• Packaging has historically been one of the most wasteful industries in existence. In the past decade, the rapid rise in consumerism and global trade has spiked the demand for packaging. Despite producing vast amounts of plastic packaging, only about 7% gets recycled. This low recycling rate leads to most plastic packaging ending up in landfills or polluting natural environments, including oceans. There, it harms wildlife and ecosystems. The widespread use of single-use plastics and harmfully-biodegradable materials worsens the situation. To make matters worse, it’s also an incredibly outdated industry. Because it’s often overlooked by many, innovation happens slowly and companies lag behind their sustainability targets. A perfect example - the cardboard box hasn’t changed in the past century!

  • At EcoPackables, we’re on a mission to change this. To solve the global packaging waste crisis, it’ll require constant raw material innovation, new manufacturing techniques, as well as a strict discipline to the materials used. All of our products and films are vetted to be compostable, recyclable, or made from post-consumer recycled content. This is a high-level overview of our baseline.

  • From there, our team of sustainability experts pair LCA data with a holistic approach to recommend the best possible packaging for each individual company. This can vary depending on your location, how many SKUs you have, what your packing process looks like, as well as your allowed budget.

  • There are natural constraints in any business, and there is no “one size fits all” for packaging. Some companies can afford to use the most sustainable packaging options (i.e PCR Paper with Algae Based Inks) because they have the resources to do so. Other brands that operate in a thinner margin environment might not have that luxury. We get it. This is why we offer a wide range of sustainable packaging options— to help brands of all profiles. If you can’t use the most sustainable packaging option, we have alternate options (i.e PCR Plastic) that are extremely cost effective (sometimes cheaper than regular plastic) and get you on the right track. When it comes to sustainable packaging, it’s much better to get rolling than to wait for perfection. 

  • Similarly, it’s very important that sustainable packaging is equally functional as non-sustainable alternatives. When it comes to protecting your valuable product and standing out on the shelf, it’s imperative that you can still do that while being sustainable. While there are cases where this isn’t fully possible (i.e Recycled LDPE might have some impurities), our engineering team works closely with your team to ensure that samples and production runs are equally, if not better, performing than your current packaging.

  • Naturally when you push the barriers of sustainability, you’ll get pushback from legacy providers on what they think is correct. Below is an example of a common question we get asked. 

    Why do we sell compostables, aren’t they bad for the environment?

  • Depending on who you ask, there are many mixed feelings about compostable technologies and flexible packaging films. When reading about this topic and attempting to make an informed decision, it’s very important to consider the source. Most companies only have the ability to offer one or two materials (generally paper or plastic). At EcoPackables, we manufacture all three types of packaging (compostable, recycled plastic, and recycled paper), so we have a very unbiased stance on which we recommend.

  • As we see it right now, recycled paper is the material that works best for most apparel and cosmetics brands. When the paper is FSC-Certified, made from 100% PCR Waste, and printed with non-toxic inks, it’s a great packaging option. This is primarily because they are curbside recyclable. A downside of these that most companies conveniently leave out, though, is that they are the highest footprint option. Carbon-intense recycling processes, paired with a heavier material profile, means their CO2 emissions aren’t great.

  • When it comes to compostable packaging, our stance evolves over time as new results and research comes out. One thing that is apparent to us though — we can’t keep relying on simply paper and LDPE (plastic) for the future of our packaging. There needs to be innovation in this space and other materials, this is why we currently offer compostable materials. Our options right now might not be “perfect”, yet, if companies like us don’t invest in these technologies, progress towards the perfect compostable material will be delayed or never occur. Sure, there are shortcomings. The composting infrastructure isn’t fully built out, and we don’t have a great alternative to fossil-based PBAT which is a binder in many bags. However, if we don’t begin exploring these options and funding R&D in the material science space, legislation won’t change to accommodate the infrastructure and new materials won’t be developed. For this reason, we view compostable technologies as an investment into the future — an important one too. 

  • We always encourage these difficult conversations, as it’s an opportunity for growth and we can re-educate brands and distributors to think differently about packaging. The key emphasis with packaging — there is no silver bullet. No matter what packaging product / material you use, it’ll have its benefits and its drawbacks. This is why it’s so important to reduce the amount of packaging used, while also supplementing the necessary parts with sustainable alternatives. This is where our founding slogan came from: 

  • Not using any packaging is the most sustainable option. We’re #2. 

Sustainable Materials Frameworks

recycled paper

Our Recycled Paper raw materials are FSC-Certified and can be made up to 100% PCR.

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recycled plastic

Our Compostable raw material is made from a unique blend of compostable polymers.

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Our Recycled Plastic raw material is GRS certified and its blend can be customized.

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  • Articles

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  • Guides

    Need some guidance? Check out our guides to get started with sustainable packaging.