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Environmental friendliness is gaining prominence across the globe. To go along with the new sense of eco-friendliness, many consumers are choosing products that have a minimal impact on the planet over the competition. This has given businesses the necessary push to implement greener practices across their manufacturing, from creating the actual product to the packaging. No matter the size of your business, the following tips can help you improve the eco-friendliness of your packaging and let current and future clients know about your efforts.

Pick Recyclable and Recycled Materials

One of the easiest ways to make your packaging more eco-friendly is to choose your materials carefully. Whenever possible, choose a product that is made from recycled materials and that can be recycled itself. Perfect examples include cardboard, paperboard, and plastic. Any of these items should be able to be reconstituted and reused in the future. Nearly all packaging manufacturers will offer at least some recycled and recyclable materials so talk to them about your options.

Encourage Recycling

Simply choosing a material that can be recycled is not enough if you truly want to reduce your impact on the planet. You also need to encourage your customers to recycle the packaging when they are done with it. You can do this by adding the recycling symbol somewhere on your product’s container along with the words “Please recycle.” If you have a creative packaging design team, you may even be able to incorporate the message to recycle in a different way without sacrificing your brand identity or the appearance of your packaging.

Remove Excess Space and Material

Even if the materials you use are recycled and recyclable, you want to use as few of them as possible to stay eco-friendly. This means finding a box or other container that fits your item perfectly. If there is excess space in the packaging, you will not only use more materials to create the container itself, but you will also require extra padding to fill in the empty space. Larger boxes also minimize the quantity of your product that can fit on a shipping truck, meaning that each item will require a little more gas. You can avoid all these things by minimizing the weight and size of your product. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should sacrifice the safety of your item; if extra room for padding is necessary, include it. Just get rid of excess space that isn’t necessary. While you are reducing materials, see if you can minimize the paperwork included in your packaging as well.

Choose Padding Carefully

Depending on your product, you will need to include some sort of padding in the packaging, but it doesn’t have to be bad for the environment; a simple swap of materials can help. Styrofoam, for example, is unsustainable and requires petroleum for production. Try switching it to recycled paper, biodegradable bubble wrap, or even corn starch cushioning.

Advertise on Website, Packaging, and Product

Even if your customers don’t know that your packaging is eco-friendly, you will be doing your part to help the planet. To boost sales, make sure your potential clients are aware that your boxes or containers are green. You can do something simple like including a quick sentence on your website and the packaging itself to let clients know it was made with recycled, eco-friendly materials. You can also get creative and make your packaging green in color or shaped like a leaf or other environmental symbol to make it more obvious it is eco-friendly.

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