The total municipal solid waste produced in the United States reached 292 million tons in 2018, with only around 32 percent being recycled and composted. With this amount of waste, it’s no wonder that the country is the biggest producer of plastic waste in the country.
Due to this, many companies have started to implement measures to reduce, reuse, and recycle the materials they are using. Many of these companies are retail stores since around 30 percent of the total waste the USA produces come from packaging materials.
If you own an e-commerce store, you can reduce the waste produced by the industry by using sustainable packaging. Sustainable packaging is the sourcing and use of packaging materials with a minimal footprint on the environment. These types of packaging are eco-friendly and have little effect on the depletion of natural resources.
Packaging is sustainable if they are safe to use by people throughout its entire lifecycle. It should also be sourced and produced using clean production technologies powered by renewable energy. The packaging should also be designed to optimize the use of energy and materials.
If you use sustainable packaging for your e-commerce store, you can look forward to several benefits.
Benefits of Using Sustainable Packaging
When you use sustainable packaging, you’ll expand your customer base due to the positive view of people on using these materials. A study showed that more than 50 percent of US consumers showed concern about the impact of packaging on the environment. This view does not focus on one particular impact since the consumers expressed concern about the overall impact of packaging on the environment.
The majority of consumers are willing to go green when it comes to the packaging they are using. But they are also keen on paying more for properly-labeled sustainable packaging. So, if you shift to using sustainable packaging for your e-commerce store, you can increase loyalty to your brand while contributing to the protection of the environment.
Another benefit of using sustainable packaging allows you to increase your storage space. This will result from the reduction in packaging materials and waste, which are major components in sustainable packaging. The bigger storage space allows you to increase your product inventory.
Sustainable packaging typically requires the use of less packaging. The reduction in the use of packaging can result in lower shipping costs since you will focus on shipping smaller packages.
Sustainable Packaging Practices
If you’re planning to use sustainable packaging for your e-commerce business, you can implement it through the following practices.
Educate Your Customers
You should educate your customers so that they’ll know how they can dispose of or recycle the packaging materials you are using. Since the recycling policies of cities vary from one city to another, you can share general recycling practices by properly labeling the packaging materials. Knowing the different ways of recycling the packaging materials allows the consumers to help you ensure that the packaging you’re using for the e-commerce business is sustainable.
Use Smaller Packages
If you’re planning to reduce your ecological footprint, you should reduce the amount of packaging you’ll use on your products. This means you should use smaller bags, containers, and boxes. Aside from increasing your sustainability efforts, you’ll also reduce the cost of shipping your products to your customers.
To give you flexibility on the sizes of the packages or boxes you’ll use, you can purchase the raw materials for the packaging in bulk or large sheets in the case of boxes. At this point, you should find a suitable manufacturer for a rotary die cutter so that you’ll have the equipment you need to cut the packaging material to convenient sizes. Besides the packaging materials, you can also adjust the filler material you’ll use in the packages.
Use Recycled Materials
Shifting to the use of sustainable packaging means you should also use recycled materials. This allows you to extend the lifecycle of the materials you’re using. One common example of recycled packaging you can use is paperboard. Paperboard is a lightweight material that comes from used paper pulp. It is easy to form and cut, which makes the material suitable for making shipping boxes.
You can also look for containers made from recycled plastic materials. These plastics went through processing at a recycling plant before they re-entered the market as packaging materials. These materials came from single-use plastics and bottles.
The use of sustainable packaging is not only good for the environment, but your e-commerce business can benefit from its use by increasing loyalty among customers and reducing expenses.