These days customers aren’t just looking for great products. They are hunting for products from companies that care about the environment. Many consumers will purchase one product over another based upon the sustainability of the packaging. At Indepak, we can create custom packaging solutions that can meet or exceed your sustainability goals.


What Is Sustainable Packaging?

Sustainable packaging is any type of packaging that is either easy to recycle or created using materials that are as eco-friendly as possible. A sustainable package also might be one where the amount of packaging materials is reduced or perhaps it’s a type of packaging that can be re-used by the consumer, such as a tub with a lid. Here’s a quick look at what you might consider for your own custom packaging solutions.


Recyclable Packaging

At Indepak, virtually all the materials we use are recyclable. Selecting recyclable materials can be an excellent way to boost your sustainability. For instance, you might consider using materials such as PET, PP or HDPE. With these materials, consumers can simply toss the used packaging into their recycling bin.


We can create custom packaging for a wide range of industries using recyclable materials. This includes creating custom clamshell packaging, custom blister packaging, custom thermoformed trays, tubs and more. Whether you produce a specialty food item, a medical kit, a retail product or perhaps electronics, we can create a custom package that meets your needs and is as eco-friendly as possible.


Recycled Content

Rather than using completely new (virgin) plastic materials, we can create your packaging using recycled content. This could be post-consumer content, such as packaging that already was handled by consumers or pre-consumer content. This means that the plastic was never sitting on a store shelf or handled by consumers.


For instance, after we create plastic packaging, there is usually a remaining web of plastic that was not used for the project. This pre-consumer material can be recycled and used again and again to create new packaging.


When it comes to recycled content, you can opt for packaging that is created entirely out of recycled materials or a portion of the packaging using recycled content. Typically, your budget will factor into this decision, but we always try to find the most sustainable custom packaging solutions for every client’s budget.


Renewable Materials

For some types of packaging, we can use starch-based bioplastics as the material source. These are plastics created from plant starch, which is a renewable resource. These plastics are not suitable for all types of packaging, as they have some unique properties, but they are approved for food contact and can be used for a variety of projects.


However, it is important to note that while these biomaterials can be recycled, and some are compostable, widespread collection of these materials for recycling and composting is not available. Compostable packaging will not break down in a landfill, and they need to be taken to a special composting facility, which is not easily accessible for many consumers. Bioplastic recycling also is not as common as the recycling of traditional thermoform plastics, such as PET, HDPE, PP and LDPE. Still, using renewable sources for your packaging is a sustainable choice and reduces the overall use of traditional plastics, which may be attractive to you and your customers.


Combination Designs

At Indepak, we’ve been designing custom packaging solutions for more than 50 years, and one of our areas of expertise is creating combination designs, such as trap blisters. For these packages, we create a custom plastic cavity to protect and showcase your product and then “trap” that plastic cavity between two pieces of paperboard.


This type of packaging reduces the overall amount of plastic needed to create your packaging. We can use easily recyclable materials for this plastic portion of your packaging, and we also might be able to use materials with recycled content. In general, we also look for ways to reduce the size of your packaging, while still keeping it as protective as possible. This reduces the overall amount of packaging needed for your project, and it also allows you to ship more units per box, which can reduce your shipping costs.


Modified Atmosphere Packaging

When it comes to sustainability, it’s not just about material selection. With specialty food packaging, keeping items fresh for as long as possible reduces food waste, which is a huge problem in our world. Modified atmosphere packaging can extend the life of fresh foods for several days or even weeks, reducing food waste and allowing you to extend your market reach. We understand how to design parts for MAP packaging properly, and we can work with your lidding film suppliers to ensure material compatibility.


No matter what type of custom packaging solutions you might need, the team at Indepak will do our best to create the most sustainable options possible. Not only are we committed to helping our clients reach their sustainability goals, we also strive to be a low-waste operation in every part of our company. We’ve been committed to recycling, reducing and reusing long before it was popular or required, and we are happy to help find an eco-friendly packaging option that fits your needs and budget.


Additionally, when we talk about custom packaging solutions, we go beyond simply designing and producing your packaging. We offer services such as packaging fulfillment, inventory management and on-time shipping. Give us a call today and we can discuss your plastic packaging needs.