Modern consumers today always want eco-friendly packaging. As a business owner, you must respond to this. As consumer demand for environmentally friendly products, the demand for eco-friendly packaging materials has been booming more than before. To help your business meet consumer demand, find out the list of the best eco-friendly packaging materials you should consider for 2024!
Eco-Friendly – The Definition
No doubt, there is so much to the world of sustainable packaging that it might be overwhelming. In fact, these problems become more complex as “sustainable” and “eco-friendly” don’t have a real definition. Thus, we know why sourcing eco-friendly food packaging can be quite challenging for any business. In fact, it can be confusing to get packaging that doesn’t damage the earth in its production or disposal.
Generally speaking, environmentally friendly can be defined as packaging made from a recyclable, reusable, or renewable material. Moreover, some people describe eco-friendly packaging materials as materials that can also decompose. Hence, it will be leaving no harmful chemicals on this planet.
However, one thing we should note here is that eco-friendly doesn’t always mean ‘materials.’ Instead, many packaging engineers often explain the terms with more effort to sustainability than the materials.
For example, we can describe reusability.
So, a packaging box that’s durable enough to be reusable a couple of times presents entirely different sustainability benefits here. This is compared to biodegradable packaging that breaks down at home after one use. Yes, reusability is an element of sustainability that gives packaging a second use. Therefore, a second life for the packaging itself.
Accordingly, consumers can reuse the packaging repeatedly will surely benefit many businesses. One of the main benefits is implementing cutting-edge materials as part of their sustainability policy.
What Is the Best Eco-Friendly Packaging?
Without any doubt, choosing the best eco-friendly packaging can be challenging for any business. Plus, it depends on your definition of eco-friendly itself.
So, check out the following list of some of the most popular eco-friendly packaging materials to consider!
Paper material is the earliest and largest used packaging form for food products like milk, beverages, dry powders, confectionary, bakery products, and more. Most importantly, many businesses rely on this packaging as it comes with its eco-friendly hallmark. For example, some bakery businesses use paper to produce custom printed bakery boxes.
Virgin Paper Pulp or Cardboard Food Packaging
Speaking of paper pulp, the bad thing is that we can only recycle it. Well, the fact is, the materials might lose all structural integrity after some time. Why?
Because the microscopic wood fibers get shorter each time we recycle them.
On the other hand, we can improve structural integrity. Yes, we can do this by adding fresh wood fibers into the paper pulp mix. Plus, whether your cardboard packaging is made partly or entirely from virgin materials, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifications will show that your packaging is ethically grown paper pulp. With these certifications, you can surely attract those eco-conscious consumers.
This one came mainly from trees and old corrugated containers. The good thing about corrugated packaging is that we can use it 7 to 10 times to make new packaging materials. Most importantly, we will find more corrugated packaging for recycling than any other packaging material.
On average, we can find this packaging widely used in the industry. In fact, many online merchants rely on this packaging to package and ship their products.
Kraft Paper Packaging
As you might have read somewhere, kraft paper came from wood pulp. So, basically, unlike regular paper, kraft materials use all types of wood, including resinous pine. This material is typically left out when creating regular paper products. Moreover, almost all of the chemicals that go into making kraft paper are reusable. Hence, you can rest assured that the manufacturing process is more sustainable.
Similar to cardboard, kraft paper is also manufactured from paper pulp. Yet, the difference is that we can also produce kraft paper from a broader range of trees.
Simply put, the leftovers we get from creating pulp from virgin trees will then be used to make kraft paper. The best part is that because the fibers in kraft paper are sturdy and have a different shape, you can use ‘gentler’ types of adhesives to bind the pulp. As a result, you can make it easier and quicker for this packaging to break down.
Compostable Food Packaging
Of course, you must have seen some compostable bags. These bags are usually made from vegetables. For example, some bags came from corn and sugarcane. These materials make the bags to be biodegradable and compostable. Yes, this also means that they will break down easily.
Another excellent thing is that they can be a very good option for all types of food products. Well, these bags might only work well for some heavy or bulky products. However, you can also use this compostable packaging to pack your product before placing it in a box later on. Well, whatever the purpose you have, this packaging will surely keep both your products and the environment safe.
Moreover, your consumers can reuse the bags for garbage and other such materials. In other words, we can confidently say that these bags are a real blessing for the packaging industry, especially for food packaging.
Recyclable Food Packaging
Recyclable food packaging comes from some packaging materials you can collect, separate, and process again. As a result, you will be able to produce new materials or products from these packaging materials.
Have a look at some samples below!
- Cardboard tubes and boxes
- Plastic tubs
- Foil trays
Biodegradable Packaging for Food
No doubt, Styrofoam has been a standard in loose-fill packaging for fragile or otherwise sensitive products. Well, this material works well in cushioning the products against shocks and helping to prevent product movement.
So, for food businesses looking for the closest alternative to this packaging classic, biodegradable packaging for food is now available. This packaging works in the same way as Styrofoam in general. On the other hand, it works better as it will not linger for eternity polluting the environment. Plus, biodegradable packaging for food is also less expensive.
Mushroom Material Packaging
Next, mushroom packaging also can be a great eco-friendly packaging solution. Yes, believe it or not, we are talking about packaging that is really made from mushrooms here.
So, the process of creating this packaging is clean and agricultural waste. Then, the packaging will be fused together by a matrix of mushroom roots, also famous as mycelium. The good thing is that we can mold this raw material into any type of shape. Eventually, we can dry it and use it as food packaging.
In addition, this eco-friendly food packaging avoids the possible controversy that was closely linked to cornstarch mushroom packaging. Even better, this packaging is a petroleum-free material. More than that, this packaging will also naturally degrade at an incredibly speedy rate. Plus, your customers can also compost this mushroom packaging at home. Yes, they can break it down into non-toxic, organic matter. However, at the moment, mushroom packaging only works for some smaller items.
Sustainable Packaging Is Not Complicated
Overall, if your small business is looking to implement a new form of the best sustainable packaging, do note that it is not complicated. In fact, these eco-friendly packaging materials are easily available. Thus, we can say that they will revolutionize the food packaging trends.
For the best eco-friendly packaging materials that do not harm the planet, you should never overlook the list we have above.
Overall, one thing to remember is that it’s not only your packaging materials that need to be eco-friendly here. More than that, you must also focus on the production process to be eco-friendly as well.
No doubt, there are various eco-friendly packaging materials you can choose from to be a sustainable brand. However, for sure, choosing and using those materials for your branded packaging will surely not be easy. This is exactly why you should rely on professionals like The Custom Bakery Boxes. Well, you can always feel free to contact us to get further guidance for your eco-friendly food packaging!
1. What are some samples of eco-friendly packaging materials?
Eco-friendly packaging materials include paper packaging, cardboard packaging, corrugated packaging, kraft paper packaging, and more.
2. Can eco-friendly packaging materials benefit the planet?
Yes, eco-friendly packaging materials benefit the planet and will not do harm as they are reusable, recyclable, and renewable.
3. Can consumers get the benefits from eco-friendly food packaging?
Yes, eco-friendly food packaging is not made of any toxic materials that are safe for the food and environment. Moreover, consumers can also compost or reuse the packaging several times.
4. What are tips for choosing the best eco-friendly packaging?
To choose the best eco-friendly packaging, you should consider the needs and specifications of your product. To get further guidance, you can feel free to contact The Custom Bakery Boxes.