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7 Sustainability Packaging Tips For Your Business to Follow In The New Year

  • 19th December 2022
  • 8 min read

With 2023 a mere few weeks away, many business owners are thinking about how they can reduce their carbon footprint and overall impact on the planet. And it makes sense. 

When an organisation strives to decrease their emissions and work towards becoming carbon neutral, it has a huge impact on the planet, and can hugely improve a business’s profitability, culture and brand awareness. 

From sourcing sustainable and cost-effective materials without compromising on quality, to ensuring the entire packaging process aligns with their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) scheme, at Titan Packaging, we’ve helped several companies transform their packaging process. 

Here are seven ways you can make your company’s packaging process more sustainable in 2023. 

Properly specify the materials needed

When organisations correctly specify the materials needed in their packaging process, they can save money, reduce waste and decrease impact on the environment. 

If you’re over-specifying, such as using a thicker stretch wrap than needed, more CO2 is used during the manufacturing process and more transportation is needed because thicker wrap takes up more space. 

However, when you under specify, it leaves you at risk of items being damaged during transit, which then impacts overall wastage and returns rates (requiring further transport), therefore negatively impacting the environment. 

According to Sustainable Packaging News, when businesses specify the right plastic, they could reduce their plastic usage by 45,000 tonnes a year, helping to save money, eliminate unnecessary waste and cut CO2 output. 

When organisations get the balance right, carbon emissions decrease drastically.  

Get the size right

Similarly to over and under specifying materials, if you haven’t got the right size packaging and boxes, you’ll be increasing your carbon footprint as you may be using more void fill, as well as additional transportation and returns. 

You may have experienced an instance where a company has sent a tiny product in massive boxes full of void fill, or they’ve tried to wedge a product in a box that's a size too small.  This lack of care can cause an increased risk of damage to products or items. Ultimately, it can have negative repercussions on brand awareness. 

In an ideal world, you should try and get the right size packaging in order to protect products, reduce returns rates and overall impact on the environment. 

But unlike Goldilocks, finding the ‘just right’ solution isn’t always an option for some companies. For many, storage space is at a premium. 

In order to get it right the first time, we recommend performing a full packaging audit so we can determine the range needed, which will inform the best packaging solution.  Find out more about how to effectively package your products.  

Choose responsibly sourced cardboard and paper

It’s thought that 12.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard are used in the UK every year,, and 2.8 billion parcels were sent across the UK in 2021. If this cardboard doesn’t come from a sustainable source, or isn’t recyclable, then you’re contributing to a huge wastage problem.

When it comes to packaging, cardboard is ubiquitous, and choosing responsibly sourced cardboard is one of the easiest ways for a company to move towards carbon neutrality. 


Opt for recyclable plastic over biodegradable and compostable 

If you’re using biodegradable or compostable plastic, you should consider switching out to recyclable plastic. 

This is because only 10% of people know how to, and have the resources available to effectively compost at home. This means a significant amount of biodegradable and compostable plastic ends up in landfills, releasing methane. 

However, choosing non-virgin, recycled plastics that contain at least 30% recycled material is a great alternative (and will ensure you’re in line with the plastic packaging tax). Plastics such as Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) and Polypropylene (PP) with clear instructions on how to properly dispose of them can help reduce overall impact on the environment. 

Move towards closed loop recycling 

If you can start putting things in place to move towards closed-loop recycling, you’ll be enhancing the lifecycle of materials through reuse, and reducing overall impact on the environment. 

When a product or material is used and then turned into a new product or material without losing any of its properties during the process, it’s referred to as closed-loop. 

In 2020, sports and fashion brand Adidas began championing closed-loop recycling after admitting they massively contributed to the plastic problem the world’s facing. 

Through their Social Plastic Programme and Three Loop Strategy, they’ve promised to eliminate virgin polyester in favour of upcycled plastic waste across all products and packaging. 

In the wise words of Justin Timberlake, ‘what goes around comes around’, and when it comes to closed loop recycling, this is actually a good thing. 

Look at your suppliers 

If you’re using several suppliers for your packaging, or sourcing materials from across the globe, you’ll be increasing your carbon footprint (and adding extra admin work!). 

It’s also important that you work with suppliers who align with your CSR and modern slavery policies.

During peak times, you may find that having to  rely on several suppliers to get polythene, stretch wrap, boxes, tape and other materials for when you need them is akin to herding kittens!

All it takes is an issue with dispatch, quality issues or materials not working together and you’re facing delayed delivery times, damage in transit and even loss of business. 

When you choose to go through a single source supplier, you can save money, reduce admin and streamline deliveries. 

This is because single source suppliers such as Titan Packaging have the data and insight needed to make informed decisions. From forecasting to scheduling deliveries when you need it, and holding contingency stock for unknown challenges, (freeing up your own warehouse space), it all helps you build a more sustainable future. 

Implement packaging automation

Introducing automation into your packaging process can help reduce material waste, and minimise carbon emissions throughout the entire value chain. 

For example, autoboxing machinery ensures the right sized boxes are used for products and either eliminates or reduces the volume of void fill needed. This saves on material cost and parcel weight cost, and creates a much nicer unboxing experience for your customers.  

Implementing the correct automation also reduces human error within the packaging process, this can be something such as introducing tape machines to ensure each box is taped universally and securely or a completely automated process where conveyors intercept and sort products into a bagging or boxing machines using just the right size of material without waste or void fill.  

Sustainable packaging with Titan 

No matter how big or small, retailers and ecommerce companies have to juggle quick packaging timeframes, with rising costs and record delivery times. 

And as customers place more pressure on brands to meet all of this whilst prioritising sustainability, getting the balance right can feel impossible. 

At Titan Packaging, we’ve got years of experience in delivering sustainable packaging consultancy and supply  to brands across the globe. 

Using the latest packaging technology, automation and machinery, we can help you deliver a truly exceptional packaging experience. Get in touch and find out more.

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Written by: Anna Punch Sales Director

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