Sustainable Packaging Resource Center
Articles and Research to Support Your Eco-Friendly Packaging Journey
EcoEnclose’s Sustainable Packaging Framework
Eco-friendly can mean different things based on a company’s priorities, and unfortunately, the term is sometimes used loosely. Here, we describe our own sustainability framework and standards, which guide the development of the EcoEnclose product line. For each element of our framework, we include include our rationale and supporting research.
Making Sustainable Packaging Decisions For Your Business
Recycled content, recyclable, compostable, renewable, reusable...are you drowning in sustainability buzzwords and aren’t sure what your business needs to do in order to adopt a truly sustainable packaging strategy? These are incredibly hard strategic questions. Here, we put forth guidance to companies who are taking the eco-friendly packaging plunge. This article covers (1) a summary of guidance for sustainable packaging, (2) guidance to help you develop your own sustainability and ecofriendly packaging framework, and (3) examples of sustainable packaging guidelines from four large brands.
Why Recycled Content Matters
These days, it seems like the majority of companies and consumers look for ways to recycle, especially their single use packaging. In fact, research has shown that the act of recycling alleviates much of the guilt eco-minded citizens often feel when making purchases. Here we explain why using and buying as much recycled content as humanly possible should be an essential component to the sustainability strategy of most businesses, especially those that prioritize recyclability.
EcoEnclose Product Bill of Materials
Each of our product pages includes information on its eco attributes. But we know many of our customers want more information and detail. They want to know what our adhesives are made of and how to dispose of release liners. Click here for a single, comprehensive bill of materials that details the materials in each of our products and guidance on how to properly recycle or compost each once its reached the end of its life.
Choosing between Mailers: Recycled versus Virgin Renewable, Recyclable versus Compostable, Paper versus Plastic
If you are looking for the most eco-friendly mailer possible, you might be struggling to decide between recycled, recyclable, biodegradable or compostable. Here's a chart to help. Bottom line? If 100% compostable is critical to you, choose a paper-based mailer (such as our 100% Recycled Kraft or Paper Apparel Mailers). If the lowest carbon footprint is critical or you need the functional benefits of plastic choose a 100% recycled poly mailer. Compostable poly mailers do not address marine plastic pollution and carry many negative side effects to the planet. Click on our chart and detail for more information.
Paper Versus Plastic Versus Bioplastic
Paper or Plastic? In today’s world when renewable plastic is very much on trend, the question is really - should we use Paper, Plastic or Bioplastic? This is one of the most common questions we get from progressive businesses who want to make the best packaging choice they can for Mother Earth. Here, we provide data and research to help you better understand this complex question. And while we don’t give you a perfect, definitive answer of which is better, we hope this helps you make the right decision, based on your company’s unique sustainability goals. Spoiler alert...compostable bioplastic seems to have the most merit when used for food packaging (because it encourages the composting of food waste). In other use cases, recycled / recyclable content is often preferred.
Recycle(able) Versus Compost(able)
Should I recycle this package or compost it? Should I look for recyclable packaging or compostable packaging? There is a lot of excitement about compostability these days, and there are so many reasons to embrace this new trend. However, compostable packaging (and composting goods in your own waste stream) works well in some situations, and is less sustainable and effective in others. Here, we provide guidance on when to use compostable packaging, and when to instead focus more on finding recycled and recyclable options. We also share tips on when to recycle something and when to compost it (and, unfortunately, when you have to landfill it).
Algae Ink: Take the Next Big Leap Into More Sustainable Packaging
Most people don't think that much about ink. And yes, it is a very small percentage of your package's carbon footprint. And thanksfully, a lot of the print world has transitioned from solvent inks (which are noxious in many ways) to water and soy-based options. But Algae Ink is a true breakthrough in sustainale ink technology. With pigments that are made with algae cells, this is the world's first carbon negative ink (i.e. more carbon is absorbed in its production than is used). We've found that the most eco-friendly businesses out there scrutinize every aspect of their business - including their inks. If that is you, learn more about this exciting step forward in sustainable inks.
Plastic Free Packaging Resources
There is an emerging movement among businesses and citizens rejecting single use plastic. In fact, one of the most common questions we get is "Should I go plastic-free in my packaging?" and “What should my packaging strategy be if want to go plastic-free?” We've developed a Plastic-Free Packaging Resource Center, separate from this Sustainable Packaging Center, because this is actually a difficult question, and the process of moving to Plastic Free can be complex and resource intensive. Learn more about our resources and product options for anyone looking to eliminate single use plastic from their packaging strategy. Note that we consider all synthetic polymers to be plastic, including recycled plastic, bioplastic and various types of biodegradable plastic. This is because we know the major concern around plastic is related to marine plastic pollution. All of these plastics contribute to litter and ocean pollution.
Sustainability and Pricing
Pricing is a hot topic; one we, like many businesses, get asked about frequently. A common inquiry we receive is how the sustainability of our packaging solutions impacts our pricing; paired with a desire to better understand how our price points compare to other brands. Taking a cue from the transparency in our packaging materials, we’ve created this comprehensive pricing guide to provide a clear insight into our pricing structure and what factors play into pricing models.
Yes, Sustainable Packaging Strengthens Your Brand and Sales
YOU care about making eco-friendly business decisions. But, did you know your customers do as well? Many ecommerce businesses overlook the impact their packaging has on the customer experience and likelihood of purchasing again. They may think – “our customers have already ordered from us by the time they see our shipping packaging” or “our customers don’t care as long as their order arrives”. But the truth is that online shoppers do notice how you ship products to them. It influences their perception of your brand, their likelihood of ordering again, and whether (and what!) they tell their friends about you! Here, we share data on how your decision to select eco-friendly packaging actually boosts your sales, and why packaging shouldn't just be thought of as a cost to manage. Instead it should be seen as a marketing opportunity to take advantage of.