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We’ve all experienced it! A parcel comes to your doorstep and you are eager to open it. First, you have to get passed the plastic packing tape. You get the scissors out, slicing the sides and top of the box. The packer has clearly been too keen on the tape. Finally it’s open, with a flurry of polystyrene loose-fill spewing out. You are next faced with a mound of bubble wrap and yet MORE tape. This box is like Fort Knox; almost as if they don’t want you to get to the product. Eventually, after some wielding of the scissors, you get to your order inside. But how much packaging did they really need? What a waste. And how can I dispose of all this unnecessary plastic? Consumers face this kind of thing every day.
Packaging companies have the responsibility of helping businesses to protect their product as well as minimising waste. This should have a domino effect to the packer, who will spend less time constantly wrapping and taping boxes. Finally, when the package reaches the consumer, they should be able to easily recycle the packaging with zero fuss.
So how can this actually be done? One thing that makes recycling a much easier process is the packaging being made from one material. If the packaging is all paper based, no separation is needed by the consumer. It all goes in paper recycling. And if this paper is already made from 100% recycled content, that is even more sustainable. That’s the definition of packaging for the planet.
Here, all waste will be viewed as a recycling opportunity.Beezer Molten
So now we know the idea behind stream-lined easy-to-recycle packaging. Use the same material, like paper, and there’s no need to separate. But what products are there on the market? More than you might think. Let’s look into some useful product lines:
These are nothing new! Most large items come in a cardboard box. These are simple to recycle and most are already made from recycled paper. We’re off to a good start!
Sealing your corrugated boxes with paper tape means less work at the recycling plant. This helps keep the whole package paper-based. Paper tape has a surprisingly good adhesive so it doesn’t compromising.
There are lots of paper void-fill options out there. Paper bubble wrap is a great one; easy to use and produced from 100% recycled paper. And of course, an effective alternative to plastic bubble wrap.
Another paper void-fill option is the SpeedMan box. Supplied in a compact box, this paper is very convenient and protective. Like the paper bubble wrap, it is made from 100% recycled paper.
For larger void-fill requirements, the PaperJet machine creates sturdy paper pads. This stuff is really strong, even protecting heavy products. Again, this is made from 100% recycled paper.
For temperature sensitive products, TempGuard is made from insulating paper fibres. Another great solution to put all the packaging in the same recycling bin.
And of course, when you only need an envelope, there’s Mail Lite paper padded bags. These are filled with paper fibres and have great protective capabilities.
The products above are all ideal paper-based packaging solutions. Using these products together, means using only one material for the whole package. This not only streamlines the packing process, but the end consumer can throw the whole lot in one recycling bin. Why does this matter? Often, if things are too fiddly, the waste does not get recycled properly. It’s our responsibility to make things simple for the consumer. The less faff for them, the better. The next time we get a parcel, we will be grateful if the seller does the same for us. And, in turn, this means better for planet.