Breaking Up with Plastic: Sustainable Packaging Alternatives

Breaking Up with Plastic: Sustainable Packaging Alternatives

What is Sustainable Packaging?

Although there is no definite definition, sustainable packaging considers packaging strategies that lessen our ecological footprint and environmental impact. Examples include reusable materials, packaging that can be recycled, and using less material to package items. Today, there are sustainable alternatives for a variety of traditional protective packaging materials which are outlined below.

Water-Activated Tape vs. Plastic Tape

Water-Activated Tape

Traditional plastic tape is made from petroleum and is hard to recycle. On the other hand, water-activated tape, commonly called WAT, is made from kraft paper, making it just as recyclable as a corrugated box. As one of the best and most popular ways to secure shipments, WAT strongly bonds to corrugated cartons after contact with water. Other benefits include theft prevention, application consistency, branding, and ergonomics.

Expandable Cellulose Wadding vs. Bubble Cushioning

Cellulose Wadding

Expandable cellulose wadding protective packaging is a great alternative to bubble cushioning. It is flexible and stretchable to fit around oddly shaped items and is absorbent to pull moisture away from products to prevent damage. Made with 100% recycled and biodegradable cellulose tissue, it is 100% curbside recyclable.

Corrugated Cushioning Wrap & Kraft Paper vs. Air Bubble Film

Corrugated Cushioning Wrap

As an alternative to traditional air bubble film, corrugated cushioning wrap is made from paper and air, making it completely recyclable. Kraft paper easily fills open spaces in boxes and forms around products for protection. This sustainable packaging is ideal as a void fill for shipping eCommerce, cosmetics, and other small to medium-sized products.

Padded Paper Mailers vs. Bubble & Kraft Mailers

Padded Paper Mailers

Padded paper mailers have a cushioned lining to protect items during shipment without having to wrap the item individually before inserting it into the mailer. Paper mailers provide better protection during shipment than traditional bubble and kraft mailers and are made from recycled paper and are curbside recyclable.

ExpandOS vs. Packing Peanuts


ExpandOS paper pyramids are made from fiber certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and are reusable, recyclable, and minimize package weight. Often used instead of packing peanuts, ExpandOS have superior blocking and bracing capabilities and are commonly used to ship service parts, building materials, repair items, and ceramics.

We help our customers source new sustainable products to help package more efficiently with less waste. Contact our packaging experts for more information.

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