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Five things you need to know about recycled paper packaging

By 17/03/2022March 29th, 2022No Comments

Protective packaging’s key role is to protect goods during transit from damage and paper void fill packaging has many benefits. When the parcel arrives, it is not only important that the consumer is satisfied, it is also vital that the impact on the environment is minimized. With the global pandemic accelerating e-commerce sales, online retailers are seeing this trend continue which means the role of sustainable protective packaging has never been more important. As a sustainable product and an Eco-friendly alternative to bubble wrap, recycled papers offer many benefits as an Eco void fill. The following are five things you need to know about paper as a protective packaging material:

1. Excellent protective properties 

If a product is damaged during transit and has to be replaced, additional resources are needed for its replacement including the extra transport, which increases the carbon footprint of the delivery. Protective Packaging made from recycled paper offers the same excellent in-the-box protection as virgin material. Paper is highly-efficient, sturdy, lightweight, customisable and it is able to meet product and customer-specific needs.

Whether filling voids, cushioning from a potential impact or shock, blocking and bracing goods against transport damage: Paper cushioning made from recycled material offers all-around perfect protection for your packaged goods, even if they’re small and fragile, or bulky and heavy.

2. Reusable and easy to dispose of 

As the environmental impact of packaging has been rapidly increasing in consumer awareness, it now plays an important role in commercial success and has remained top of the agenda for many brands. In a recent survey 80% of consumers stated the reusability and recyclability of packaging are one of the most important features in their product choice when making a purchase decision(1).

Recycled paper cushions can also be recycled several times. In Europe, 71.9% of all waste paper was recycled in 2019(2). This is a very high rate compared to many other raw materials. However, these two points must be considered when making the right selection:

  • Paper coating: In particular, the so-called composite materials, in which the paper is inextricably linked to another material, often plastic, pose a major challenge when it comes to recycling.
  • Printing inks: For the de-inking process, selecting recyclable printing inks are the best option as they can be easily removed by the recycler.

In addition, businesses are now adopting circular economy practices. This environmental business model encourages continuous reuse of materials to minimize both waste and the demand for additional natural resources, therefore increasing recycling and reuse rates.

Protective packaging made of paper is also reusable. Once the parcel has arrived safely at the recipient, the protective packaging can be used for further shipments without any loss of quality, even after a long period of time.

3. Resource-saving

In addition to the wood used as a raw material, which is no longer required for renewed production of recycled paper cushions, the water and energy requirements also decrease significantly. The lower energy consumption reduces the resulting emissions, which means that protective packaging made from recycled paper is more sustainable.

In concrete terms, the use of paper made from 100% recycled material compared to kraft paper without recycled content means a reduction in CO2 emissions of up to 22%. This not only has a positive effect on the environment, but also … On the one hand, companies can improve their own carbon footprint by using recycled protective packaging, and on the other hand, the focus on sustainability is now also a key purchasing criterion.

But not only the CO2 consumption is significantly reduced, also the use of fossil resources is reduced by up to 40% and the water consumption by even up to 87%(3).

Thus, protective packaging made of 100% recycled paper can be clearly classified as sustainable.

4. Low use of material 

Recycled paper pads are lightweight and thin and help to reduce the environmental impact of transportation. Due to their flexible properties, recycled paper cushions can be used in a variety of ways as protective packaging, not only ensuring reliable shipping protection against transportation damage from knocks and impact but also securely packs sensitive and fragile products.

For consumers, an important factor when making a purchase decision is the amount of packaging used. This is supported by a recent survey with 50% of global customers saying they would avoid products that require a lot of packaging quoting ‘as much as necessary, as little as possible’(4).

In response to these rising calls from consumers for use of sustainable and reduced in-the-box packaging, companies must consider the amount of paper they need and use. Ideally, manufactures of paper cushioning should be able to provide a wide variety of recycled paper packaging solutions for a diverse range of industries which means products can be tailored to individual packing requirements ensuring boxes are not over filled with wasteful paper.

5. Consumers like paper packaging

At first glance, consumers have limited influence on the choice of protective packaging and it is the responsibility of retailers and packaging suppliers to use the most appropriate protective packaging. However, in the long term, choosing the ‘right’ protective packaging can have a positive impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions.

Market research in 2020 has shown companies that package their products with paper are rated higher by 77% of consumers(1) than those using other protective packaging materials.


The benefits of using recycled papers  

Protective packaging made from recycled paper offers numerous advantages:

  1. Same excellent protective properties as conventional material
  2. Fits the circular economy model
  3. Low energy and water consumption and CO2 emissions
  4. Flexible, adapts to individual packaging needs
  5. High customer rating

The next step to take….

Are you looking to reduce your plastic packaging consumption? Eastpac Group provide professional consulting services, and can guide you through the transition to greater packing efficiency and high-performance, environmentally sustainable alternatives. Contact us.