Before we go deep into the topic of eco-friendly packaging ideas, let’s talk about the word “eco-friendly” itself.

It can be one of the words you hear the most in all these years. The food, the cars, the advertisements, the product labels, and the instruction of your phones, the list can go on and on. And I am sure you will find more footprint of the word “eco-friendly”.

“Eco-friendly” gained popularity for people’s rising awareness of environmental protection.

After serious damages to the environment in particular. It sounds like a result of a sad story. Despite that, the good thing is being eco-friendly has been the trend.

However, do you know really know what eco-friendly is?

Here’s the definition on Wikipedia below,

“Environment-friendly processes, or environmental-friendly processes (also referred to as eco-friendly, nature-friendly, and green), are sustainability and marketing terms referring to goods and services, laws, guidelines and policies that claim reduced, minimal, or no harm upon ecosystems or the environment.”(source:
As you can see, this is a huge topic that can cover every detail in life. But The meaning of eco-friendly varies from one to another.

For packaging accordingly, it refers to packaging products with less or no harm to the environment.

The topic was not strange to you.

Plastic was once the tumor of the packaging industry for environmental issues. The abuse of single-use and non-recyclable materials has caused many problems. Landfill, harm to animals, marine pollution, and more. The list is long.

Therefore, eco-friendly packaging solutions have become more crucial than ever.

Packaging has played a big part in life after all.

Eco-friendly packaging ideas #1: More than environmental protection

The importance of eco-friendly packaging is more than the reduction of environmental impact.

About society and economy

Eco-friendly packaging is also a topic about society and the economy. Isn’t it way too much?

No kidding, if you take a look at the big picture.

As we all know, the environment and culture are the roots of society. The sun, the air, the water, the plants, the animals, and other things altogether. Any single part gets problems, the trouble occurs to the others. Global warming, the coronavirus, and plastics pollution, and any other issues you could name and remember.

Several countries and going to disappear, if the high temperature continues. And most of the entire world has hardly moved forward under the epidemic situation. The global economy has plunged.

All these matters result in threats to humanity’s survival. No need to mention the impact on the economy and society. The logic is easy. No environment, no survival, and no business in the end. And it is the result of the overuse of the environment or harmful actions to it.

The business model benefits all involved. Packaged goods companies reduce material costs, gain positive community attention, rebrand themselves as environmentally conscious, and gain actionable data on an emerging subset of their target population.

End-users gain the satisfaction of knowing they are minimizing their carbon footprint and introducing their loved ones to best practices.

So, being eco-friendly helps with not only environmental protection but the development of society.

Business benefits

As one of the key elements in society, business shares the benefits of eco-friendly packaging. By adopting eco-friendly packaging ideas, your business will enjoy benefits like

1. Increased brand vision & identity. Because consumers tend to choose companies and products caring more about the community.

2. Enhanced customer satisfaction with eco-friendly packaging solutions easier to dispose of or recycle.

3. Potential sales growth resulting from increased brand vision, identity and customer satisfaction.

4. The reduced carbon footprint of your business by eco-friendly packaging solutions.

5. Lower costs to deal with environmental problems by the production in the long run.

Now that eco-friendly packaging is so important, what can we do to support it?

A simple and easy way. Use eco-friendly products and solutions.

However, we probably need to know it first. What options do we have as eco-friendly packaging solutions?

Eco-friendly packaging ideas #2: Types of eco-friendly packaging

Generally, there are 2 types of eco-friendly packaging by the ways to use. They are (a) recyclable packaging and (b) reusable packaging.

Recyclable Packaging

Recyclable packaging refers to packaging easy to recycle after disposal. Typically, the materials to produce recyclable packaging are compostable and biodegradable. For example, paper-based packaging. Also, recyclable packaging usually comes with the feature of easy transit.

Common Recyclable Packaging Products

Paper-based packaging

Paper-based packaging is biodegradable, hence unlikely to take much space of the land. And the recycling of paper-based packaging is easy even if it ends up in the landfill. Because the raw materials are well processed before mass production.

After the main paper material finishes their missions in the frontline, the leftover pieces continue the cycle. Scrap paper is the raw material of a variety of products such as fiber-board, paper sacks, wrapping paper, and more.

Moreover, many companies are adopting and developing paper-based bottles as containers for coffee, soft drinks, and other beverages. You can easily find the paper coffee cups when you try to get some coffee in many coffee shops today.

