Packaging waste has more than doubled in the last 30 years. Choosing recycled or "green" materials for your product packaging as well as your transport materials is socially responsible and often economical, too. The U.S. currently has no legal requirements regarding environmentally-friendly packaging, but other countries do have special requirements. If you're exporting, you'd better be aware of them. There are a number of reasons to go "green," including:
- To help save the environment and be a socially responsible business.
- To gain a competitive advantage as more people become concerned about environmental problems.
- To stay ahead of regulation.
- To save money on shipping – environmental packaging can be lighter weight.
Shopping bags and totesRecycled shopping bags have come a long way from the simple Kraft paper models of yesteryear. These days, merchants can choose from recycled paper and plastic shopping bags and totes that have an upscale look and feel. Applying graphics and logos is no problem with these bags.
Food packagingTo-go containers, plates and coffee cups are dished out in the millions each year. Restaurants and other foodservice businesses can do their part for the environment with a variety of biodegradable packaging products.
Packing materialsIf you have a mail-order business or an online retail operation and ship a lot of packages, consider converting to eco-friendly packing materials.
Bottle packagingWith green packaging, bottles can showcase your brand and send a message to consumers that you care about the environment.
Plastic packagingEnvironmentalists have singled out plastic as a major offender. But it's viewed as a packaging necessity in many industries. Fortunately, innovative manufacturers are devising new ways to create packaging materials that aren't as harmful as plastic.
Industrial packagingManufacturing and other industrial businesses can do a lot to reduce waste and to minimize their impact on the earth.
- Minimize the amount of material of any sort used for packaging purposes.
- Make sure your recycled packaging materials are durable enough to stand up to the wear and tear associated with the distribution of your product.
- Pay attention to weight. Many recycled packaging materials are lighter weight than traditional offerings and thus can save money in the long term due to lower postage costs.
- Be sure to factor in the ability to recycle whatever recyclable packaging materials you choose as part of a larger strategy to embrace "green" principles for your business.