Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Your Way to Greener Packaging

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


With spring blossoms fragrant in the air, it’s fitting that April is the month we celebrate Earth Day. We recognize the magnificent diversity of our Blue Planet, but also reflect on how our choices impact the environment.

Hey customers, we know that you buy a lot of our product and we appreciate that you do. If being green is important to your business, we have some ideas how you can reduce, reuse, and recycle with some of our products. Innovations in flexible packaging and eco-friendly options offer ways you can reduce your carbon footprint.

Let’s explore together the three R’s for a better environment.

REDUCE

Ideally, the best way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place. While it’s pretty unlikely that we can eliminate product packaging, we can focus on how to do more with less. Products that use less packaging use less raw materials. This not only benefits our planet but also saves on costs for your business and your customers.

Flexible Packaging


A great way to do more with less is to use flexible packaging. Flexible packaging can include the use of paper, plastic, film, and metallized materials. Innovated designs in flexible packaging have created new products on the market never imagined before. Bagged salads and pouched drinks and soups are packed full of convenience, but also offer amazing features that help us reduce waste and resources.

Traditionally, goods like coffee, grains, snacks, and powdered mixes are stored in more rigid packaging such as cylindrical tin cans, glass jars, or bulky boxes. The shape of this packaging is fixed, clunky to ship, and full of extra air and unused space. Considering this, let’s take a closer look at our popular Stand Up Pouches.

Stand Up Pouches are made of lightweight, flexible material that conforms to the shape of the product. Mixes and grains fill out this flexible pouch, making full use of expandable side gussets. The lightweight packaging material makes your product weigh less too. You can reduce resources even further by printing directly onto the packaging, eliminating the need for sticker labeling.

Flexible packaging results in lighter products packaged with less material, saving space and resources. Less packaging material allows more product in your warehouse, which means you can ship more packages in fewer truckloads. These products usually don’t require an outer container for shipping either. Fewer vehicles on the road produce less CO₂ emissions. This is a win for the environment.

What’s more, food packaged in pouches taste better and lasts longer, a win for retailers and customers. Features such as high moisture and oxygen barriers extend the life of the product so less is wasted. Pouches with protective barriers also preserve flavors so they taste better than say the canned soup in a tin. Resealable zippers allow food to stay fresh after opening so less food is tossed out. Some pouches on the market are microwaveable, doing away with cookware and water to wash dishes, earning this pouch design extra green points.

Whether in the warehouse, on retail shelves, or in the hands of customers, flexible packaging offers many possibilities for reducing our collective carbon footprint.

Thickness


Our bags not only come in different materials, but they also come in different thicknesses. Less thickness means less of a carbon footprint. For example, we have bags that range from 1.2 mil thick to 2 mil thick. Depending on what you are packaging, you may be able to get by with a thinner bag. Going this route is an effective and easy way to reduce the number of raw materials used in your product packaging. Thinner mil bags are slightly less expensive so you’ll be saving money too.

Sizing

When it comes to sizing, we have thousands of bags and boxes to achieve an exact fit for your product. A proper fit means no extra slack of material or extra air in your product, again ultimately reducing raw materials and doing more with less. If you can’t find an exact fit, you can always customize your order with specific dimensions. We offer sizing options that vary from as little as 1/16th of an inch.

Ordering

Since we offer such low minimum orders, you can order only what you plan to use. This may be a good, economical choice if you are just starting out and figuring out your product brand. Low minimum orders allow flexibility and reduce the possibility of wasted packaging if you decide to make changes to your product. However, when your product is more established, ordering supplies in bulk can save you in the long-run too, and effectively reduces your carbon print when you don’t require packaging to be shipped as often.

REUSE

At just pennies per bag, you might not think much about tossing them out. Consider reusing them instead. Plastic bags can be reused for shopping, transporting, organizing, or storing items.

Our wide selection of BOPP bags and Eco bags with resealable adhesive are practically made for reuse. These bags are perfect for transporting art, photos, documents, crafts, paper products, and whatever else makes sense. Resealing capability is just as dependable as with their first use. These bags do a spot-on job of securing your items closed while protecting them from dirt, fingerprints, and other elements. Depending on the size, these bags also work well as storage containers for other supplies.

Plastic bags without resealing capability can be put to another purpose just as easily. Wrap up fragile items or use them as bin liners. Reuse bags for cookies and close with twist ties or ribbons. Get creative!

Should you need to go shopping and have our Retail Handle Bags handy, these bags comply with single-use bag ban laws. California’s recent law banning retailers from handing out free plastic bags may be an adjustment for consumers. Reusing plastic bags is a simple matter once you can remember to take them inside the store. It may not be too long before other states follow in California’s footsteps. Our Retail Handle Bags are 2.25 mil thick and are constructed for reuse. Plus, they come in a variety of colors - No one said reuse has to be dull!

Reuse isn’t just limited to bags either. We have plastic boxes in all sizes and styles that can be reused for multi-purpose storage. Stationery paper boxes or plastic boxes can hold memorabilia, collectibles, personal cards, and photos. Smaller Pop & Lock plastic boxes work great for holding office supplies, trinkets, or candies.

If you can’t reuse your old bags and boxes, you might find someone else who can!

RECYCLE

When reuse isn’t an option, you can always recycle. All of our bags and boxes are made from materials that are 100% recyclable. Tossing your bags into a recycled bin diverts waste from landfills.

Another green alternative is to use products made from plant-based or recycled materials. They offer major benefits to the environment. If being green is important to your business, we carry eco-friendly products in a variety of styles and sizes. This green alternative may cost more and the packaging may not be as high-quality, but it may be just what you need for your brand and customers.

Our Eco Clear Compostable Bags are made from polylactide acid (PLA) and created from lactic plants. These bags are certified compostable, FDA approved for food contact, and still offer amazing clarity. We also offer many stationery products that are made from 100% recycled materials. Try out our Notables Earth Tone Envelopes, Teton paper products, or our Brown Bag Envelopes. If you’re in the market for framing supplies, we carry backing boards that are made from 100% Post Consumer Waste (PCW).

Many of our customers love our eco bags and products. Maybe you will too!

Product packaging has come a long way. Now more than ever, we have more choices and decisions to make about how to package products. If going green is your goal, you can consider a big shift or minor adjustments in your packaging. Mindful changes, no matter how small, have a positive impact on our environment and reduce our carbon footprint.

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