With the rise in online shopping, most companies have to ship goods out to customers. This has necessitated the need for better, sustainable, and less costly packaging. Many businesses improvise ways to create packaging that lessens their carbon footprint. These companies are embracing the concept of cradle-to-cradle – ensuring a product’s sustainability from the sourcing of materials to the disposal of the packaging.
While a supplements company might source its ingredients sustainably, the problem comes during shipping – from the producer through the retailer to the consumer. The industry has been innovative in the packaging used from recyclables to biodegradables.
Below are eight sustainable packaging options that dietary supplements companies can consider:
- Biodegradable Air Peanuts
For a long time, companies have used Styrofoam to package products. Styrofoam was affordable and light. However, the packaging was recently banned in New York and many other states around the United States – it is neither biodegradable nor economical to recycle. The material, known as expanded polystyrene foam (EPS), finds its way into waterways affecting marine life.
If you need an alternative to Styrofoam, you can use biodegradable air peanuts. The peanuts work the same way as Styrofoam, but they are more sustainable because they are biodegradable.
- Inflatable Pillows
Inflatable pillows work the same way as Styrofoam or bubble wrap, but they are made from recycled materials. They are available in different sizes to accommodate items of various sizes. The packaging fills voids in boxes to provide cushioning to the packed supplements.
Primarily, the packaging contains air, which reduces the amount of packaging used in their production. A few air pillows come in handy to cushion your products against shock. Unlike Styrofoam, companies can reuse, recycle, or dispose of the pads because they are biodegradable. When shopping, only go for packaging made from recycled materials.
- Up-Cycled Corrugated Cardboard
Bubble wrap packaging is a favorite of many companies shipping fragile items. For instance, if you are shipping ketone supplements in glass bottles, you might need to protect them from breakages. The ketone helps increase metabolism for a healthy lifestyle, and the glass container is re-usable, making the product sustainable. But since you need to ship the ketone supplement to the consumer, you need a safe packaging.
Instead of conventional bubble wrap, companies now use corrugated cardboard. Instead of recycling or disposing of cardboard waste, companies make small cuts on the cardboard to make the cardboard ideal to protect your goods against shock the same way bubble wraps do. Miss out on popping the bubbles, but you save the environment.
- Seaweed Package
Seaweeds and algae contain a gelatinous substance that finds its way into many applications. In the food industry, the substance is used as an alternative to gelatin to make vegetarian meals.
Other than its use in foods, some innovators are using the substance as packaging material. The packaging could be the go-to packaging for supplement companies (and other companies) that need sustainable packaging.
- Cornstarch Packages
Cornstarch is a product of corn or maize plant. It can be molded to look like plastic and make bottles, loose-fill packaging, and many other packages. If you use it for packaging ketone supplements, you will get the benefits of eco-friendly packaging and ship your supplements safely. Ketone supplements customers are mostly people who value sustainability.
While cornstarch has its benefits, the packaging competes with animals’ and humans’ food supply. If so many companies use cornstarch packaging, it might raise the price of the corn.
- Mushroom Packaging
Mushroom packages clean and ground agricultural waste bound together by use of the mushroom root, known as mycelium. Companies only use agricultural waste that humans or animals could not use for food. This way, there is no competition like the one seen when cornstarch is used to make packaging.
The wastes are molded into different shapes, dried, and used to package small and medium-sized items. The material doesn’t use petroleum or food sources, and it is highly biodegradable. Consumers can compost the material at home.
- Recycled Paper and Cardboard Packaging
Besides filler materials, items to be shipped need to come in boxes. Cardboard boxes are the most common. While these two are biodegradable, if they are not sourced right, they can cause severe effects on the environment.
Fortunately, it is economical to recycle paper and cardboard. As a supplement company, you can source post-consumer or post-industrial recycled paper and cardboard. If you cannot source for recycled packaging, go for packaging that is FSC-Certified  – the certification shows that materials come from sustainably maintained areas.
- Recycled Plastics
Some packages require plastic. If you are shipping tons of supplements, you might feel the need to use plastic in packaging. However, this doesn’t mean that you go for the first plastic packaging that pops in the ads. Today, you can get plastics made from 100 percent recycled plastic.
Cities all over the world are moving towards sustainable production, shipping, and consumption. As a supplement company, you need to recognize the opportunity and switch before sustainable packaging becomes mainstream.