Being more sustainable is big news right now and I even have a whole category dedicated to eco-friendly living on this blog with over 100 articles. It’s something that is really important to me from a personal view and also from a business point of view. It’s really important we start using sustainable packaging in the UK at home and in business.
I regularly sell our preloved goods online and need to ship packages several times per week. I also have experience in running an online business and my husband sells goods online too.
It’s important to ensure we are lessening our negative impact on the environment when it comes to posting goods to customers and even when posting gifts to our friends and family. We need to ensure we are using environmentally friendly materials to pack the things we post.
More and more of us shop online for convenience, great prices and for a wider variety of choice. It’s important that businesses jump on board with eco-friendly postal options as soon as possible so we can stop the unnecessary plastic waste and landfill waste that is caused from our packaged online orders.
Sustainable packaging options
Here are several sustainable packaging options that will help your parcels be more eco-friendly. Some will even help you save money!
1. Reuse packaging received
The first and most important option is to always reuse packaging you receive. I always keep as much of the mailers, boxes, bubble wrap and anything else that we receive as possible. This means we are reusing existing packaging instead of throwing it into landfill or instantly popping it into the recycling bin. Most packaging can be used several times before it needs to be discarded. Not only does this prevent the constant manufacture of new packaging, but it will save money too. Nearly everything I post is in reused packaging. If you reuse what you receive then you won’t need to buy any new packaging!
2. Recyclable cardboard boxes
If you are buying new then it’s really important to make an eco-conscious choice. There are numerous sizes and types of cardboard postal boxes to suit whatever type of item you are posting. Buying these in bulk online will usually save a lot of money compared to buying single boxes or purchasing small quantities in supermarkets or at the Post Office. You’ll be surprised at how low you can get the price per item when you buy in bulk. Cardboard boxes can be reused or recycled so they are a great sustainable option. You could even check in with your local shops and supermarkets to see if they have any free cardboard boxes you can have!
3. Recyclable kraft mailers
Sometimes you need to post a flatter item, like clothing, and you’ll want it to be no larger than a large letter to save on postage costs. The difference between the large letter costs and small parcel prices with Royal Mail can add up to quite a lot over time, so it’s best to pack your parcels as thin and lightweight as possible. Sometimes a box doesn’t allow you to pack so economically, so you’ll need a mailer. If you choose a plastic style mailer then ensure it is a biodegradable postage mailer at the very least, but a better option is to source recyclable eco-friendly kraft mailers.
4. Paper tape to seal
This is next on my list to action as we have a batch of plastic Selotape to use up and it’s really not very eco-friendly at all. I feel guilty every time I use it. There are now plenty of paper tape options available that are a more eco-friendly, but still perform as well as plastic based tape. There are even rubber adhesive versions which are completely natural and biodegradable. We will definitely be making the switch to these kraft tapes.
There are plenty of ways to reuse packaging that will save money and be environmentally friendly. If you need to buy new packaging then make sure you choose recyclable, natural and biodegradable options that won’t harm the planet. Don't forget to check for cashback and find UK voucher codes before ordering any packaging online!