Packaging is a major source of waste, but there is no excuse now for any of it going to landfill (or, indeed, incineration).  Polystyrene is a major no-no as it is not commonly recycled, but there are alternative insulation options out there, and cardboard should always be made from FSC-certified sources or similar.

Mäkkipak produces biodegradable bubblewrap bags and bubblewrap rolls and will make custom sizes of the product if needed.  It also supplies made-to-measure boxes – to avoid the use of excess padding material – as well as cardboard loose fill (as an alternative to polystyrene chips), packaging tape made from recycled paper and other affiliated products.

Priory Direct has ‘eco-icons’ on its website showing which of the many packaging and mailing products available – from FSC-certified cardboard boxes to biodegradable Eco Flo loose-fill ‘peanuts’ – are environmentally friendly on a score of one to five, and you can use filters on each product page to find products with the eco-credentials that matter the most to you.

Stocked by various outlets, the aforementioned Eco Flo is compostable and made from sustainable raw materials such as GM-free starch, and is claimed to give better protection than traditional polystyrene loose fill.  Greenlight Packaging’s other protective products include Eco Bio air cushions, which are made with biodegradable film.

Packaging and posting equipment company Davpak has strong environmental credentials, emphasising the use of recycled materials and encouraging customers to buy products that can be re-used time and again.  The Bubl Bag it stocks is not biodegradable like the Eco Flo, but can be re-used and is therefore better than using polystyrene loose fill; its other products include Presswood Pallets made from woodchips, eco-friendly paper loose fill, Kraft paper tape and carrier bags made from potato starch.

Maxpack supplies sustainable packaging products including biodegradable paperstrapping made from certified wood sources (as an alternative to hard-to-recycle polypropylene plastic strapping), certified boxes, Geami paper-based wrapping material (to avoid bubblewrap), Greenline paper void filling and biodegradable palletwrap.  Its returnable options include crates and plastic pallets.

Ecovative Design makes compostable mycelium packaging inserts and insulation.  Its Mushroom Packaging is grown using mycelium – the branching, vegetative part of a fungus – and the byproduct of hemp.  It also provides Grow-it-Yourself kits for those brave enough to try making their own product.  As well as Ecovative, other companies have also cottoned on to the idea.

Meanwhile, Packhelp has a range of eco packaging solutions, including its Eco/Eco White Mailer Box, which is made from at least 90% recycled material, is fully recyclable, and is available in a variety of dimensions.  It uses Kraft cardboard and your design will be printed on it with water-based ink.  Customers can also choose to donate to reforestation (via environmental charity One Tree Planted) with each order they make across the Packhelp site, and in return will receive an ‘eco badge’ for their business to display.

Finally, Raja has an ‘eco-responsible product selection’ covering film, pallets (manufactured from recycled polypropylene), labels and the like.

Packaging is a major source of waste, but there is no excuse now for any of it going to landfill (or, indeed, incineration).  Polystyrene is a major no-no as it is not commonly recycled, but there are alternative insulation options out there, and cardboard should always be made from FSC-certified sources or similar.

Mäkkipak produces biodegradable bubblewrap bags and bubblewrap rolls and will make custom sizes of the product if needed.  It also supplies made-to-measure boxes – to avoid the use of excess padding material – as well as cardboard loose fill (as an alternative to polystyrene chips), packaging tape made from recycled paper and other affiliated products.

Priory Direct has ‘eco-icons’ on its website showing which of the many packaging and mailing products available – from FSC-certified cardboard boxes to biodegradable Eco Flo loose-fill ‘peanuts’ – are environmentally friendly on a score of one to five, and you can use filters on each product page to find products with the eco-credentials that matter the most to you.

Stocked by various outlets, the aforementioned Eco Flo is compostable and made from sustainable raw materials such as GM-free starch, and is claimed to give better protection than traditional polystyrene loose fill.  Greenlight Packaging’s other protective products include Eco Bio air cushions, which are made with biodegradable film.

Packaging and posting equipment company Davpak has strong environmental credentials, emphasising the use of recycled materials and encouraging customers to buy products that can be re-used time and again.  The Bubl Bag it stocks is not biodegradable like the Eco Flo, but can be re-used and is therefore better than using polystyrene loose fill; its other products include Presswood Pallets made from woodchips, eco-friendly paper loose fill, Kraft paper tape and carrier bags made from potato starch.

Maxpack supplies sustainable packaging products including biodegradable paperstrapping made from certified wood sources (as an alternative to hard-to-recycle polypropylene plastic strapping), certified boxes, Geami paper-based wrapping material (to avoid bubblewrap), Greenline paper void filling and biodegradable palletwrap.  Its returnable options include crates and plastic pallets.

Ecovative Design makes compostable mycelium packaging inserts and insulation.  Its Mushroom Packaging is grown using mycelium – the branching, vegetative part of a fungus – and the byproduct of hemp.  It also provides Grow-it-Yourself kits for those brave enough to try making their own product.  As well as Ecovative, other companies have also cottoned on to the idea.

Meanwhile, Packhelp has a range of eco packaging solutions, including its Eco/Eco White Mailer Box, which is made from at least 90% recycled material, is fully recyclable, and is available in a variety of dimensions.  It uses Kraft cardboard and your design will be printed on it with water-based ink.  Customers can also choose to donate to reforestation (via environmental charity One Tree Planted) with each order they make across the Packhelp site, and in return will receive an ‘eco badge’ for their business to display.

Finally, Raja has an ‘eco-responsible product selection’ covering film, pallets (manufactured from recycled polypropylene), labels and the like.