Sustainable Packaging Questions to Ask That Can Save You Money

What is luxury?
What is sustainable packaging?
How can we save money?

I’ll answer those in a second but first let me explain, what you need to ask. Those first three are logical questions to ask, but there are critical questions you can’t be afraid to ask.

We know this, because we’ve done our research and know there are questions brands are not asking.

Here are 3 questions you should always ask:
What certifications does the factory making my packaging have?
This is important if you are buying from a packaging reseller because many purchase from multiple factories. Often those factories subcontract overflow work to smaller factories without any certifications. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know, and there’s a lot of unknowns. Like this next question.

Are the materials still recyclable once combined to make my packaging?
Many laminates and foils are available that are recyclable and backed by data to that effect. But once those materials are combined to make packaging they are no longer recyclable. Materials and finishes can impact recyclability of your packaging.
But the question that can help save you money comes next.

Am I using the right sized packaging for my brand?
We know many packaging buyers are not asking this question because it means slowing down the RFP process to review their current packaging. How this question can help you save money is by shifting your packaging usage to smaller, less expensive packaging from larger more costly ones. 

Packaging resulting from a size audit and designed to use appropriate materials from a certified factory are a great way to find savings in sustainable packaging. A size audit will reveal wastage in your program and identify shared dimensions that can lead to a completely modular packaging program.

Use These 3 Budget Saving Tactics for Sustainable Luxury Packaging

Lightweighting
After your packaging has been right-sized via a size audit, it can be light weighted. Lightweighting is a way to minimize the amount of material per packaging component.

As an example, by reducing the GSM of a luxury sheet of paper and increasing the weight of a turn-top reinforcement board we can deliver a paper bag of substance. This magically shifts the costs from the more expensive sheet to the less expensive board that goes unseen.

Collapsibility
Luxury is known for its heavy gift boxes that come in all shapes and sizes.
Foldable rigid boxes are a fast solution to reduce your storage requirements and fit more within a container. Maximizing space saving today helps reduce freight charges and storage fees.

Magnet-Free
Many luxury gift boxes have hinged magnetic closures. FYI, recycling centers hate magnets.
Eliminating magnets and creating a paper-based locking mechanism not only reduces the weight of each box, it also makes the entire box more widely accepted at recycling centers.

Each of these tactics can lead to cost savings, when used in conjunction with the questions above can help improve the sustainability of your packaging.

These questions and tactics are a great starting point for any brand looking to improve the sustainability of their packaging. We’re seeing brands doing great things in this space and know you can too. Don’t be afraid to ask, and don’t settle for “it’s just how it’s done” type of answers.

You can always challenge the status quo, it’s how we improve.

Back to the first questions:

What is luxury?
It’s a feeling, not an item or a logo. Luxury packaging conveys an emotion, excitement, and beauty.
Don’t lock your brand into a material that’s not recyclable because it’s what you’ve always done.

What is sustainability?
Making decisions that allow you to continue flourishing. What do we mean? Making packaging decisions that negatively impact your margins will reduce the ability for you to sustain your business. It means reducing your workforce, impacting your quality, and finally not being able to sustain your business.

Making decisions that benefit your business, employees, consumers, and the planet are the most sustainable ones you can make. Defining what sustainability means to your business is the first step to creating a sustainable packaging program.

Join one of the thousands that have downloaded our sustainable packaging guide, here.

How can we save money?
Schedule your own size audit with IDP Direct and learn how Factory-Direct is leading sustainable packaging, info@idpdirect.com