Consistently maintaining green practices is very complicated and time-consuming. You want to be sure that everything from your production lines on down to your packaging adheres strictly to green practices as much as possible. If your packaging is not as "green" as you would like, here are some custom packaging options that can completely change the way you package and ship your products.

Skip the Styrofoam Peanuts—Cornstarch to the Rescue

Cornstarch is replacing many Styrofoam products now. Takeout boxes, cups, and even packing peanuts can be made from pressed and dried cornstarch. That means that you could be using all-biodegradable packing peanuts, and the peanuts will easily break down and return to the earth as organic material.

In fact, you could eat this packing material, if there was nothing else to eat! Your customers can also take the cornstarch packing peanuts and add them to compost piles, as the peanuts will break down in just a couple of months. Styrofoam would never do that, as it is a complex compound created from petroleum byproducts. If you want to start using cornstarch packing peanuts, you need to specify this biodegradable packing material when you place your order for packaging materials. Otherwise, most packaging materials companies will just send the Styrofoam ones.

Sun-Sensitive Plastics

If you use plastic wrapping to encase products for shipping, you can now substitute traditional plastic wrapping for plastic materials that immediately begin to break down when sunlight hits them. These photo-sensitive plastics are designed in such a way that if customers expose them to sunlight when unboxing products or throwing the plastic materials away, the plastics will disintegrate before they even reach a landfill or a recycling plant! They do present a packaging challenge, however, as you will have to use them away from and out of sunlight or intense direct light.

Biodegradable Bubble Wrap

It almost seems counter-intuitive, but biodegradable bubble wrap breaks down through an oxygenation process. So, you have a sheet of hundreds of inflated air bubbles that begins degrading as soon as it is exposed to the open air. The one upshot is that it will last long enough to protect your products until they reach their destination. The drawback is that you cannot leave rolls of this stuff just sitting around the packaging and loading docks. Ergo, you have to order exactly what you need every time you place an order for packaging materials, or the bubble wrap could waste away and deflate before you have a chance to use it.

Cardboard Comprised of More Than Seventy Percent Recycled Materials

Cardboard and paper products are already fairly green in that they are organic and will break down. However, the loss of trees at the expense of constantly creating new paper and cardboard products is not exactly "green."  To fit with the ideals of the green movement, you shouldo purchase and use cardboard and paper products made from recycled materials so that you are reducing the amount of new paper required and lessening the number of trees that are chopped down.

Purchasing and Integrating All of the Above

All of the above green options for packaging fall under custom packaging options. Whoever provides your packaging materials at the moment needs to know that from now on you only want green materials. If your packaging supply company does not have all of the above options, you may need to turn to a company that does. If a packaging company has to make substitutions to fill your order, they should notify you in advance so that you have the option of refusing their "non-green" substitutions