Whether you’re running a brick-and-mortar business or managing a fulfillment center, the impact of your product packaging choices can’t be overstated. By opting for green innovation in the form of eco-friendly processes and materials, you can reduce your company’s carbon footprint, minimize overhead costs and make a lasting positive impression on consumers eager to support businesses that champion transparency and sustainability.
Of course, the most apparent benefit of eco-friendly packaging is reducing waste and cutting costs by minimizing the amount of packaging materials used to ship goods. We’ll look at ways a brand can commit to eco-friendly packaging without breaking the bank – ultimately yielding long-term savings.
Aside from product packaging, other ways to commit to a sustainable business model include pledging a percentage of revenue to a specific charity or organization and thoughtfully considering your resource usage.
There are three surefire strategies for creating an eco-friendly business with sustainable packaging. By using lightweight materials to package products, prioritizing durability to minimize the need for returns, and improving returns processing, you can help the environment without sacrificing consumer happiness.
Lightweight, sustainable materials are becoming the top choice for environmentally minded (and financially savvy) businesses for the following reasons:
The materials you use to ship your products must be durable enough to protect the contents along a sometimes tumultuous journey from the warehouse to the customer’s doorstep.
For example, an electronics company may use 100 percent post-consumer recycled materials packaging. However, if the shipping box isn’t strong enough to protect the customer’s smart TV or gaming console, the company will be faced with the (ultimately avoidable) costs associated with handling the return – as well as potentially losing a valuable customer who received a damaged product.
While eco-friendly packaging should be a priority, you must give material durability equal weight. Otherwise, long-term expenses may cancel out any gains you’ve made from your decision to go green.
Return rates are consistently higher for e-commerce sales than brick-and-mortar stores. Those returns add up, making it even more crucial to design smart, reusable packaging that eliminates waste and facilitates the reverse logistics process for retailers.
For example, more companies now include a return package with product shipments. This can help make the returns process easier for customers, but it comes with added costs for your company and the environment. Instead of providing extra materials, consider a return mailing label and use packaging that can be used to deliver the product and handle any returns.
Above all, e-commerce packaging trends reflect a desire to accommodate changing consumer online purchasing habits and attitudes. Understanding what customers expect in their packaging while staying on top of eco-friendly practices can help you stay ahead of the curve.
Whether you call it green packaging, sustainable packaging or eco-friendly packaging, the meaning is the same: Be as Earth-friendly as possible in how you package your products.
To be considered eco-friendly, product packaging should include one or more of the following characteristics:
For example, milk in a glass bottle is considered eco-friendly, but not milk in a plastic container. Glass meets the eco-friendly packaging definition because it is recyclable and reusable.
If you’re ready to start using eco-friendly packaging, here are some of the most popular materials to consider: