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Swap plastic for paper packaging with these 3 sustainable changes

Has your business thought about making some sustainable changes for 2022? If you want to be a more environmentally friendly business in 2022, swap plastic for paper with these 3 sustainable changes to transform your packaging. In the results of our parent company Macfarlane Packaging’s latest annual unboxing survey, we found that 19% of consumers said they would stop buying from a retailer that does not use sustainable packaging. In addition, 14% didn’t know if their packaging was recyclable… Another survey showed that almost 50% of UK adults have made a New Year’s resolution to use less plastic too! This data highlights the rise of the eco-conscious consumer and how important it is for retailers to make responsible packaging choices – for both the environment and their businesses. If you’re a retailer who wants to make your business greener this year, now is the perfect time to consider sustainable packaging switches.Our packaging experts at Network Packaging have put together a range of eco-friendly packaging swaps that are easy to make and can make an enormous impact…

1. Swap from plastic tape to sustainable paper tape

This is always one of the first sustainable packaging swaps we recommend because it’s such a simple change! Ditching plastic tape and using paper tape to seal your boxes is an instant win as you’re automatically eliminating one category of plastic from your packing materials. Paper tape is available as both self-adhesive and water-activated versions, and it creates a very strong and secure seal. Due to its strength, you can often use much less paper tape compared to plastic. So, this reduces your use of packaging material overall. Paper tape is 100% recyclable too, which means there’s no need to remove it from boxes before recycling.  This makes it much easier for end-consumers to recycle at home. Using paper tape with packaging automation is another great way reduce waste and improve productivity, as well as your sustainability. Automated tape dispensers can be programmed for pre-determined lengths to control material use and save time. Equipment like this can be installed rapidly, so it’s a quick win all rounds

2. Switch to paper mailing bags instead of plastic

The next sustainable packaging swap you can consider is choosing paper mailing bags. If you’re currently bagging your products, you could be using an awful lot of plastic! Switching to paper mailing bags that are 100% recyclable, biodegradable, and made from sustainable materials is another environmental win. Paper mailing bags, as well as padded mailers like Enviroflute, are readily available to protect your products and can be popped in at home collections, helping contribute to a circular economy. Most come with peel and stick sealing – so if efficiency is vital to your operation, you won’t lose out by making the swap!

3. Shift to paper or bio-based void fill to protect your products

When you open a parcel, mountains of void fill can be a bit off-putting. This is especially true if it’s not easy to recycle or made from sustainable packaging materials. That’s why our third sustainable packaging swap is paper or bio-based void fill. Our previous unboxing surveys have shown that using too much void fill can be a bug bear of many consumers. So, if you at least make sure your protective packaging is easy to recycle or dispose of at end of life, you’ll be improving the customer experience AND helping the environment. There are lots of eco-friendly void fill options available to choose from. You can choose from simple paper rolls and starch-based loose fill through to more advanced protection from paper cushions and padding.If you really want the wow factor, something like Geami WrapPak® could be for you. It uses a unique expanding paper combined with tissue to provide great protection as well as perfect presentation.

If your business wants to make sustainable changes this year, Network Packaging can help. If you need help with your packaging this year, book a packaging review with one of our team. Simply complete our contact form or email