Today’s consumers care about the environmental impact of packaging now more than ever. One particular demographic leading the charge is Generation Z. Comprised of digital natives born roughly between 1996 and 2010, Gen-Zers are expected to make up 40 percent of all consumers by 2020.
As the first group born into the digital era, Gen-Zers are more likely to seek out information about a product’s sustainability as a key factor in their purchasing decision than any other demographic. This is part of why many brands now place an emphasis on investing in sustainable manufacturing practices for their packaging.
Believe it or not, custom boxes can help reduce waste and lessen the environmental impact of packaging, compared to one-size-fits-all stock boxes and mailers. Powered by digital print and converting technologies, brands that use custom packaging may also save on shipping costs in the long-term.
Here are 3 ways that using custom packaging can help reduce waste:
Right-Sized Packaging Minimizes the Need for Void Fill
When it comes to both sustainability and cost-savings, it can be much more efficient to use right-sized, custom packaging that is tailored to the product at hand rather than a generic box or mailer. By being sized appropriately to your specific product, custom packaging minimizes the need for void fill or even eliminates it entirely.
Void fill refers to any type of cushioning or padding added inside packaging for protection and includes foam, tissue paper, bubble wrap, paper shavings, or filler chips. The purpose of void fill is to take up the empty space in packaging to protect the contents during transit, often recommended for products that are fragile, heavy, or irregularly shaped.
From an environmental perspective, using excessive void fill in packaging may appear wasteful to many customers. Because common void fill options like packing peanuts and foam are not recyclable, they typically end up in the landfill. If your customer can’t quickly and easily recycle or repurpose your packaging, it may be perceived as a nuisance and result in a poor brand experience.
Digital Print Reduces Packaging Excess
Traditional print methods like flexo and litho-lam require brands to commit to high minimum order volumes. If the full supply does not get used before a packaging change or new marketing campaign, brands run the risk of wasting unused packaging — also known as packaging obsolescence. Digitally printed custom packaging can help reduce the number of extra boxes, labels, or displays that are printed but never used.
Since digital print can produce orders in exact quantities, brands can help reduce waste by avoiding the production of extra units. They have the opportunity to order the exact amount they need and minimize the risk of packaging obsolescence.
Additionally, since the quality of digital print is consistent from the first box to the last, packaging materials are not wasted during machine setup and calibration.
No Print Plates or Tooling Required for Digitally Printed Packaging
With traditional print methods such as flexography, individual print plates are required for each color in your packaging design. As you can imagine with multi-color jobs, multiple print plates must be manufactured in order to produce the desired custom packaging project.
By choosing digital print as your custom packaging method, the impact on the environment is substantially reduced because the need for many traditional pre-press procedures is eliminated. Since print plates aren’t required with digital print, brands can easily update their packaging without the need to manufacture new plates each time (and obsolete plates don’t go to waste, either).
Design Custom Packaging with an Environmentally-Conscious SupplierAt Fantastapack, we produce all of our custom packaging orders at our Seattle-based facility. By
operating our own manufacturing plant, we have complete control of the environment in which your custom packaging is produced. We warehouse almost all of our packaging materials on the manufacturing floor, eliminating truck transportation and reducing our carbon footprint.
Fantastapack strives to continuously improve our environmental profile and help offset packaging’s impact on the planet. As a part of our commitment to sustainable manufacturing practices, every purchase made on Fantastapack goes to fund the planting of one tree with One Tree Planted, a non-profit organization focused on global reforestation. This is our way of giving back and making a difference — one order at a time. Design and order your custom packaging today.