At the same time, the usage of paper bags to keep dry foods has become prevalent such as coffee, tea leaves, snack food and nuts, cookies and candy, and spices.

Because paper-based materials can keep the freshness of the food by “keeping their breath”.

All in all, paper packaging is a wised choice with eco-friendly packaging ideas. It is a competitive alternative over the other packaging solutions. (source:

Also read Food Packaging Market Insight to know more about the food packaging market.

Although paper-based packaging solutions are popular for food packaging today, corrugated cardboard might not good at preserving food. And the other fragile products either. Because the cardboard alone might not offer enough strength. And exposure to moisture and humidity can kill the cardboard.

However, thanks to evolving technology, there are still many paper-based options other than corrugated cardboard. Check the paper-based packaging solutions now.

Bio-based Plastics

If the plastics are more attractive to you. The bio-based family in the tribe of plastics is the one with eco-friendly packaging ideas.

Bio-based plastics get their names because they are biodegradable. Among the bio-based plastics family, PLA (aka polylactic acid) can be one of the most famous members. The raw material to produce PLA is the starch of fermented plants.

Typically, from corn, cassava, sugarcane, or sugar beet pulp. Thus, PLA gets the nick-name of corn plastic. The PLA material will decompose over time in the environment.


With the eco-friendly feature, PLA has gained popularity in many countries. It is likely to make the new trend of single-use plastic bags.

However, there are still issues with bio-based plastics. They could cause environmental impacts from the view of sustainability.

Bio-based plastics are not likely to cause the problem of landfills. But the increasing demand could potentially result in shortages of food. Crops like corn are lifesavers for people in some areas. It is a challenge given the growing population worldwide.

Moreover, to meet the indefinite needs for bio-based plastics, we possibly lose more forests as the cost. And a potential increase in pesticide use which is not good for the environment.

Hopefully, the evolving technology will be able to figure it out asap. At the same time, it is a message for us to reduce the unnecessary use of materials.

Other than adopting recyclable packaging, reusing the packaging is also another eco-friendly packaging idea.

eco-friendly packaging ideas on paper-based packaging

Reusable Packaging

It is not hard to under the term Reusable Packaging from its literal name. And we can find a lot of reusable packaging around.

Also, it highly depends on you to determine whether or not the packaging is reusable.

Now let’s take a look at them.

Common Reusable Packaging Products

Plastic Packaging

Yes, it is the plastics again. Despite the bad reputation of White Pollution, even ordinary plastic packaging can be eco-friendly. You can easily do it by using plastic packaging with your eco-friendly packaging ideas.

For example, avoid damage to the box of your new gadgets or the bags of your new clothes. Because they can be containers and protection for some other stuff. Especially when you need to send them out or bring them during vacations.

These easy and handy steps are going to generate excellent eco-friendly results. Since both re-manufacturing, the plastic products and sending the damaged ones are costly to the environment. Sometimes even more than the cost to produce the new products. The lack of oil and the landfill just well witness that.

And your good deeds of re-using the packaging will largely ease the burden of our environment.

Therefore, reusable plastic packaging is also another eco-friendly option. Remember to avoid damaging them and save them for future use next time.

Besides, some paper-based packaging solutions are also reusable now thanks to modern technology.

What packaging to choose?

Now that we have seen the types of eco-friendly packaging, which one to choose then?

We do have some standards to help with your choices.

Eco-friendly Packaging Standards

  1. The packaging is safe for humans and the environment throughout its life circle

  1. The technology or way to produce the packaging is clean and does no harm to humans and the environment

  1. The packaging meets environmental criteria and is affordable by ordinary consumers

In conclusion, what the packaging solution does and how we deal with it is far more important than the material itself.

Sometimes, the ordinary reusable plastic packaging can be more eco-friendly than paper-based ones.

Likewise, if we abuse paper, the damage to the environment possibly will exceed that of plastics.

You will make your eco-friendly choice if you understand the key to eco-friendly packaging ideas. That is, taking the whole picture of the environmental impacts of the packaging solutions. From choosing the material, situations to apply, to the way to deal with them after use.

After that, if you are struggling with your options. The experienced packaging specialists from PrimePac are happy to help. here.

Any other eco-friendly packaging ideas we can do for the environment? Yes.

Eco-friendly packaging ideas #3: what else to do?

Reduce Packaging

We have discussed before; the abuse of packaging material can cause environmental problems. Even eco-friendly materials would be harmful to the community if used improperly.

Therefore, the demand for packaging is the core of the matter.

