The concept of sustainability has gained significant momentum over recent years. Individuals and businesses are reassessing their practices in a bid to find more environmentally friendly solutions. A clear example of this shift in behaviour is illustrated by the increasing use of sustainable packaging.
In this post we’ll discuss what actually makes packaging “sustainable”. We’ll also reveal why the decision to use sustainable packaging is not only ethically sound – but can make perfect business sense.
What is sustainable packaging?
The Sustainable Packaging Coalition envisages a world where packaging is:
- Sourced responsibly
- Designed to be effective and safe throughout its lifecycle
- Meets market criteria for performance and cost
- Is made using entirely renewable energy, and, once used, is recycled efficiently
Sustainable packaging is designed to minimise negative environmental effects, taking into account the entire packaging supply chain, from the sourcing of raw materials, to the manufacturing, distribution, usage, and disposal (or recycling) of products. Eco packaging needs to strike a balance between fulfilling packaging’s functional requirements and reducing its ecological footprint.
What are the elements of sustainable packaging?
- Material Selection: Sustainable packaging uses materials that are renewable, recyclable, biodegradable, or compostable. This includes options such as paper, cardboard, glass, metal, and certain types of plastics that have minimal environmental impact. It also involves reducing the overall amount of packaging material used.
- Energy Efficiency: Sustainable packaging aims to keep energy consumption to a minimum during the manufacturing process. Using energy-efficient equipment, adopting clean energy sources, optimising production techniques, and reducing waste, are ways to achieve this.
- Waste Reduction: An important aspect of sustainable packaging is designing packages that generate less waste. This includes using packaging that’s appropriate in size and weight, reduces unnecessary layers, and eliminates excessive, or non-recyclable components. Additionally, packaging should be designed with ease of recycling in mind, encouraging consumers or businesses to participate in recycling programs.
- Life Cycle Assessment: Sustainable packaging takes into account the environmental impact of a package throughout its entire life cycle. This includes analysing factors like greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, and waste generation. Life cycle assessment helps to identify areas where improvements can be made to minimize packaging’s overall ecological footprint.
Why make the move towards sustainable packaging?
Traditional packaging is known to contribute to pollution, deforestation, and the depletion of natural resources. Sustainable packaging, on the other hand, helps to reduce these negative impacts by promoting responsible sourcing, minimising waste, and encouraging recycling or composting.
By opting for sustainable packaging, businesses can actively contribute to a greener supply chain and protect ecosystems for future generations.
Brand building opportunities
In our highly socially conscious world consumers are increasingly drawn to brands that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability. By adopting sustainable packaging practices, you can not only enhance your reputation, but establish a loyal customer base. Sustainable packaging also provides you with an opportunity to educate consumers about environmental issues and the importance of responsible consumption.
Cost savings and increased efficiencies
While some sustainable packaging solutions require upfront investment, they often result in saved costs over the long term. Using optimised packaging designs can reduce the amount of materials used, and save on transportation costs, whilst boosting operational efficiency. Recycling and waste reduction initiatives can also lower your disposal expenses.
Meet or exceed regulatory compliance
Governments all around the world are continually bringing in new regulations and standards to address packaging-related environmental concerns. By embracing sustainable packaging practices now you can get ahead of the curve, and ensure compliance with regulations (and avoid penalties).
PALLITE® packaging solutions: Sustainable and efficient
PALLITE® paper and cardboard packaging solutions can help you make the switch to a more sustainable logistical solution whilst helping you save on costs and energy.
PALLITE® products are made from around 80% recycled materials which can be pulped at paper mills to be turned back into recycled paper again and again, contributing to a circular economy.
Not only are our products 100% recyclable, but strong and durable. The honeycomb cardboard and glue, when sandwiched together to make PALLITE® pallets can act just like wooden pallets ( whilst being exempt from the ISPM-15 regulations that apply to wooden crates).
PALLITE® products are lightweight too. Our paper pallets weigh just 4.05kg, around 20 kg lighter than wooden pallets. This can reduce your packaging weights in transit by over 80% meaning you’ll need less fuel in transit. Lighter loads mean reduced Scope 3 emissions too.
PALLITE® packaging can also be made to bespoke sizes to fit your exact packaging consignment requirements. Since they fit the available space snugly, there’s no wasted transit space and goods are securely protected. This reduction in consignment size reduces your carbon footprint and saves you money on the total number of journeys required.
Find out how PALLITE® is helping companies embrace a circular economy
We work with companies across a diverse range of sectors, helping them address logistics issues, and meet their sustainability goals.
RDA Environmental Engineering replaced their existing polystyrene void fill and plastic wrapping, with our EcoLITE protective packaging, designed to perfectly fit their products, giving them all-round protection. They now use 100% sustainable packaging that has no loss in functionality.
This switch helps mitigate the environmental challenges posed by conventional packaging. And, as long as you identify the right solutions, eco-packaging can also help you, reduce costs and improve efficiency.
PALLITE® products are not only fit for the future and the circular economy, but can help your business work smarter and make cost savings. For more information about PALLITE® sustainable packaging please get in touch today, and a member of our team can talk you through your options. And why not try out our sustainability calculator to see the difference using PALLITE® packaging products could make in terms of reducing your carbon footprint?