5 Eco-Friendly Packaging Material Alternatives

Packaging is necessary for safe shipping and handling. Plastic and Styrofoam packaging, however, is detrimental to our environment. To reduce packaging waste in your company and decrease your carbon footprint, consider switching to a greener packaging option. These are some of the best eco-friendly packaging alternatives.

Stone paper and plastic

Stone paper and plastic are made from calcium carbonate—one of the most abundant resources on Earth. Similar to paper made from trees, stone paper is both recyclable and printable. Stone paper is also waterproof, and its production consumes less water and energy than that of traditional paper.

Cornstarch packaging

Cornstarch packaging—also known as bioplastic—is essentially a plant-based plastic made from the waste products created during the production of corn. These products are then broken down into polylactic acid, which is biodegradable and odor-free. The production of such paper and plastic is highly sustainable and produces both loose-fill packaging and molded packaging forms.  

Mushroom packaging

Mushroom packaging is a cheap and eco-friendly option for supporting smaller items. This Styrofoam alternative is made from ground agricultural waste that’s fused together with the help of a mushroom root known as mycelium. After production, the raw material can be molded into a variety of shapes before being dried and used as packaging. The final product biodegrades at a rapid pace, and you can easily compost it at home.

Seaweed packaging

Seaweed packaging is an environmentally-friendly, biodegradable solution to unsustainable plastic packaging material. This packaging has a flexible membrane created from seaweed extract. Because seaweed is such a plentiful and sustainable material, this packaging could mark a big change for the better in the packaging industry.

Paper bubble wrap

While it might not be as fun or as poppable as plastic bubble wrap, paper bubble wrap is much better for the environment. Paper bubble wrap is essentially corrugated cardboard that has been upcycled. Similar to bubble wrap, it’s great for protecting fragile items from breaking during the shipping process.