Getting Started with Sustainable Packaging
The first steps into your sustainable packaging journey can be daunting. There are many different options to choose from: Compostable, recycled, recyclable, biodegradable... Which one is right?
Even once you’ve begun your journey, you may need help deciding where to go next. Either way, the path isn’t always clear!
The EPA estimates that packaging makes up around 30% of total U.S. waste annually. That's an enormous amount of packaging waste. It can be difficult to shake the feeling that you have to make huge changes to have any impact at all, but it's the perfect place to start:
Eliminate Wasteful Packaging
Is your product packaging necessary, or just nice-to-have? The first step should always be to reduce.
How do you reduce your packaging? Consider these questions: Is your packaging the correct size? Does your packaging use unnecessary filler materials, or extra wrapping? Is it heavy and expensive to ship? These are a few things that can help you decide how to streamline your packaging. You may also want to make a point of revisiting these questions every now and then!
Packaging is designed to protect your product, so without it your products could get damaged and you run the risk of creating more waste. Because of this, eliminating packaging entirely isn't always the best option. You can thoughtfully reduce the amount of packaging you use and then choose sustainable materials for the packaging you do need.
But what kind of packaging is the most eco-friendly? Considering end-of-life solutions for packaging is crucial to creating a more sustainable business.
Getting Started with Compostable Packaging
When looking to reduce packaging waste, it’s important to ensure that your packaging has a sustainable end of life. Where will your packaging end up after your customers have finished with it?
Compostable packaging reduces the need for plastic, diverts waste away from landfills, encourages consumers to be more mindful, and ultimately helps to create a beneficial end product - compost!
Switching to compostable packaging is about more than just waste reduction. It’s a different way of looking at how packaging should work. A circular economy, where products and raw materials are reused as much as possible, creates the path for a sustainable and healthy future.
Baby Steps: Small Sustainable Changes
We may not think that our own actions can make a difference, but together we can do big things. Even small changes have a huge impact on eliminating waste.
Here are a few ways that you can get started with compostable packaging:
Did you know that the majority of product labels are either made from plastic, or have a plastic coating? An individual label is quite small, but how many products have at least one label? A lot of them! Switching to compostable labels is a good first step for sustainable brands. Small businesses can print their own labels, while larger brands may want to create a custom compostable label.
Compostable bags, such as cellophane, are a relatively inexpensive swap. They can be purchased in low quantities, which makes them more accessible to small businesses. They eliminate the need for plastic film, which is difficult to recycle.
If you need a more durable option, compostable pouches are great for businesses that need higher barrier protection for their products.
Start out by switching to compostable labels for your glass jars and paper packaging. Choose compostable cellophane in place of plastic film, or blank compostable pouches if you need a high barrier and reseal zipper. Printable labels and blank bags can be combined for a compostable packaging solution accessible to small businesses.
Next Steps: Continue Your Eco-Friendly Packaging Journey
You may already be using compostable packaging in some part of your business, so what’s next? We’ve got a few ideas:
Eco-Friendly Refill Packaging
Reusable glass jars are a fantastic way to reduce waste. To reduce even further, introduce a refill system or subscription using compostable refill packaging. You only need to ship the reusable container once, reducing shipping costs and waste. After the initial container, customers then purchase refills in compostable packaging! You can use blank stock pouches, or we can create a custom solution for you.
Custom Compostable Labels
Not quite ready for a fully custom solution, but want to level-up your packaging? Custom labels might be what you’re looking for! Custom Compostable Labels start at a 2000 label minimum order. Mix and match artworks to meet the minimum, useful if you have multiple products that use the same size label!
Custom labels can be made in a wide variety of materials, including water resistant bioplastic or freezer safe. Combine your custom labels with reusable packaging or blank compostable bags.
Custom Compostable Pouches
The most sustainable packaging the planet has to offer. Full color printed custom compostable pouches start at 5000 pouches minimum. Flexible, lightweight, durable, and compostable. Start out with packaging a single product line, or expand across your entire brand.