Eco-Friendly Packaging Alternatives – Ideas for Sustainable Shipping
When looking for sustainable products, you may only think of the physical product itself – but how a product is packaged is just as important. Many forms of packaging cannot be recycled or reused and end up in landfills or in the sea. Even recyclable plastic packaging is often not enough, since 91% of the plastics are not recycled, which means that 25 million tons are thrown into the ocean every year.
Almost 30% of solid municipal waste is packaging and containers This contributes to a massive carbon footprint. Many products are packed with too much material that can only be thrown in the trash. However, “environmentally friendly packaging” refers to alternatives to standard packaging that can be easily recycled, reused, or have other environmental benefits.
The Good Housekeeping Institute started our very first Awards for sustainable packaging last year draw attention to the environmental aspects of the packaging of a product. Packaging is an important part of the protection and usability of a product: We have always considered the efficiency of the packaging and the clarity of the instructions in our product reviews, but for the Sustainable Packaging Awards, GH scientists and industry experts rated the packaging of 190 products of materials, recyclability, design, minimalism, efficiency and innovation. We have honored products that have risen to the top based on our judges’ ratings and ensured that the products with the highest packaging ratings meet our institute’s effectiveness criteria. We would not support a product that does not work, no matter how sustainably packaged.
What is the most environmentally friendly packaging?
We know that between greenwashing claims and confusing industry conditions, it can be difficult to find out which products are actually environmentally friendly or sustainable. Here’s how to find the best environmentally friendly packaging and ways to make more sustainable decisions when shipping products:
- Reuse as much as possible. First and foremost, reduce the amount of packaging you consume. We recommend collecting tissue paper, wrapping paper, and shipping envelopes for reuse if necessary. Save cardboard boxes from online orders. Even if they collapse while driving, the parts can be used as cushioning material.
- Remember, the less material the better. Lighter materials can mean less CO2 emissions during transport and production.
- Know that paper is a great packaging alternative to plastic, as it is recycled more often and is biodegradable. Ideally, look for uncoated and unwaxed cardboard and paper instead of bubble wrap.
- Biodegradable peanuts consist of potato and corn starch instead of styrofoam, so that they disintegrate when thrown away, if this is not the case with peanuts with standard packaging.
- Corrugated cardboard is a great replacement for plastic containers. It can be easily reused and recycled.
How to recognize environmentally friendly packaging when shopping in shops
Beyond shipping and shipping, you can also help reduce your carbon footprint by buying products that are packaged sustainably. You should note the following when shopping:
Prioritize Packaging with recycled content. Reusing old materials is a great way for a brand to reuse previous waste.
Look for recyclable materials that can easily be recycled at home by the roadside. It is a good idea to be familiar with recycling symbols as well. Here are common recyclable materials:
- PET (polyethylene terephthalate)
- HDPE (high density polyethylene)
- LDPE (low density polyethylene)
- PE (polyethylene)
Avoid packaging made of mixed materials. When you see something packaged in different materials like paper and plastic, keep in mind that this will make recycling difficult. You can You can recycle any component, but you must separate them first.
Buy clear glass which can be recycled while colored glass cannot.
Opt for aluminum and steel like beverage cans and canned goods that can be easily recycled on the side of the road.
Avoid products with secondary packaging B. plastic binders, cardboard dividers and packaging, since many cannot be recycled.
Shop simple packaging. Less coloring of the box and labels makes recycling easier.
Look for refillable containers. Some products are designed so that you buy packaging once and then refill it instead of buying and throwing the same product again.
Only buy cosmetics with primary packaging, Which means no additional waste from thrown boxes or plastic packaging. A simple seal to ensure the integrity of the product is all you need. Avoid packaging with pumps, droppers and pressurized aerosol cans: none of these cans can be disposed of easily.
Buy “naked” groceries. Flexible plastic films, foils and polystyrene cannot be recycled or reused. Instead, look for minimal, recyclable packaging like Loop. Alternatively, you can buy groceries in bulk and bring your own reusable containers.
Use reusable bags made from organic fabric Replace disposable plastic bags when shopping. You can use them again and again to avoid unnecessary waste.
Buy clothing from sustainable fashion brands or even better, buy secondhand from local second hand stores and online programs like ThreadUp or Poshmark to reduce environmental impact.