Climate change and the impact we have on our environment has never been such a pressing issue. So, it's hardly surprising more and more businesses are desperately looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprints.
One of the most significant and often forgotten ways we can do this is by changing what our packaging is made from.
According to researchers, shipping emissions could contribute to 17% of all global CO2 emissions in 2050; this figure is astonishing and doesn’t factor in the carbon costs of packaging.
Time for a change? Why not switch to biodegradable poly mailers? Continue reading to find out more about this.
What’s Eco-Friendly Packaging?
Eco-friendly packaging is designed and made out of materials that minimize its impact on the environment. This varies depending on the sector, but often this kind of packaging aims to:
- Reduce waste
- Use recycled and biodegradable materials
- Maximize the use of renewable energy during production
- Be safe to consumers and the environment throughout its lifecycle
- Meet cost and performance requirements
Plastic makes up the majority of packaging materials and is one of the highest contributors to pollution. It takes a significant number of years to biodegrade and is a massive factor in harming the planet.
In fact, between 1950 and 2015, only 9% of the world’s plastic was recycled, the majority ended in landfills and our oceans, causing horrific consequences for our ecosystems.
Eliminating plastic entirely isn't an option. However, we can take several steps to reduce its impact. Choosing materials that are recyclable and biodegradable is vitally important!
What's the Alternative?
Some of the best alternatives to plastic packaging include:
Papers and cardboard: These are the most commonly used option and can be easily reused and recycled -- win-win!
Bioplastics: Derived from plant-based materials like corn starch and wheat straw. These biodegrade in a shorter time frame. They also produce 70% fewer greenhouse emissions in landfills compared to plastics.
Biodegradable plastics: Traditional modified plastics tend to break down faster when heat or light is present. But, they still contain petrochemicals which leave a toxic residue behind -- this isn't suitable for composting.
Plant fibers: Jute and cotton make excellent packaging materials. Most commonly, these come as reusable bags for wrapping products.
What Are Biodegradable Poly Mailers?
Poly mailers are an alternative packaging method, suitable for businesses across the world. Biodegradable poly mailers are light-weight and made from durable, moisture-resistant polyethylene film.
You should note: There are two types of poly mailers:
- Recycled Poly Mailers: Made from 100% recycled content, produced from the scraps of initial run-off poly mailers.
- Biodegradable Poly Mailers: Made from ethanol that’s produced from renewable resources (sugarcane or corn).
All poly mailers can be reused, are fully recyclable, and are made with low-density polyethylene.
Benefits of Using Poly Mailers
What makes poly mailers great?
In short, they're:
- Incredibly thin, so they're easier to store than traditional boxes
- Long-lasting and won't tear easily
- Sometimes reusable, depending on how they're designed
- Lighter weight than most other solutions
Not only are poly mailers better for the environment and 100% recyclable but they’re also cheaper to purchase compared to other shipping solutions!
What More Could You Want?
To get a better idea of what we're talking about here's a list of recycled packaging materials you could consider buying:
Let's start with the mailers...
- Recycled poly mailers
- Recycled padded mailers
- Recycled mailer bags
There are also custom boxes you can buy made from recycled materials. That's in addition to a variety of recycled filler and cushioning:
- Recycled corrugated bubble
- Recycled packaging paper
- Recycled carton sealing tape
- Recycled tissue paper
You get the idea!
Why Go Green with Shipping?
There are significant concerns about pollution caused by shipping agencies. Although online shopping is more convenient and on the whole, reduces emissions, it also creates several other problems too.
Have you ever considered the ecological detriment rush delivery and two-day shipping has?
When online shoppers expect two-day delivery, even though they're given the option to wait slightly longer to consolidate packaging, consumers nearly always opt for faster delivery.
Although this is more convenient for the customer, it has a massive impact on the environment. The volume of paper shipping materials used, and the greenhouse gases emitted from a large number of trucks on the road severely affect the environment.
Business owners can better educate their customers and encourage them to select greener shipping options at the checkout.
Greener shipping options may include slightly longer delivery times or the use of recycled and biodegradable shipping materials.
Here are a few best practices to consider:
- Offer a 'green' shipping option at checkout
- Use less packaging materials to reduce waste
- Use biodegradable packaging materials
- Use recycled shipping materials: boxes, fillers, and shipping labels
With this in mind, think about how your business can adapt to become more efficient and eco-friendly to help save the earth.
Thinking About Switching to Biodegradable Poly Mailers?
Making a change to your business can be a daunting prospect but following more sustainable practices and investing in the future of the planet is something we shouldn't ignore.
Not only is switching to eco-friendly packaging a long-term benefit to your business, but it can also save you money in the long run. Why not switch to biodegradable poly mailers today and kick start your contribution to saving the planet?
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