Packaging Advice

The complete guide to paper packaging

5 mins

Today, achieving a sustainable packaging solution shouldn’t cause headaches for your business, nor break the bank. Organisations all around the world are looking to implement sustainable packaging – and not only with a focus on helping our planet.

Due to the UK Government’s recent introduction of Plastic Packaging Tax, combined with the rise in consumer demand for sustainable solutions, packaging that results in hefty tax bills, as well as harms your businesses’ reputation, just isn’t viable long-term.

Fortunately, with the support from an expert packaging supplier your business can avoid these potential issues and be well on your way to running a highly commendable packaging operation.

So, let’s explore paper packaging in more detail to give you all you need to know to make an informed decision.

What are the benefits of paper packaging?

1. Paper packaging is more biodegradable than other materials

Generally, paper has higher biodegradation rates when compared to other types of packaging material – especially plastic. This means that paper packaging breaks down in natural environments quicker when exposed to bacteria, yeast, and other organisms.

2. Paper packaging is easy to recycle

With a recycling rate of 74% in Europe, paper is one of the most recycled materials across the world. That’s pretty good going, right? Well, to be more exact, paper packaging has an even higher rate of 85%. This makes it the highest recycled material out of any other kind.

3. Paper packaging is better for the environment

At an extremely low 1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, the pulp and paper chain is one of the lowest industrial emitters in the world. Compare this to the 4.5% of plastic, which has doubled since 1995, and you can see why many businesses are switching to paper-based solutions. What’s worse, by 2050, the accumulation of gases produced via plastic is estimated to account for up to 13% of the total remaining carbon budget.

4. You can print directly on paper packaging

Setting aside its environmental benefits for a second, paper is extremely useful when it comes to supporting brand awareness through packaging. Because it’s easily printed on, your logo, brand colours, and messaging can be visible directly on the packaging material.

5. Paper packaging is versatile

Paper-based materials can be used in a number of ways to create various packaging solutions. From bespoke presentational packaging through to honeycomb paper wrap, sturdy cardboard boxes, and paper void fill solutions. The use of paper packaging can also help a product seem premium or high quality.

What are the disadvantages of paper packaging?

1. Paper packaging takes up more space in landfills than plastic

Because paper is less dense than plastic, it takes up more space in landfill when comparing an equal weight. Every ton of paper recycled saves more than 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, so we really encourage to recycle paper.

2. Paper packaging can cost more than plastic

Paper packaging can cost more than plastic alternatives. However, paired with innovative space-saving design, and the marketing benefits that paper brings, it could still be more beneficial for your business.

3. Paper packaging can be less durable than plastic

Some paper packaging products, particularly those of low-quality, can be less durable than plastic packaging. If this a concern for you, hold your thoughts there.

At Swiftpak, we use cutting-edge design with quality paper packaging products to offer superior strength. Right from packing through to shipment and arrival of your goods, our paper packaging solutions won’t let you down. Speak to one of our experts today for more information on how we can assist with your paper packaging needs.

4. Paper requires more energy to produce than plastic

Did you know it takes four times the amount of energy to create a paper bag as opposed to a plastic bag? This means that when not recycled, a paper bag must be reused 3 times to neutralise its environmental impact over a plastic bag.

5. The recycling of paper results in a higher carbon footprint than plastic

91% more energy is needed to recycled a pound of paper compared to a pound of plastic. This means that the recycling of paper results in a higher carbon footprint.

Examples of paper packaging products

1. Honeycomb Paper Wrap

An eco-friendly alternative to bubble wrap, with no compromise on performance. Using die-cut paper technology made from 100% FFC-certified kraft paper, Honeycomb Paper Wrap can be used to add protection quickly and efficiently to your products - in a way that protects the environment too. It’s extremely lightweight and flexible, allowing you to store up to 250m of paper wrap on a single roll. Why not find out more on this sustainable bubble wrap alternative.

Honeycomb paper wrap

2. Paper Voidfill

Paper voidfill is incredibly versatile and is used to protect goods from damage during shipment. By filling any empty space between your product and the box, inside movement is limited to reduce impacts and the possibility of breakages.

Paper void fill is available in a variety of systems for packaging light, medium and heavy items. Our blog on how to get the most from your paper void fill will give a complete breakdown on this topic.

paper voidfill

3. Reinforced self-adhesive paper machine tape

If looking for a clean, green and efficient way to seal your packages, reinforced self-adhesive paper machine tape is for you. It’s a great alternative to gummed paper tape, sharing all the benefits of strength and tamper-evidence, without the need for water upon activation. Interested in a new and innovative paper tape solution? Get in touch today – we’re the UK’s first supplier!

Paper packaging solutions from Swiftpak

With over 45 years of experience in packaging, we have the expertise needed to help you find the right solution for your business.

Begin your transition to a more sustainable packaging operation, by arranging your free no-obligation packaging audit with our experts today. We’d love to help you reach your goals and are always happy to answer any questions you have.