Back on March 26th we published an article on this blog talking about sustainable packaging dead ends. In it I described a personal pet peeve which is single use products that are destined to end up in a land fill. It only adds salt to the sustainable wound for me when the manufacturer leads customers to believe that they are doing a good, green thing.
An Imperfect Sustainable Packaging Example – Cushioned Mailers
We have all used them at one time or another but cushioned (foam or bubble) lined paper mailers feature two excellent materials. Unfortunately they are laminated together and cannot be separated for easy sorting and recycling. Since the outer layer is paper, they are likely to hold up for only one trip through USPS, FedEx, or UPS so it is usually a prompt and short trip to your local land fill. Think about the millions of these that are used for home or office and you can see how easily the problem is compounded.
A Near Perfect Sustainable Packaging Solution – Globe Guard 100% Recyclable (Plastic) Cushioned Mailers
Before the anti-plastic people get all worked up, please keep in mind that on sustainable, green packaging, it is not always about bad versus good. Sometimes the decision is not all that simple and the choice is between very bad and perhaps, not so bad. Or in this case between completely unrecyclable and easily recyclable.
I know I would likely be escorted out of some green gatherings for using the C word (compromise) but that is the reality of current eco friendly packaging options. The key is to know what you are using in terms of content and how or if it satisfies the sustainability requirements of reuse, recycle and reduce.
What Makes These Plastic Cushioned Mailers Green
Since they are made of plastic inside and out …
- They hold up better, especially in wet or dirty conditions, improving the possibility they will be REUSED. In most cases they can be resealed, a new label placed over the old one and it can serve again. I am still amazed at the number of green companies who send out white, paper bubble mailers which will never make a second trip.
- Since they are lined with protective bubbles, they often REDUCE or even eliminate the need for other cushioning materials such as paper or even different forms of bubble and foam. Those other protective materials often require manual wrapping which adds labor cost and reduces throughput.
- Last but not least, these mailers contain RECYCLED content and can be RECYCLED in most curb side programs as a #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene) waste. If you ship green products into green minded customer’s homes, think about how easy disposal will now be.
Please keep in mind that this is just one of many eco friendly packaging options we offer so we are able to satisfy a number of different types of applications.
- Does your product really require padding? It may sound like a silly question but you would be surprised at how many companies unnecessarily use padded mailers to ship out soft goods such as eco friendly reusable shopping bags. Ironic, isn’t it?
- Are you adding cushioning materials to your padded mailer and still suffering unacceptable damage rates? Maybe your product should be shipping in a die cut, rigid mailer with a different and more effective void fill product?
I think most packaging distributors would agree that life would be simple and inventories much lower if the world only required one packaging solution or material. Of course, if that were the case, then our customers would not need our expertise or assistance and we would miss that interaction.
Give our padded mailers a try and you will see a true and green positive difference.