The power of paper packaging

Posted in: Opinion

Christmas wrappings are wonderful, but unfortunately, they’re also wasteful. It’s estimated that we throw away more than 83km2 of wrapping paper each year. That’s enough to cover the entire island of Guernsey.

McDonalds produces approximately three tonnes of packaging waste every minute*. That’s why the international fast-food giant is working hard to minimise its environmental impact. Since 2021, nearly 83% of primary packaging materials, and almost 87% of primary fibre packaging comes from recycled or certified sources. McDonalds is aiming for 100% certified, recycled or renewable materials by the end of 2025.

Actually, switching to paper packaging products is easy. Simply using a paper bag or a cardboard box for your products is all it takes to make a sustainable choice. Using paper mailing bags and carrier bags, rather than plastic or polythene, is cost- and climate-friendly. And customers will like it too.

Want to learn more about the benefits of paper packaging? Here are ten fascinating facts that you may not have known:


1. Packaging in the Past

Packaging began in ancient times with natural materials, such as leaves, cloth, and animal skins. As civilisation progressed, more durable packaging was used. Wood packaging dates back thousands of years: glass, clay, metal – all were used to make bags, boxes and barrels. The first cardboard shipping box was patented in 1903. Cardboard itself is even older; its first patent was issued in 1856. Paper may be the oldest form of what we now call “flexible packaging”. As early as first or second century BC China, sheets of treated mulberry bark were used to wrap foods.


2. Beautiful to Behold

Originally, packaging was meant to be functional. It provided convenient storage, and could be easy to carry.

Now, how your packaging looks is important, and there’s no doubt that paper has the edge when it comes to aesthetically pleasing packaging.

Apple is a master at creating an iconic sensory unwrapping experience that communicates its brand without words or even a logo. Apple makes its packaging as visually appealing as the device inside it. Elegant, clean, minimalist. In a world full of sensory stimulation, Apple is clean, simple, and direct, and beautiful to behold.


3. Trash to Treasure

Nike is an industry leader in sustainable packaging, with custom-made shoeboxes for its products. Taiwanese company Miniwiz designed a shoebox for Nike that could be worn as a rucksack, and was 100% made of recycled rubbish, mostly drink containers.


4. At The Speed of… Paper?

Paper packaging products can increase packing speeds by up to 50%. Products such as paper bubble wrap, are specially designed to cushion products, and can be wrapped in layers for extra protection. They are recyclable and biodegradable. Due to their compact size, they have a very small carbon footprint, when compared to plastic bubble wrap.


5. Space Saver

Paper packaging products only take up 1/5 of the space of traditional bubble wrap when flat. What could you do with that extra space?


6. Brand Boast

Paper packaging is an excellent way to promote your brand ethos. With more and more consumers looking to spend their money ethically, positioning your brand as environmentally friendly can give sales a boost. Packaging products in paper communicates your sustainable values. Put your name or logo on it, and spread your message.


7. Durable and Dynamic

One of the most common concerns about paper alternatives to plastic is its strength and durability. Wet-strength Kraft paper products are water resistant and retain their strength, even when wet.

When paper is constructed and designed strategically, it can withhold weight and pressure just as well as plastic packaging. Paper void fillers are creased and crimped in strategic ways to secure your products, as well as to absorb shocks and reduce product movement in transit. They also reduce breakages by up to 50%. Paper is definitely the eco-friendly alternative to packing chips and air cushions.


8. Carbon Kind

Switching to paper-based packaging to protect your products from breakage can be effective and cost-saving for both the packaging distributer, and the end-consumer. This is because paper-based product materials are lightweight, helping to keep both shipping costs and CO2 emissions as low as possible.


9. Design Flexibility

Paper-based packaging allows for greater flexibility in the design of a product’s packaging. Layout, shape and style options abound with paper, and as it’s easier to print on, all creativity is conceivable.


10. Planet Perfect Packaging

To make your packaging 100% eco-friendly, you need an eco-friendly tape to seal it with. Traditional tape is made from plastic and cannot be recycled, so to achieve your sustainable goals, you need to find an alternative. Paper tape is recyclable and biodegradable. It performs in all weathers and is unaffected by extreme heat.


Power your eco credentials

The global demand for recyclable packaging and the growing eco-conscious consumer market means it’s no surprise that paper-based packaging is growing in popularity. Find out more about the power that paper packaging holds for your business. Call us today on 01625 870000.

*, May 2022

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