Are you done with expensive packaging, that is not even eco-friendly? Us too! Most of Our Good Brands have found that they need to spend a long long time researching plastic-free or eco-friendly packaging options. Most often, packaging comes from far away, with no reasonable balance between budget and MOQs, and much less has the option to customize it with your branding. CPP… because we have brought to you The Guide for Eco-Friendly Packaging with loads of (pretty, practical, affordable) ideas!

CPP product lines are seamlessly aligned with the ongoing Food, FMCG, apparel, electronic and other packaging shift toward sustainable solutions.

We know the trouble and what it takes: large minimum order quantities, excessive budgeting for little branding, big packaging for small products; all to end up… in the landfill. And we are also one of those who agree that eco should not go against design. And neither against small businesses, trying so hard to achieve the sustainability standards of the pressing consumers’ demand! Therefore, we have created The Guide for Eco-Friendly Packaging with loads of inspiring ideas. No more packaging nightmares… that’s a promise!

How to make sure the inks are eco-friendly in your packaging?

If finding eco-friendly packaging materials wasn’t tough enough, here’s another issue: the inks used to print your branding.

For any of the eco-friendly packaging options, when CPP, whether it’s tissue, paper stickers or compostable mailer, you will find this brand prints with soy ink, instead of petroleum-based ink. Soy ink is made from soybeans, a renewable resource. 

If you wonder, the bonus of printing ink made out of soybeans is that this ink provides more accurate and vibrant colours and makes it easier to recycle paper, as it doesn’t leave behind petroleum-based products when decomposing. 

While soy inks are slower to dry than many inks, another added environmental benefit is that soy inks have low levels of VOCs, reducing air pollution during the drying process.

What kind of certifications you should look for in eco-friendly packaging?

Finding the right certifications in your eco-friendly packaging is definitely another added layer of complexity. So when you do your research, we’d recommend you to explore its circularity: this means, what happens from its production to the end of its lifecycle (aka repurposing, recycling, composting…).

When it comes to paper packaging, even though the paper is a renewable and natural source, if it’s not FSC® Certified most likely it will NOT be sustainable: we’d be cutting trees to make our deliveries look pretty.

The FSC® or Forest Stewardship Council® certifies that the paper products are sourced from a forest and supply chain that is managed responsibly and sustainably. FSC® forest management standards are developed at an international level and are then adapted to individual countries’ legal, social, and geographical settings, through national standards.

What we also love about CPP is that the company has also earned an FSC® Certification. Even better, when you order with them you will contribute to planting trees and global reforestation. So far, with small brands like yours, they have planted over 3,600 trees.

If you want to level up your brand with your packaging, with CPP you can also become an active partner of their Eco-Packaging Alliance. If you do, you will get a badge to promote the fact that you are using eco-friendly packaging and have it displayed on your storefront.

There are other options out there to customize your packaging, and it becomes incredibly important you do your research and support companies that invest back in inputting to the planet the resources, such as planting a tree for each order.

The EU tax on plastic packaging waste, implemented on 1 January 2021, has again brought to the fore the debate about what is the most sustainable packaging material.

We are all well aware of the challenges facing our environment as a result of years of poor waste management and bad packaging decisions. The answer to sustainable packaging – the ideal solution is - it should avoid waste, have a low carbon footprint, be made of renewable materials, be recyclable or compostable at the end of life, and be material and cost-efficient. Sounds easy? That’s right – it’s not. 

Packaging fulfills many different purposes – most importantly protecting, preserving, and promoting the items inside – and each packaging material has certain advantages over others depending on its end-use. At CPP, we believe paper should be used where possible, and plastic when useful. To choose the most sustainable solution, the application of systems thinking within a broader circular approach is needed. 

There is no doubt that plastic has an important role to play and must not be written off completely. For example, the barrier properties of plastic help to extend the shelf life of products and therefore prevent food waste – with minced or ground beef lasting up to 26 days longer when packaged properly. When you factor in the associated resource loss, such as water, energy, or land, it is clear that food waste is a major contributor to global warming. Comparatively, the production of plastic has a small carbon impact relative to the production of the food it carries and so can play a key role in mitigating climate change. Plastic is also necessary for medical products and other applications where sterility and hygiene are paramount.

On the other hand, when it comes to waste and the end-of-life impacts of materials, paper can be seen as a clear winner. Paper offers many benefits – it is naturally compostable and currently one of the most recycled materials around the world, not to mention much stronger than people give it credit for. Equally, as a truly renewable raw material, the paper doesn’t contribute to wider environmental problems when sourced from responsibly managed forests. There is a widespread misconception that fiber-based packaging is driving deforestation, however, responsibly managed forests protect trees by giving them value so that the land is not converted to make way for other uses. Equally, as trees grow they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere as part of a natural carbon cycle.

Paper and plastic have different advantages and sometimes the most fitting solution combines the best properties of both. Our PerFORMing removable product, used for delicatessen items like cheese slices and cold meats, is an example of how the benefits of paper and plastic can be brought together to produce sustainable packaging. The package is 80% paper-based, where the shallow paper tray has a thin plastic coating to extend the shelf-life of the food content and avoid waste. This plastic coating can be easily removed, allowing the paper tray to be 100% recyclable across Europe. As a result, 70% less plastic is used than a conventional plastic tray and there is a 70% reduction in CO2.

When making sustainable packaging choices, a holistic approach is needed which takes into account the entire value chain. CPP’s focus is on being sustainable by design, moving away from only thinking about materials to a broad approach to sustainable systems and circular economies. By continuing to collaborate and innovate with key partners across the value chain, businesses can each play a part in addressing the issues of packaging, waste management, and mitigating the impact of climate change.

We are FSC® Certified Packaging company [Licence code: FSC®-C162592]. Ask us for FSC® Certified Packaging Products HERE.

-Bureau Chief: Kacharagadla | CPP Insights

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