Here comes another eco-friendly packaging idea then. Reduce unnecessary use and save the material for packaging. Be a participant in the minimal packaging trend.

But how to reduce the use of packaging while ensuring the safety of the products? We know it might be difficult for you. No worries. You have got us to help you with it.

With in-house knowledge, PrimePac can cater to a diverse global audience. Make use of our network of experienced professionals in the packaging industry here.


Artists and manufacturers are increasingly aware that, just like other larger companies, they need to make thoughtful choices around the packaging they use. Customers demand more sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging, but many designers and manufacturers are also looking for better options to help protect the planet.

The most environmentally friendly packaging option is usually to reuse any boxes, envelopes, and materials that you have in your home. But as your small business grows, this is not always feasible. Although using 100% recycled packaging is good for the environment, it is not necessarily the best choice to ensure product safety, build branding, and communicate design skills.

Therefore, if you want to make your package environmentally friendly, Ahmed from Folksy partner Packhelp has compiled seven environmentally friendly packaging concepts for your creative business…

1. Avoid excessive packaging This is very simple. By using the wrong size box or packaging,

There is a risk of damaging your product because it will hit the wall.

Need to use more filler materials to protect your products, which will generate more waste.

To avoid this, please choose the packaging that is the most suitable for your product. This does not necessarily mean choosing custom packaging, but be sure to consider the size of the product you are sending, and choose the smallest box or mail in which the product can be safely placed.

Make sure your product fits and fits comfortably to avoid breakage or damage. If you need fillers, please use them in moderation.

Too much packaging or wrong box size, your customer may ask:

Is this store carefully packaging my products?

Are all these packagings necessary?

What can I recycle?

A huge cardboard box full of useless paper will not only increase shipping costs and cause more waste, but it will also seriously affect your brand. By using packaging that fits your product in size, you will convey your values ​​as a brand that cares about the environment, your products will be safer, there will be fewer returns of damaged products, and you will be the planet. All won.

The concept of environmentally friendly packaging for creative companies

2. Embrace the humble cardboard box

Cardboard is a simple and environmentally friendly material. It is biodegradable, reusable, and is made from the recycled pulp in most cases. Cardboard boxes are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and have little impact on the environment.

Double and three-layer cardboard boxes are very strong, which can ensure your products are safe and sound during the entire transportation process. Even if the cardboard boxes are not segregated when they are thrown into the trash can, they can easily decompose in the landfill.

All this means that cardboard is a reliable way to keep packaging clean, cheap, and environmentally friendly.

As we have discussed before, custom printed cardboard boxes or envelopes are a good choice for creative companies because they can form an important part of your brand and help increase your visibility and strengthen your brand image -But when choosing a supplier, look for a product that uses recycled materials and water-based inks, because this adds more sustainability to an already sustainable packaging solution.

When it comes to cardboard, you can also use it out of the box. If you need to send small items (such as jewelry and accessories) that require more protection than plain paper envelopes, but you want a more sustainable alternative to plastic mail and bubble-lined envelopes, then cardboard envelopes are perfect.

If you use Royal Mail, there are also cardboard packaging options tailored to suit the size of large letters or small packages-learn more here.

This means you can get value for money in transportation but in a fully branded way. Or, if you sell your products at craft fairs or through pop-up shops, paper bags are also environmentally friendly.

3. Make your packaging reusable

Monday’s child designed a box that doubles as a toy

Whether we are talking about primary packaging (the packaging around the product), packaging for display on store shelves, or packaging for shipping products, you can reduce waste by making packaging reusable.

Use your creativity here-if you knit children’s sweaters, maybe you can design a paper bag that turns into a hanger in some way, or you can design a transport box that can also be used as a pen holder or a paper flower vase?

Or, if you sell handmade skincare products, bath and beauty products, or handmade candles, can you encourage your customers to return their bottles and jars to lower the price for refills?

Be creative! For example, Monday’s Child, a British clothing brand for children, designed a box that not only serves as a package, but also as a toy.


The time to complete the eco-friendly mission can belong. But we are on our way to implementing eco-friendly packaging ideas. Join us on the ongoing journey by 2 simple actions.

  1. Adopt eco-friendly packaging solutions

  1. Deal with the packaging in eco-friendly ways after use

Do you have more eco-friendly packaging ideas? Tell us here. Your voice matters.

Click to know more eco-friendly packaging solutions with creative designs. Add more value to your brand vision with full-color printing on your eco-friendly packaging.

eco-friendly ideas on packaging solutions