The case for compostable packaging

More and more, your eCommerce customers demand packaging that won't end up in landfill. That's why we offer an earth-friendly alternative to your usual packaging. Fully compostable mailers.

As we head into Plastic Free July 2021, there's never been a better time to start lowering your plastic consumption, or better yet, going all-in with a zero-waste lifestyle. That's what the global movement is all about. Encouraging all of us to refuse single-use plastics during the month of July- and far beyond.

And for eCommerce businesses weighing up whether sustainable packaging aligns with their brand aesthetic, new research shows that customers care less about how the packaging looks when it arrives than how they feel when they toss it out.

 

Why might this be?

It’s a long, complicated story involving many countries' fraught relationship with recycling plastics. Many municipalities and councils in the US and Australia don’t actually recycle the plastics they collect. Instead, they ship them to countries like China. 

In 2018, China banned the imports of mixed paper and plastic, leaving parts of the world in a lurch. As a result, many have backtracked on their plastics recycling programs—including recycling plastic bags, poly mailers, and packaging. 

Consumers today don’t want to spend their days decoding recycling rules. They want to quickly and sustainably dispose of your packaging and feel good doing it.

According to a survey by Sendle, 57% of consumers said they get frustrated with the amount of packaging the products they order come in. 

What better argument is there for keeping it simple? 

 

So why not choose cardboard packaging instead? 

Cardboard packaging is more easily recyclable than plastic but presents its own challenges. 

While it’s sturdy and great for protecting more fragile items, its weight and lack of flexibility means it takes up more space in trucks and planes.

This leads to more vehicles and trips required, emitting more greenhouse gases as a result. In fact, the transportation sector (which includes shipping and logistics) generates the most greenhouse gases in the world (17% of total global GHG emissions), based on this 2020 study.

 

The answer? Compostable packaging

In some ways, compostable mailers combine the best of both worlds. 

They’re lightweight, flexible, easier to transport, and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. All without gumming up the works at recycling plants. Instead, they biodegrade easily in a backyard compost or worm farm.

In addition to the environmental benefits, people love them. According to Sendle’s survey, 64% of consumers said they’d be more likely to buy from a retailer that offered compostable packaging!

 

Sendle compostable packaging infographics

For more on the science behind composting, check out our posts here, here, and here! And try out our fab compostable mailers too!

 

Small businesses tackling plastic waste every day

While Plastic-Free July give us a great moment to challenge ourselves, and think about our commitments to the environment, so many small businesses are already doing this - every single day.

In fact, earlier this year we asked our customers about their eco-friendly packaging habits, and it turns out 76.9% of the businesses using Sendle say their packaging is recyclable, 57.6% say it's compostable, and nearly 50% say it's completely plastic-free!

Now, that sounds like a pretty good start to us. 

 

Wherever you are on your path to sustainability, reducing your reliance on single-use plastics, (particularly when it comes to your packaging), is a great way to help the planet and make customers happy along the way. 

Happy Sendling.

 

Ship sustainably with Sendle

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