Plastic Free Packaging: 7 Ideas to Help Your Business Reduce Waste

It is projected in the next 25 years; there will be more pieces of plastic than there are fish in the oceans of the planet. So much plastic trash is produced that only 9% of it gets recycled, and when some does get recycled, it can only be used for less than one percent of the time before being thrown away again.

From newspaper to biodegradable, there are plenty of resources on what it takes to reduce your plastic footprint. The options can be overwhelming. Here are seven plastic-free packaging solutions to help you take the first step toward more straightforward, less wasteful living.


Use Recyclable Materials

Recyclable materials are a great way to reduce the waste your packaging creates. Using recyclable material for your packaging can increase the number of times it can be reused before it starts to break down and can’t be recycled anymore.

You can also use your packaging as an opportunity to educate people about what kinds of materials are recyclable. Sometimes, people might not even know that certain things are recyclable! For example, suppose you’re selling chocolate bars and decide to use a chocolate wrapper made of paper. In that case, you could use that wrapper as an opportunity to inform customers how they can recycle their wrappers instead of throwing them away with other trash.


Request Reusable Packaging from Suppliers 

How do you feel about your company’s packaging? 

You can make a big difference in our environment by asking your suppliers to use reusable packaging instead of disposable, single-use plastic bags. This change will help keep our oceans clean, reduce the amount of plastic waste your company produces, and save money on shipping costs since reusable packaging is lighter than disposable.

It’s also an easy change: all you have to do is ask your supplier to use reusable package options and let them know how your company is concerned with reducing plastic and the future of our planet.


Related: 45 Catchy No Plastic Slogans


Encourage Customers to Send Back Used Packaging

If you want to limit the quantity of plastic your business uses, it’s time to get creative! One simple way to help reduce plastic is by encouraging customers to send back used packaging. The following are some of how you can get started:

  • Put up signs in your store saying, “Bring in your old cardboard boxes, and we’ll recycle them!”.
  • Give customers who bring in their bags a discount on their next purchase.
  • Offer reusable containers made from recyclable materials like glass or metal instead of plastic ones that can’t be recycled easily (or at all).
  • Ask customers if they’d like paper or plastic bags during checkout to decide what type best fits their needs/wants.


Related: Reusable Gift Wrapping: How to Furoshiki?


Use Plant-Based, Biodegradable Packaging

Plastic is hazardous to both the environment and human health. It’s been linked to cancer and other diseases.

But you don’t have to stop using plastic—you can just start using plant-based, biodegradable and plastic-free packaging! Here are reasons why you should switch over:

  • Plant-based plastics are recyclable.
  • Biodegradable plastics break down within a few months of exposure to soil microbes
  • Plant-based packaging uses no chemicals during production.


Reduce the Amount of Packaging Material You Use (Buy Bulk)

The first step to reducing plastic is to buy less single-use plastic packaging. If you aim to reduce the amount of plastic packaging that you use, start by making your own bulk purchases. At home, buy large quantities of flour, rice, beans, etc., and store them in airtight containers. If you can’t keep a whole bag of coffee beans, buy one or two pounds at a time.

If you’re going grocery shopping, consider buying things like cheese blocks rather than pre-sliced cheese; whole fruits rather than pre-cut fruit; and bulk foods such as grains, nuts, and seeds instead of prepackaged snacks like trail mix or granola bars. This way, when it’s time to eat dinner with friends or family visiting from out of town, you’ll still be able to offer them something delicious without contributing to plastic pollution!


Related: Sustainable Materials to Use Instead of Shrink Film for Your Packaging.


Choose Cardboard over Plastic for Shipping Boxes

If you’re attempting to reduce the quantity of plastic you use, you’ve probably already concluded that shipping boxes significantly contribute to this problem.

Boxes made of cardboard are far better for the environment than their plastic counterparts. But they also have some downsides: they don’t always come with handles, they can be challenging to carry around without tearing them, and they don’t hold up well in water or snow.

Nevertheless, you can find shipping boxes made from recycled materials just as sturdy as their plastic counterparts—and even more durable when protecting against water damage. So if it’s time for your next shipment, try going with a cardboard box!


Choose an Environmentally-conscious e-Commerce Platform

 When it comes to the environment, you want to be sure that your e-commerce platform is as conscious of the environment as possible.

To choose the ideal platform for your business, look at what they do regarding plastic. If you’re looking for a company that supports sustainable practices and uses plastic-free packaging for its products, you should look for one that does not use plastic. The e-commerce platform should also reduce overall waste through recycling and reuse.

Plastic Free Packaging - Metal Packaging

Final Thoughts

Using sustainable, less wasteful packaging is important to keep our planet healthy. That being said, taking steps toward plastic-free packaging initially seems daunting. What options do you have aside from switching to little glass bottles?

Here’s to sending less plastic to the landfill. By switching to any of these alternatives, you’ll be helping save a lot of plastic! Tell your fellow readers how they can help reduce waste by using reusable items and avoiding plastic as much as possible.



Browse more articles related to eco-friendly packaging.

Browse the I’m Plastic Free directory to discover plastic pollution solutions.


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