The rise in single-use packaging is one of the reasons why more and more people are adopting a zero-waste lifestyle to reduce their ecological footprint and promote sustainability.
One of the highest-profile proponents of living a zero-waste lifestyle is Bea Johnson, who advocates for the “Five R’s” as a guidelines for reducing waste: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot (compost) – in that order.
Plastic packaging is on the rise – think of the ready-to-eat meals increasingly available at grocery stores and typically packaged in clear, single-use packaging. This is leading to a growing problem, as landfills become overwhelmed and the complexity of these new plastics make some of them all-but-impossible to recycle.
Packaging serves several important purposes for companies, such as differentiating themselves from competitors, building brand awareness, marketing to customers, and safely transporting their products.
But is it possible for companies to satisfy these commercial requirements while also distinguishing themselves as allies to customers seeking ways to reduce their ecological footprint?
The answer is yes, absolutely.
Companies can contribute positively to the growing movement towards reducing waste. There are solutions, and the argument for adopting them is compelling when you consider that customers typically encounter your packaging before your product. Making that first impression an eco-friendly one will retain existing customers while attracting newcomers to your products and services.
Here are five ways you can make your packaging eco-friendly:
1) Switch to sustainable wood packaging
By packaging your products in wooden boxes, you can present a more eco-friendly face to the world. This reduces the use of plastics and other manufactured products that are difficult to recycle and too-often wind-up in landfills. By using wood packaging, you can also ensure the materials you use are sourced sustainably.
2) Make your packaging reusable
Differentiate yourself from competitors whose products are sold in single-use packaging. By using wood boxes, you can promote your packaging as being reusable. If your customers receive their products in a high-quality, durable wooden box, they are likely to keep it for other uses and can be encouraged to do so. This will not only be appreciated by your customers, it will also maintain a presence for your logo and brand on the box in their daily lives.
3) Go label-free
If you use eco-friendly packaging, but then slap a label on it, the packaging risks becoming unrecyclable. Not to mention the paper used to create the labels. By using premium wooden boxes, you can laser-engrave your logo, name and message onto the box, generating no waste whatsoever!
4) Reduce protective padding
If you ship items in a paper and plastic mailer envelope, the mixture of paper and plastic makes the envelopes difficult to recycle properly. You may also have to include additional protective materials either inside the envelope or within the box you use to ship multiple envelopes. By using premium wood boxes, you create a durable, protective shell that allows you to avoid the need for padding around your product. This means the box can be customized to the exact dimensions of your product, which also reduces shipping costs by eliminating the need for packaging that is artificially large to accommodate the padding.
5) Promote your contribution to a plastic-free, zero-waste environment
By eliminating plastic packaging, you can meaningfully position your company and product as allies of people who wish to reduce the volume of plastic that enters, and exits, their lives. Eliminating packaging altogether is not often an option for most companies, so the best move for your company is to promote your use of sustainable, renewable, reusable and recyclable materials throughout your supply chain.
When it comes to aligning your company with a zero-waste lifestyle, the best place to start is with the packaging you use. By using premium wood boxes that are sustainably-sourced, you will feel good, your customers will appreciate your efforts, your bottom line will improve and, most importantly, the environment will benefit from your efforts to produce and ship products more sustainably.
Contact EKAN Concepts to learn more about making the switch to custom wooden boxes, such as wooden wine boxes and wooden gift boxes. Ask us how we can help your company go label-free as well through laser-engraving!