3 Strategies For More Eco-Friendly Business Shipping

Posted on: 9 October 2019


As a responsible business owner, you may be looking to green up your shipping process. Cutting down on the waste your company generates is a noble goal, but it will require some research and planning. The following are three key strategies for creating a more environmentally friendly shipping process.

#1: Go Plastic-Free

Plastic air cushions and foam peanuts are two of the most commonly used cushioning items when it comes to shipping fragile goods. Fortunately, there are alternatives. First and foremost, properly sizing the shipping boxes to your product will drastically cut down on the amount of filler material that is needed. Instead of petroleum-based fillers, switch to paper options. Packing paper, starch-based peanuts, and compostable bio-materials are all available for use. Most of these materials can be tossed into the customer's compost or recycling bin. Just make sure to include information in every box on the proper way to dispose of the eco-friendly packaging.

#2: Choose Recycled

Recycled shipping materials means that your business is not adding anything new to the waste stream, and is instead keeping materials in circulation for longer. You can get recycled boxes, packing paper, and filler materials for packaging all of your products. Even items like shipping labels can be printed on recycled paper. For items that must be shipped in sturdier packaging, such as in waterproof mailing tubes, opt for heavy duty reusable tubes, and consider having an in-house recycling or re-use program where customers can return their tubes for a discount on their next purchase.

#3: Manage Shipping Impact

When it comes to the actual shipping of your products, you have less control. You can opt for a carrier that also works to lower their environmental footprint as a start. Quick shipping options can result in the use of more fossil fuels, but most customers expect quick delivery. You can encourage customers to choose a slower option, though. Label it the "eco shipping option" and provide a bonus for selecting it, such as a small discount on the current or next purchase. Further, cut down on the shipping impact of returns by only requiring customers to send back certain products. For example, for items that are low-cost and likely to simply be dumped upon return, just replace the item without requiring the customer to ship it back.

You may not be able to prevent all waste or fully separate your business from the need to use fossil fuels during shipping, but every small step your business takes to become greener will have an impact on the planet. Contact a company like Huckster Packaging & Supply to learn more.