Bamboo and flex packaging
Dufaylite honeycomb paper

Top 3 environmentally friendly packaging materials


The impact of product packaging on the environment is significant. In fact, it represents a large quantity of the rubbish we throw away - with 13 million tonnes of waste coming from plastic packaging alone.

Fortunately, many companies and brands are now waking up to the impact that the way their products are transported is having on the planet. And consumers are waking up to the issue too. A good product is often not enough to entice a potential customer nowadays - people want to know about the brand behind the product, what they stand for, and how eco-conscious they are.

One of the best ways to make your brand’s eco-conscience front of mind for consumers is through the use of environmentally-friendly packaging. This is a way to take your environmental responsibility and awareness into the hands of the consumer, and show that you’re thinking about your products in a context that extends beyond when they leave your premises.

This shift has led companies to look for what the best eco-friendly packaging products are. Here, we’ve rounded up 3 environmentally friendly packaging materials and how they can be used.

Bamboo

A member of the grass family, bamboo is a product which has been used in a variety of applications - from packaging to flooring and even clothes. The waste bamboo from creating products can be turned into a pulp, which is then moulded into packaging. It offers an eco-friendly, low impact option, making the most of fast-growing bamboo trees which boast deep root systems; reducing the need for replanting if harvested correctly.

Some types of bamboo packaging are also suitable for use in freezers, ovens and microwaves, making it a popular choice for food packaging. Combining strength and durability, with a low-toxin requirement during production, bamboo packaging can be used repeatedly, offering a longer shelf life than some other packaging products. It also has the benefit of being fairly lightweight.

Dell was an early adopter of bamboo packaging, using it as an alternative to foam and plastic within their laptop packages. Now, there are more and more brands across multiple sectors making the most of its benefits.

Flax fibres

Flax and other materials like hemp have been cultivated for centuries for a number of purposes, but their use in eco-friendly packaging is a newer direction. These kinds of renewable resources are extremely interesting to packaging professionals, making use of waste products and repurposing them into something new and functional.

While there are some considerations to be made around the usage - for example, the biodegradable nature may mean adoption within food packaging is unlikely - the use of biodegradable carrier bags made from fibres like hemp offer an interesting prospect. They won’t be an additional strain on landfill sites, don’t require expensive recycling processes, and can also provide a point of differentiation between brands looking to do something unique.

With some high street stores now looking to compostable carrier bags as a replacement for traditional plastic, this is an area that could see mass expansion in the coming years.

Recycled paper

As the go-to choice for those looking for sustainable packaging solutions, recycled paper and card offers a versatile and strong option suited to many different sectors.

Our Envirolite paper honeycomb is a 100% recyclable solution, designed as an ideal replacement for polystyrene, foam and corrugated materials. Our paper honeycomb boasts an impressive strength to weight ratio, with high resistance to compression, making it perfect for transporting large, heavy packages and products.

Many lifestyle brands also make use of recycled paper packaging for its aesthetic appeal, utilising its organic, stripped-back look as part of their branding. Lifestyle clothing company prAna is just one such example, where recycled paper and soy-based inks are used to create sustainable packaging which still fits the brand’s look and feel.

Think sustainably with Dufaylite

Dufaylite offers a sustainable alternative to the widespread use of polystyrene and other detrimental packaging materials. Our lightweight, versatile board options suit a wide range of products, whether you need simple edge protection or complex packaging to prevent shipping damage.

Find out more about our environmentally-friendly packaging products, or contact one of our helpful team members to discuss your requirements.

26 November 2020

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