On this page
As the person responsible for packaging at your business, you are likely already aware of the growing requirement from your customers for eco-friendly packaging.
Eco-friendly packaging can take many forms. Depending on the application, options can include recyclable packaging, biodegradable materials, plastic-free packs and even reusable solutions. Truly eco-friendly packaging minimises the use of natural resources and energy consumption. It is safe for both individuals and the environment.
GWP has over 30 years of experience designing and manufacturing eco-friendly packaging. However, the main advantage that GWP can offer your business – from an environmental perspective – is the ability to maintain your packaging’s effectiveness and appeal whilst reducing its environmental impact.
Eco-friendly packaging options
You can source a wide range of recyclable packaging that benefits the environment and communicates sustainability to your customers.
Multi-use, reusable packaging can often be the most sustainable option. Find out if your business should switch here.
A selection of biodegradable packaging options can help to limit the environmental impact of your business.
A team of packaging designers and engineers can eliminate single use and hard to recycle plastics from your packaging.
What is the most eco-friendly packaging?
The most eco-friendly packaging depends on your specific application. For example, recyclable corrugated cardboard packaging that eliminates single-use plastic is best for single trips, such as postal and eCommerce shipping. However, a plastic shipping box can have a lower environmental impact if used over many journeys (by minimising material and energy use).
What is greenwashing?
Greenwashing is effectively making misleading claims that a product (or packaging) is eco-friendly when there is no proof. An example could be using a recyclable material sourced from unsustainable suppliers. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of greenwashing, particularly involving claims regarding packaging.
Can I replace plastic packaging with eco-friendly alternatives?
Depending on your application or industry, eliminating single-use plastics from your packaging is frequently possible. For example, you can use corrugated cardboard fittings to replace foam or polystyrene. However, it may sometimes be the case that plastics are the most eco-friendly packaging option in the long run if they are returnable/reusable.
What are the risks of eco-friendly packaging?
There are several risks with eco-friendly packaging. Firstly, if you are perceived to be making “greenwashing” claims, this can alienate your customers. Switching to different materials can also affect packaging performance, potentially resulting in higher levels of transit damage. Product damage can create a more significant environmental impact due to increased waste (damaged items) and emissions from shipping returns and replacements.
Are polystyrene and bubble wrap harmful to the environment?
Single-trip plastics such as polystyrene and bubble wrap are difficult for your customers to recycle, do not biodegrade, and are now widely viewed as unsustainable. As oil-based products, this is in addition to the impact of extracting and refining fossil fuels. Many alternatives now exist, including recycled foams or paper-based fittings and inserts.
Is recyclable packaging eco-friendly?
Recyclable packaging is eco-friendly, as the material can be reused many times (corrugated cardboard can be recycled as many as 20 times). However, reusable plastic containers have less environmental impact as part of supply chains with a returnable “loop” than single-trip corrugated packaging.
Is plastic packaging always bad?
Single-trip packaging is almost always bad, especially where it is difficult or impossible to recycle (the main exception is where it vastly increases the lifespan of a product or resource). However, when used for returnable applications, plastics can often be the most sustainable long-term option, eliminating the energy needed to manufacture and recycle single-trip options repeatedly.
So what eco-friendly packaging do you choose?
It is essential to take a holistic view of the environmental impacts of your packaging.
What the packaging solution does is far more critical and significant than the packaging material.
Considering this, it is possible to choose an eco-friendly packaging material that is genuinely sustainable in the context of your application, business needs, consumer demands and the environment.
This approach can involve engineering corrugated cardboard boxes to eliminate plastics, polystyrene, and other void fill. But, it can equally be creating a long-lasting, reusable supply chain solution from plastic. Or eliminating high volumes of damaged items (and the environmental impact this has) through bespoke foam inserts.
By working with us, you can rely on GWP to identify, design and manufacture the most sustainable and eco-friendly packaging relative to your specific business requirements.
And if you are still trying to weigh up the costs and benefits of each form of packaging, an experienced engineer from GWP will be more than happy to help.
A sustainable approach to packaging that does not compromise quality
GWP Group takes pride in being an environmentally friendly packaging company, offering an environmental advantage to many businesses and organisations like yours.
As such, we are proud to demonstrate a proven track record in providing the most environmentally responsible solutions. Crucially, however, this is based not on current trends and media agendas but on more than 30 years of experience and knowledge of the best solution for your specific application.
And, of course, your eco-friendly packaging is designed and manufactured using recycled packaging materials wherever possible, always following environmentally friendly processes.
So whilst there has been an increased focus on the environment from media and consumers, working alongside GWP allows your business’ packaging to inherently minimise your environmental impact.
Eco-friendly packaging company
As packaging manufacturers at GWP Group, we understand our responsibility to the environment.
We have completed and launched several sustainability initiatives, including sourcing green energy, investing in efficient manufacturing equipment, reducing our emissions and empowering our staff to drive sustainability throughout the business.
Beyond this, GWP can even help you to comply with UK Packaging Waste Regulations or advise you on the correct recycling symbols to use on your packaging
It may be the case that you don’t know where or how to start making your packaging more eco-friendly. Perhaps you know what you need but are looking for a design or manufacturing partner. In either of these scenarios, or if you simply have any questions, please contact us today for an honest, no-obligation discussion.