one of the most environmentally detrimental options, since it is effectively around forever. Even so-called biodegradable plastics aren't always fully biodegradable; they may just break down into small pieces more quickly. Instead, opt for non-plastic options when possible. Choose non-coated shipping labels so they are only made of paper and an eco-friendly adhesive. Instead of inflatable fillers or foam peanuts, choose recycled paper fillers – like crinkled strips or shredded paper – or go with one of the biodegradable packing peanut brands that are made from corn. If you are worried about moisture, look into packaging that has an inner wax liner. Just make sure it is vegetable-based wax and not petroleum-based wax if you want it to be ecologically sound.
Talk to a packing supply company for more help in choosing the perfect packing supplies for your small business.