Posted on June 15, 2023 by Michael Boik

4 Innovations for Sustainable Packaging Design

The most common aspect of sustainable packaging that people think of is recycled content and recyclability. But, this is also, frankly, the easy part. Sustainable packaging design goes beyond the board content and digs a bit deeper.

We are proud to say that nearly all of the packaging products we offer are made from recycled content. Everything from padded or unpadded paper mailers, rigid envelopes, paperboard and corrugated boxes are anywhere from 30% to upwards of even 100% recycled content, and also fully recyclable. We’ve long emphasized our preference for paper products over plastic, and recycled content has been a focus of ours for over a decade.

As an industry leader in sustainability, we know recycling only scratches the surface, and try to find innovative and creative ways to be environmentally-conscious in our packaging design. Below are a few examples that we specialize in.


Right-Sizing Your Packaging (Reducing Board/Waste)

All too often we are saddened by companies like Amazon and many others and the oversized shippers they use to send small products. We understand that this is a time-saving method in many cases, but the frustration is very high when we receive shipments like you see in the image here. This is unnecessary and aside from the obvious waste of board, consider also the waste of energy (water/fuel) during production. Right-sizing is relatively easy for us, as we have over 240 existing cutting dies, which means we likely have a size that works for your product(s) without the expense of new tooling. But even if new tooling is needed, this is a one-time expense, and the longer term cost-savings may be substantial if/when your materials and shipping costs are reduced.

It was in this spirit that we created the Ta-Da Box (pictured below), and are proponents of any mailer design/concept that can reduce board waste during production, and frankly, dollar wastes during shipment. Consider also that a right-sized box will also travel more safely/securely and possibly eliminate any potential harm to your products, potentially eliminating the added waste of return shipments from your customers for damaged products. More on that below.

Eliminating Void Fill (Reducing Packing Materials/Adding Inserts)

This goes hand-in-hand with the above point. As you right size your packaging, you are in doing so also eliminating excess empty space within the package, and thus, eliminating the OFTEN non eco-friendly void fill materials. Adding internal packaging such as corrugated inserts, dividers or partitions, can also help with this, both eliminating the need for other void fill options and also providing better protection and presentation for your products. In many cases, the amount of board used to create a right-sized box with an insert is LESS board than an oversized box with no insert.


Making the box reusable, resealable, returnable

Resealable boxes are hot right now, and they provide a wide range of benefits. Consider a trial product that you ship to your customers with the intention of them sending the product back to you. Rather than the unnecessary disposal of one box only to utilize a second box, with tape or other closure, a resealable box can accomplish both the initial and return trip and save on the packaging and closure (tape) materials. Adding a resealable tape closure to any mailer is probably easier and less costly than you anticipate. You can read more about peel and seal/resealable mailers here.


Eliminating the box completely—if necessary

We are one of the few box companies that often will not try to sell you a box. We understand better than most that a box is not always the best solution for a given product. Many times we will steer customers away from boxes which can be again, oversized or wasteful for certain products that may lend themselves to a rigid mailer or paper mailer. We offer a wide variety of alternative packaging as seen here, and are proud to say that mailer envelopes are probably our most eco-friendly packaging product we offer.

Trust us, we’ve seen it all, and we’ve led the charge in eco-friendly, sustainable packaging design for over a decade.

Please Contact Us Today

As always, if you have any questions, one of our branded packaging advisors is standing by to assist, with decades of experience behind them. Want to know more about custom packaging options? Please call us at 630-551-1700 or contact us via email at


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