Why Recyclable Packaging Matters: A Sustainable Approach to Product Packaging - Jamestown Container | Corrugated Packaging Solutions

Why Recyclable Packaging Matters: A Sustainable Approach to Product Packaging

Pursuing Recyclable Packaging Benefits the Environment and Your Brand

Is your business turning away customers without realizing it? Take a closer look at your packaging. Consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious, and 71% of them choose products based on the sustainability of their packaging. If you’re using non-environmentally friendly packaging, it could be damaging your bottom line. Even if you’re using “recyclable” plastics, many consumers recognize that it ends up in landfills or the ocean. So, what’s the solution? Looking into sustainable, recyclable packaging options is crucial.

The Environmental Impact of Non-Recyclable Packaging

Packaging serves several crucial functions — it protects products, provides essential information, and enhances marketability for your brand. But, the conventional approach to packaging has contributed to a growing environmental crisis. The rise of single-use plastics and non-recyclable materials has led to overflowing landfills, water body pollution, and severe harm to ecosystems.

Consumers understand the harm that plastics have on the planet. In fact, 87% of consumers think major retailers should curb the amount of plastic packaging they use. But, what’s the alternative? The answer is simple: incorporating more recyclable packaging into your business could boost your brand image and lead to more sales.

What’s the Best Recyclable Packaging? Corrugated is the Answer

You may know corrugated packaging as “cardboard.” Think of a box you recently got in the mail after ordering a package. That box is likely made out of corrugated board. It has two outer layers called linerboard, along with a layer of fluting in the middle. This fluting (the wave-like lines in between the pieces of linerboard) provides durability to the box and protects products during shipment. As such, it’s one of the most popular packaging options for products that must be transported across far distances.

Corrugated is a renewable resource made out of trees. It’s less harmful to the environment than plastic packaging, which is made out of non-renewable fossil fuels. But how? Let’s dive into the specifics.

Advantages of Using Recyclable Corrugated Packaging

Reduced Waste

Corrugated packaging is easily customizable to eliminate excess material waste. It can be formatted to fit snugly around your product, reducing the amount of corrugated material and unnecessary interior packaging, like packing peanuts.

Corrugated doesn’t just minimize waste upfront; it also reduces material waste after shipment. According to the American Forest and Paper Association, corrugated is recycled at a rate of 91.4%. In comparison, only 9% of plastic waste is recycled. 15% is collected for recycling but much of that is disposed of as residues. When you choose recyclable packaging like corrugated material, your business can greatly benefit the environment by reducing waste sent to landfills and incinerators.

Energy and Resource Conservation

Recyclable packaging doesn’t just result in less landfill waste. It also conserves energy and resources. Because corrugated is highly recyclable, it’s mainly made with reused materials. This helps save energy, as it takes more power to create 100% virgin materials.

Because of plastic’s low recyclability factor, most plastic packaging is virgin, which can take a huge toll on the environment. Not only are most of these plastics discarded into landfills and oceans, but the energy to create new plastics is astounding. In fact, plastic production accounts for more than 3% of total U.S. energy consumption. That’s almost double what’s produced by the entire aviation industry. It’s true that the corrugated industry still uses a lot of energy, but it’s relatively low, at around 1%. Therefore, corrugated is the more environmentally friendly option when it comes to energy consumption.

Promotion of a Circular Economy

A circular economy is an economic model that aims to minimize waste and make the most of resources by keeping materials in use for as long as possible. It contrasts with the traditional linear economy, where materials are extracted, used, and then disposed of as waste.

In the context of recyclable packaging, a circular economy approach involves designing packaging materials in a way that allows them to be easily recycled and reintegrated into the production process, rather than being discarded after a single use.

Due to its high recyclability factor, corrugated material is a great choice for circular packaging. It can be collected through existing recycling programs, sorted efficiently, and processed into recycled paper and cardboard products with minimal complications.

Better Sustainability Leads to More Profit

As mentioned above, consumers are looking for businesses to level up their sustainability. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, most consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging. If your target demographic is environmentally conscious — and most consumers are — you could see more profits by switching to sustainable packaging.

How Do You Start Creating Recyclable Packaging?

While we’ve outlined the benefits of pursuing recyclable packaging, we haven’t touched on how to get started. Partnering with a reliable packaging company like Jamestown Container is the best place to start. For over 60 years, we’ve been helping businesses like yours create the perfect packaging for their needs. But, why should you trust us? The answer is simple: our experience, capabilities, dedication to sustainability, and helpful team can’t be beaten.

At Jamestown Container, we’ve always been committed to sustainability, which makes us the perfect partner for your recyclable packaging. All of our locations receive sheets made with 100% recycled linerboard from the Greenpac Mill, a state-of-the-art facility with one of the lowest amounts of paper mill landfill waste in the country. Using this linerboard, we achieve maximum performance and strength without sacrificing sustainability.

We also maintain a range of certifications to hold us to the highest standards in manufacturing excellence. We hold ISO and FSSC certifications to ensure we’re creating the best products possible. Additionally, we’re part of the Box to Nature program, led by the Paper and Packaging Board. This program aims to change consumers’ behaviors and encourage more recycling in residential areas.

Lastly, our experienced, helpful team is there to support you throughout the entire process. From idea to final design and shipment, we’ve got you covered. We’re here to answer any questions you may have and optimize packaging to meet your needs and cut costs where possible.

Ready to Learn More?

Are you ready to get started? Reach out to our team for an initial, no-strings-attached consultation.