Greening the Last Mile: 10 Sustainable Packaging Innovations for Eco-Friendly Delivery

  • Post last modified:15 June 2023
  • Reading time:11 mins read
  • Post category:Supply Chain

Sustainable packaging is a pressing issue due to the problems with current packaging practices. Single-use plastic bags and cardboard boxes litter landfills, while glass containers are abused despite their high energy costs. Many personal care products, such as cosmetics, contain potentially harmful substances necessary for their intended functions.

Sustainable packaging is all about reducing trash and keeping it out of dumps and incinerators. If a small business owner is concerned about your company’s environmental impact, this guide by experts from First Mile will show you ten eco-friendly packaging choices.

10 Sustainable Packaging Innovations for Eco-Friendly Delivery

Biodegradable Packaging Materials

Biodegradable packaging is made of natural materials, such as plants and paper, that decompose quickly when composted. In contrast to other types of packaging (such as cardboard), which can take hundreds or even thousands of years to break down in anaerobic environments like landfills or oceans, biodegradable materials can be recycled and reused again and again.

Instead of petroleum-based polymers like polyethylene terephthalate (PET), biodegradable products are generally manufactured from renewable resources like maize starch or bamboo fibers. They are cheaper than their non-biodegradable counterparts and better for the environment because they do not contribute to climate change or harm animals by seeping into streams during shipment.

Recycled Packaging

Using containers made from recycled materials can help lessen the load we put on the planet. In recent years, recycling’s profile has risen as more people come to see its value in assisting them in minimizing trash and maximizing reuse.

Paper, glass bottles, cans (often made from recycled content), plastic containers/bottles/cans, or metal cans/bottles/cans previously destined for landfill can be recycled into new products through reuse or conversion.

So what’s all this talk about?

Well, if you want your packaging to be 100% recyclable, it must come from virgin material – meaning no processing has been done on any part of it beforehand! This means no melted plastic pellets left over after making your favorite drink bottle, no leftover electrical tape from when you wrapped up those bags of potatoes, and no leftover labels from when someone else bought them at the market.

Minimalist Packaging Design

The use of minimal design elements in packaging has been on the rise in recent years. This packing style aims to keep things as easy and unobtrusive as possible, usually by reducing the number of components used.

The primary gain from taking this course of action is that it can lessen the number of resources used to distribute your product or service, lowering your carbon footprint. The use of less plastic in manufacturing processes (and hence fewer jobs) has additional benefits, such as reduced waste and cost savings.

Eco-Friendly Fillers

It can be challenging to source many of the non-toxic materials we use for packaging. The good news is that there are numerous workarounds available. Fillers made from sustainable resources, such as maize starch or wheat starch, or recycled materials, are also viable options. Using soy wax instead of beeswax or vegetable oil instead of paraffin wax (both animal fats) is another way to guarantee that your packaging is cruelty-free.

Reusable Packaging

Reusable packaging is a great way to reduce waste and conserve resources. It can be used for multiple purposes, so finding an eco-friendly solution that works best for your company is easy.

The plastic used to make reusable containers is generally recycled, and the containers themselves can be reused several times before they wear out or become unusable in any way. The annual amount of trash sent to landfills will decrease, resulting in lower CO2 levels, cost savings in disposal costs, and reduced strain on landfill staff.

Another benefit of reusable packaging is that these types of containers can be reused often without losing their quality or functionality; this saves both time and money by eliminating buying new products every time something gets damaged or worn out during shipping/shipping across multiple continents (which happens more often than you think).

Eco-conscious Printing

Packaging relies heavily on printing. Labels, stickers, signs, and more can all be made using it. Printing is one option for achieving sustainability goals, including lowering your carbon footprint and using less material in your packaging.

You probably already know this—but did you know that printing accounts for almost two-thirds of all manufacturing waste? In fact, if we were able to eliminate all printing from our supply chains (as well as other processes like assembly), then we could achieve an 80% reduction in materials used in manufacturing products without sacrificing quality or functionality!

Packaging Innovation

Packaging innovation is the use of new materials, new processes, and new technologies to create a more sustainable package. Packaging innovation can be used to create a more sustainable or eco-friendly package.

Renewable Energy in Packaging Facilities

Renewable energy comes from nature, like wind or solar power but doesn’t involve burning trees or other organic materials (like coal). It’s an ideal solution because it doesn’t require any additional land use (or “greenhouse gases“) from humans; instead, it generates electricity without releasing harmful pollutants into our atmosphere!

The benefits of using renewable energy include:

  1. less pollution
  2. lower costs
  3. better quality control
  4. higher productivity
  5. cleaner air
  6. fewer accidents

Packaging Optimization

Packaging optimization is finding ways to reduce the amount of packaging required to ship a product. It’s a way for companies to reduce waste, increase sustainability, and lower costs by reducing production costs and increasing efficiency.

There are many ways you can optimize your package design:

  • Use fewer components (or none at all) in order to save on materials and shipping weight. This saves money on postage and distribution costs and energy consumption during production and transport.

  • Use recycled paperboard instead of virgin fibers like cotton or polymers like PET bottles—these materials take more energy resources than their recyclable counterparts just because they have been produced from natural resources rather than being simply reused after being discarded by consumers!

Education and Consumer Awareness

You, the consumer, hold the key to more eco-friendly packaging options. You should learn about the advantages of sustainable packaging as well as the potential risks involved. Without this knowledge, people will continue to purchase harmful products that are not environmentally friendly, and your company will miss out on sales.

If you want people to buy your product or service in an eco-friendly way, then make sure they know what good choices look like!

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