Delivering Lightly: How Delivery Doesn’t Have to Mean Waste

Mar 10, 2021

More postage doesn't have to make more plastic.

We’re in the midst of a delivery only world, with eCommerce continuing to increase. With increased delivery of goods, and a need to ensure your goods arrive safely, comes an increase in packaging.

Cardboard, plastic, bubble wrap and more, amples of tape. Fortunately there’s a number of sustainable alternatives available on the market to lighten your business’s carbon footprint – and consumers are demanding it.

A recent survey found that 32 per cent of urban Australians prefer eco-friendly packaging, and it’s just as well if Australia is to reach it’s 2025 target for all packaging to be sustainable as agreed by the Turnbull government in 2018.

So what are the eco friendly packaging delivery options for your eCommerce business? Let’s find out.

Compostable Packaging

Choose a packaging that your customers can compost at home – like Hero Packaging. Created by a husband and wife team, hero Packaging is an Australian owned business that uses compostable and zero-waste packaging in a  variety of colours. Made primarily from cornstarch, they can breakdown in your customers home compost bin in around 3 months. The key here is compostable, unlike biodegradable, which is when a product breaks down into smaller microplastics.

Compostable Delivery Packaging

Image: Hero Packaging

Seed Packaging

Sometimes known as plantable packaging, these packages have seeds embedded into their paperlike material so your customers can plant them, giving them a second life. This type of packaging is best suited to small and lightweight parcels like jewelry or skincare products.

Mushroom Packaging

Grown in seven days, mushroom packaging can be used in place of styrofoam. The clever thing about mushroom packaging is that it’s made by mixing mycelia (the fungus sprouts) with seedlings or agricultural residue. The mycelium grows around the residue to make the packaging. Providing it stays relatively dry it has a long shelf life making it reusable if your customers wanted to return it.

Recycled Packaging

Another option is to try and use cardboard boxes made from 100% recycled materials. Recycled packaging can also refer to cartons, paper Jiffy bags, or filling to wrap fragile pieces.

Recycled Packaging

Seaweed Packaging

A raw material that is found in abundance is seaweed. The Japanese design team AMAN have used powdered Agar combined with algae fibres to create a dupe for plastic packing material known as “Agar Plasticity”.

Water Soluble Packaging

A clever initiative aimed at saving the ocean from plastic is water soluble bags – that is they are able to be dissolved in hot or cold water in a matter of minutes. Startup Green Ocean Group uses the same component you might find on a wrapped dishwasher tablet. At the moment they’re mostly focussed on retail shopping bags and something akin to cling film but we suggest you watch this space.

Water Soluble Packaging - Green Ocean Group

Image: Green Ocean Group

Offset Carbon Emissions

If decreasing packaging or using a compostable option isn’t viable for your business, you can offset your carbon emissions. By using an organisation like Greenfleet or Carbon Neutral you can offset the CO2-e associated with emissions from standard parcels for around $10 per 1000 parcels.

Check out our article on the value of going carbon neutral and why you need to jump on the bandwagon.

Making the shift to more sustainable postage packaging is an investment for your business, but with more options on the market and increased consumer demand for a greener option – it might be time to consider making the switch.

Has your business made the switch to eco friendly packaging?

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