How do you wrap, pack, and send packages with minimal or no waste? I’ve got 5 amazing companies to get your zero or low-waste packaging materials! Plus, plenty of different packaging material options to keep your footprint itty bitty when mailing.
3 Types of Eco-Friendly Packaging Materials
noissue explains it best when breaking down the three main types of sustainable packaging materials:
- Compostable - Compostable packaging is made from renewable plant-based materials and/or biopolymers and must break down within 90-180 days.
- Reusable - Reusable packaging is packaging that can be used multiple times and works hand-in-hand with sustainable packaging design.
- Recycled - Recycled packaging is usually sourced from plastics reprocessed at a recycling facility and given a second life. We love that!
The overall goal of sustainable packaging is to ensure your package makes it safely to its destination while keeping the number of materials used to a minimum. That’s easy, right!?
The 4 BEST Companies for Sustainable Packaging
I am personally a big fan of noissue and its eco-friendly packaging options. Their brand is focused on making sustainable packaging options chic and affordable.
They make compostable mailers made from corn starch, compostable paper stickers, and water-activated tape (so amazing!). Their website even allows e-commerce small businesses to create eco-friendly customized tissue paper and packaging (hello small companies!).
They recently launched many new products. Their belly bands are a great way to jazz up the packaging and take the unboxing experience to a whole new level.
If you're invested in an ethical wardrobe try noissue's compostable garment bags, especially if you’re traveling.
Check out all their fantastic ideas for Sustainable eCommerce Packaging.
2. Eco Enclose
Eco Enclose has a variety of different packaging options to choose from. They have poly mailers, paper mailers, shipping boxes, and void fillers. Recycled, recyclable, and biodegradable! They also have accessories like renewable carton sealing tape and 100% recycled shipping labels.
Mushroom Packaging started to combat Styrofoam waste, and their products are fully compostable within 45 days of disposal. This company is also C2C Gold Certified, the highest certification for sustainable goods!
Tipa Packaging is leading the way for eco-friendly clothing packaging. Their bags mimic the positive qualities of conventional plastic—like durability, flexibility, barrier properties, and shelf stability—but are totally compostable!
9 Sustainable Packaging Materials to Try
From sugarcane to mushrooms, sustainable mailing and packing materials come with options! Here are some popular and up-and-coming eco-friendly packaging to be on the lookout for.
Mushroom packaging is made from hemp hurds and mycelium (mushroom filament roots), and best of all, it's fully compostable!
100% recycled paper is a common and cost-effective eco-friendly packaging option.
While yes, plastic sucks, giving plastic already in circulation a second life is better than nothing, right? I like these Recycled Mailers and eco friendly packaging tape from noissue (with five stars on Google!).
Bamboo is a great sustainable packaging alternative to wood products because it's durable and strong. Bamboo is 100% biodegradable and compostable within 2-6 months.
Hemp is still a fairly new trend in eco-friendly packaging and can be found throughout the industry in various forms.
I try to reuse cardboard boxes as often as possible before recycling them. They are easy to fold up and store around your home and can be handy when moving or just for extra storage. You can even cut up old boxes and create a new box just the right size for your package!
Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) is a highly renewable material that is made by refining cellulose fibers that come from wood and agricultural waste. Based on Packaging Digest, this is definitely one of the top five “exciting, emerging sustainable packaging materials to watch for”.
I love compostable bags like the BioBag, which is made from GMO-free crops! Even better, they are made in Canada! With headquarters based in Toronto, if you live nearby, you can feel good about the carbon footprint.
Sugarcane fiber packaging is from bagasse, a raw material by-product once considered waste by farmers. It has a similar chemical composition to wood, is completely biodegradable, and is one of my favorite types of food packaging materials. (I especially like these bagasse-based food containers).
Easy Steps You Can Make For More Eco Shipping Solutions
- Opt for “frustration-free packaging” (available with some Amazon purchases) to eliminate unnecessary packaging materials.
- Shop early to choose Amazon Day Delivery—more items come in one box and one truck. All those little things count!
- Stock up on excellent eco-friendly shipping and packaging materials (see below) so you can thoughtfully mail gifts and packages and give yourself and the planet a nice pat on the back!
Final Thoughts on Eco Packaging Solutions
Taking just 1 or 2 steps toward sustainable packaging will turn into a habit that has a ripple effect on our environment! So choose your favorite way to minimize waste starting today!
Remember, whenever possible, look for companies that offer products that are compostable, reusable, or recyclable and you’re on the right track!