Easy Eco-friendly Packaging Solutions for Small Business Shipping

Consumers shop with their values more so than ever before. More specifically, 52% of Canadian consumers are likely to avoid shopping from a brand altogether if it doesn’t align with their ethics and values.

Among the values gaining in importance is sustainability. Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of their personal impact on the environment and have begun to place similar expectations on the businesses they support.

As a small business, making sustainability-minded changes in how you operate may not happen overnight—but they can’t be ignored long-term. Especially when solutions in eco-friendly packaging are readily available.

Here are some “easy” low-waste packaging options to explore and promote as a selling point to new and current customers alike.

Swap Plastic for Recycled and/or Biodegradable Materials

If your current packaging is primarily plastic-based, explore alternative materials. Recycled paper, for example, is worth considering—available in a variety of forms and price points. From envelopes to mailing tubes, there are plenty of options.

You’ll also find post-consumer recycled materials in other packaging materials like bubble wrap from Crownhill that’s made ​​with up to 20% post-consumer waste and 40% recycled content. Or general purpose masking tape from Scotch, which is made from 30% post-consumer recycled fibers.

One hundred percent  biodegradable packaging is also gaining ground with products like packing peanuts, more traditionally made from styrofoam. New alternatives are made from corn, wheat or potato starch, are dissolvable in water and won’t pollute groundwater.

Packaging Audit

Before making any big shifts in your packaging and shipping operations, audit what you currently use. Is there anything that adds more waste than benefit to how your products are packaged?

Often, an easy fix is to simply reduce the size of your packaging. Don’t use one box or envelope size for everything, which can often result in having to pad the empty space with excessive paper or plastic filler. Analyze purchasing trends among shoppers and order shipping supplies more specifically according to product sizes and fragility of items.

Additionally, be resourceful. Look for shipping materials you can reasonably reuse for your own needs and work with vendors to remove excess packaging on their end for the products you’re supplying.

Incorporating sustainability best practices into your packaging and shipping is as much about packing materials as it is about efficiency. Learn about the streamlined convenience and flexibility offered through Staples’ Shipping Services—whether you’re shipping across town or around the world.

By Staples Canada

November 04, 2021

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