When’s the last time you got a package shipped with packing peanuts? While Styrofoam is certainly cheaper than other materials, the growing awareness of Styrofoam possibly being carcinogenic has led to cities and countries worldwide to ban the material.
Getting your product to your customers in the most safe, eco-friendly manner possible is increasingly important in today’s world. Here’s how you can achieve that without breaking your bank.
Bubble Wrap/Foam Roll
One of the most widely used packaging supplies is bubble wrap or a foam roll, and it’s easy to find. Since it’s thin and flexible, you can wrap nearly any fragile item in a protective layer and you won’t worry while it’s in transportation. Not only is bubble wrap arguably the most fun void fill (the satisfaction of popping bubble wrap is a free bonus for the receiver!), but it’s also one of the cheapest.
However, we’re sad to say very few recycle options exist for bubble wrap. The more often the same sheet of bubble wrap is used, the less protective it is.
Air-Based Void Fill
If you’ve ordered an Amazon package lately, you’ll recognize the plastic polyethylene bags that cushion your items inside the brand’s classic smiling box. Air-based void fill tends to be recyclable, lightweight (i.e., doesn’t increase shipping costs), and saves storage space when uninflated. However, the machines to inflate them can be expensive, while the bags take up a lot of space within the package, encouraging bigger shipping boxes.
We recommend using air-based void fill, especially if you’re an online product brand, because you’ll ultimately save more money on void fill that way. However, if you’re just shipping products now and then as a supplement to your business’s main hustle, bubble wrap is perfectly cheap without offending most people. And to make all of your shipping needs even more affordable, join AFEUSA and get access to our exclusive UPS Express Delivery benefits!
Article by Charles Jackson, President of AFEUSA