Packaging waste makes up one-third of what is delivered to landfills each year

Small businesses can contribute to the SDGs by choosing a more sustainable packaging

We have an issue. If you are a sustainable, eco-conscious business, social enterprise, or just a small company, not even a dot in the universe, you will still have this in common: PACKAGING.

E-commerce has contributed massively to economic growth, making products accessible from around the world to people living anywhere on the planet. It has opened the doors for social enterprises born with a mission, with very little budget, and given them a chance to commercialize their products. E-commerce is a boom and until now everything seemed incredibly positive. But when things tend to go so well, there is usually a counter-effect. Again, that is the packaging.

In 2018, the global eCommerce market was worth an estimated 2.8 trillion dollars. Last year, the delivery service UPS delivered 5.2 billion packages. YES, BILLIONS. According to the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States, packaging waste makes up one-third of what is delivered to landfills each year. 

Packaging waste makes up one-third of what is delivered to landfills each year
Photo: Chuttersnap on Unsplash

What adds up to this concern, is that these packaging solutions are not even satisfying the customer experience. Either packaging is too big for the product, or the brand is using too much packaging, or the material of the packaging cannot be recycled or repurposed. Most of the time, the packaging used for shipping online orders is also not pretty, and when it is good-looking… It’s not protecting how it should!

Like tends to happen, the solution has to be led by brands. Their end-customers deposit all their trust and responsibility in them, but what are the other challenges small businesses have to deal with to source their packaging?

  1. They have to spend a lot of their budget on the packaging because of the large MOQS (minimum order quantities).
  2. They have to purchase it all: the mailer, the box, the tissue, the tape, and the stickers. 
  3. If brands decide to make the investment, generally there’s a lack of options to customize with their branding. This translates into spending a lot of money and not getting a good design experience to their customers.
  4. When brands spend money on all the above, they’ll find that the Post is charging them more to use eco-friendly packaging than their plastic satchels (if you didn’t realize yet, it’s all about making business here!)

The Guide for Eco-Friendly Packaging Ideas

How to access eco-friendly packaging solutions no matter the size of your business

Don’t freak out, good brands out there! For sure an ideal world would be where “no packaging is needed”. But that is not an option, I am afraid. 

And again, all the pressure is on the smaller companies, who’d their customers are calling the shots to act in the most sustainable way, creating a positive social and environmental impact. Which you may agree with my friends, is a good thing. 

Now, I am going to get you thinking of packaging in a way you never did before: sustainable packaging has become a great opportunity for your business (no matter the size) to contribute to the SDGs’ goals. As immediate positive effects, you show off with your eco-friendly packaging! In the long run, you will also include this in your sustainability reports, your marketing communications, and what matters the most to you – you will make your customers happy. 

Packaging waste makes up one-third of what is delivered to landfills each year
Photo: Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

While doing the research, Noissue is the only sustainable packaging distributor that ticked all the boxes:

  • Full eco-range: mailer, tissue, and stickers (tape coming soon!)
  • Made out of acid-free paper that is FSC Certified.
  • Print with soy ink, instead of petroleum-based ink. Made out of soybeans, this ink provides more accurate colors and makes it easier to recycle paper (I know, you probably never even thought inks would be such an issue too!)
  • Customizable options for your brand with an easy-to-use interface. Tissue, stickers or tape, you can create your own design right on their website or upload a finished design. 
  • Small MOQs (minimum order quantities) starting with 250 units, available in different sizes and colour options. The packaging company is so transparent they will give you an instant budget depending on what you are after.
  • They were born thinking of small companies. Their motto is: “It is 2019. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Fortune 500 company, or a boutique shop owner, we should all be striving to be eco-friendly” Josh, co-founder Noissue.
  • Not sure? Get some free samples here

This solution is ideal for your go-to packaging, but also for marketplaces, crowdfunding campaigns, special promotions, subscription services, pop-ups, PR & Events, creative agencies or 3PL’s services delivered to your facilities. 

Top 10 sustainable ideas to start a paper-related business

How is your small business contributing to the SDGs with packaging

No matter how tiny your business is, you will be contributing to global reforestation. One tree at a time, thanks to small, medium and large size businesses, Noiusse has planted worldwide over 3,600 trees. 

positive impact noissue Eco-packaging sustainable program plant trees
The impact of Noissue sustainable packaging with their Eco-Packaging Alliance partnership program

Their Eco-Packaging Alliance is a great way to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal SDG15. This is to “protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”. 

For every order made with your business, Noissue plants trees in those areas in the planed that are needed the most. Because you are directly contributing to their program, that will give you access to the Eco-Packaging Alliance badge to promote your eco-goodness to your customers. Being part of this program will allow you to display the sticker on your storefront, whether it’s a physical store or online.

Customisable eco-friendly packaging for your brand: better design, more protection

My wrap-up is that whatever packaging solution you chose for your business, please do the research. Being the packaging waste that makes up one-third of what is delivered to landfills each year, for sure your business doesn’t want to be contributing to that. There are design, features, MOQs, and sustainability needs to accomplish when it comes to packaging, and I get it, it’s become such a nightmare to be great in all areas of your company. The good thing is that there are incredible businesses such as Noissue making packaging easy, so you can get back to what’s most important: your business.

Packaging waste makes up one-third of what is delivered to landfills each year

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Maxime Ducker

The powerhouse behind OurGoodBrands. She's a social, eco & spiritual activist driven to create positive change. Her mission is to connect brands with conscious shoppers to show that we can build a new economy, society & world together. She's a big believer in the power of the individual, and the important contribution each creature on this Earth can bring as a part of the whole. Yoga, natural health, plants, astrology, and crafts are Maxime's ways of opening her heart, creating art & raising her to higher consciousness. Besides her simple and minimalist way of life, travel and living in other countries, learning languages and getting to meet new cultures is in her DNA.

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