Businesses and customers have to do their bit for sustainability. You may not have thought about it, but custom-made boxes help the environment in a direct way, do you know why?
By the very nature of the e-commerce model, packaging is something absolutely essential that also helps to sell. We make hundreds or thousands of shipments a year, and each one of them goes inside its corresponding cardboard box and all the necessary complements (adhesive tape, bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard, labels…).
All this, which is basic, also has an impact on the environment. That is why we have to be aware – and make others aware – of the importance of choosing the best option based on this criterion, making intelligent management of resources and, of course, recycling waste material. We can also reuse instead of using Gaylord, card box or other packaging staff, one of the sustainable ways is not to buy a new cardboard/packaging/Gaylord, but to exchange it, here where you can do The gaylord box exchange
Is it worth using cardboard boxes?
Absolutely. In fact, based on the alternatives we can find in the market, cardboard boxes are a very important option to consider because they have important advantages:
- They are highly durable and can be used in many ways before disposal.
- They are light in weight, so they do not increase the weight of shipments; but they are also resistant, so protection is guaranteed.
- They have an affordable cost for any business.
- They are environmentally friendly and can be recycled (and made from recycled materials).
Let’s stop at the last point, which is the key to this article. The raw material used to make this type of packaging is basically cellulose, so degradation is quite fast even if it is not recycled. We can talk about a maximum time of one year which, depending on the exposure to the climate, can be considerably less.
Cardboard is sustainable in itself. But also because it is a very efficient alternative to petroleum-based plastics, which are largely non-biodegradable and take 100 to 1,000 years to decompose.
Why are custom-made boxes even better for the environment?
There is no material that consumes less than that which is not used. You’ll agree with us that all too often you get a package and, inside a huge box, you find a small product. Those eCommerce guys are basically sending air by courier.
This is even a little bit ridiculous at first glance. But it is also an environmental and economic problem for companies.
For the environment, because we are using a lot of material to build the box that could be put to better use. It’s not just a question of raw materials, we also have to take into account that manufacturing processes have an environmental impact and generate a carbon footprint (even if it’s recycled cardboard).
Let’s also not forget that using an oversized box means that we need additional solutions to secure the packaging inside. It can be bubble wrap, plastic or any other filling, but all this is added to the sum together with the corresponding handling.
Economically, it is also a problem for online shops. As we said, they are sending air in boxes, and that means, among other things, that more space is taken up in the warehouses and in the vehicles.
The logistics companies charge us on the basis of the cubic meters we are using, so the customized boxes save us and our customers.
And they are more sustainable, because each trip of the corresponding van or truck is more optimized, which means fewer kilometers and, logically, a lower carbon footprint.
Also from the perspective of the company and sustainability, it is worth noting that incorrect packaging leads to more breakages and incidents. Each of these is equivalent to one dissatisfied customer, one return and putting polluting vehicles back on the road.
Are all cardboard boxes the same?
Well, as we are saying, obviously not. We do not enter into sizes or shapes.
The real difference in terms of sustainability, apart from the amount of raw materials used, lies essentially in the manufacturing processes and the real commitment to the environment.
This is a matter we take as seriously as you do. That is why we have sought to obtain the ecological seals and certifications issued by some of the most important entities in the world in this field, as well as the necessary licenses and registrations. Among them, we highlight some that we comment below.
PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification)
It is the most widely implemented forest certification system in the world and has been used by top companies for more than 20 years.
The PEFC seal guarantees that the raw material of forest origin used to make the boxes and packaging comes from forests that are managed sustainably.
When you, as a customer, choose packaging with this seal, you are making a decisive contribution to preventing illegal logging in order to defend biodiversity and to curb global warming. Furthermore, this ethical decision guarantees economic support for communities that depend on these sustainable exploitations.
FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)
In addition to the PEFC certification we just told you about, all our boxes are certified with the FSC seal.
This forest council audits the companies that apply for its seal. It ensures that they comply with 10 universal principles and more than 56 criteria that guarantee that both the origin of the wood and the intermediate processes that take the product to the end customer have been respectful of sustainability. In addition, they guarantee the viability of forest exploitation and its biodiversity in the medium and long term.
This seal was created as a non-profit organization that brought together existing criteria and seals in order to make these values a single one. In this way, consumers are clearly informed about the origin of our boxes.
How can I make my packaging more sustainable?
You have already seen that it is always much more efficient to resort to custom-made boxes. In addition to this, it is important that you start using boxes certified by entities such as those we have mentioned. With these 2 measures, you already have a lot of livestock.
Another good policy is that if, because of the nature of your product, you are going to need to use some kind of additional filler as extra protection, there are some options such as paper shavings and other ecological fillers that are more sustainable than plastics.
And you, are you aware of the importance of eco-friendly packaging in eCommerce? Do you join us in defending and protecting the environment?