There are a range of factors you need to consider when selecting the right packaging materials for your business. With so many options available, you may end up picking the wrong materials to package your goods, which in turn can cause damage, unhappy customers and lost profits.
Most of the time you have to fill the voids in your packages to stop the internal goods from moving around. When the void is filled it protects the contents and stops it from shaking or falling over in transit.
The type of packaging filler you choose has to be well equipped to suit your product and protect it through the delivery process, but also needs to be well received by the recipient.
Bubble wrap is one of the most widely used packaging fillers available. It is a flexible and thin material with small bubbles of air that can be stuffed into voids or wrapped around items to create a protective shield.
Bubble wrap pros
- Versatile, can be used to wrap or to fill voids
- Can be saved and use again
- Cost efficient
- Good level of protection
- Not too bulky
Bubble wrap cons
- Difficult to recycle
- Large rolls of bubble wrap take up lots of space in storage
- No sustainable options currently available
Packing peanuts are small pieces of expanded polystyrene foam that provides protection for goods. Packing peanuts are a pretty popular void filling option and have been used for decades. However, with more awareness about sustainability, packing peanuts are not really an eco-friendly option.
There are also alternative packing peanuts that are made out of recycled paper or cornstarch. This is a much more sustainable choice, but they do come at a price, and they can be heavier than traditional polystyrene packing peanuts.
Packing peanut pros
- Fill up big voids easily
- Offer standard protection
- Cost effective
- Can be reused
- Sustainable options available
Packing peanut cons
- Take up lots of room for storage
- Not biodegradable
- Difficult to recycle
- Sustainable options are more expensive
- Can move around in shipment unless packed extremely tight
- Frustrating for customers
Shredded paper is designed to fill voids and stop the contents of a parcel from moving around. It is available in a variety of options for different brands and is used for mostly decorative reasons.
Shredded paper pros
- The use of colours can tie in with brands
- Easy to recycle
- More aesthetically pleasing than bubble wrap or other fillers
- Can prevent items from moving around in a box
Shredded paper cons
- Can be pricy
- Messy for the customer to clean up
- Lots of the filler has to be packed densely to provide any protection
- Adds weight to deliveries because of amount used
Bespoke moulds are great for businesses that ship lots of the same item. This means they can use a bespoke mould to hold the contents in place, stopping it from moving and getting damaged.
Bespoke mould pros
- Professional look
- Eco-friendly if made from cardboard
- Provides optimum protection for the contents
- Can be recycled
Bespoke mould cons
- Not eco-friendly if it is made from plastic
- Takes up lots of room to store
- Depending on the size of the mould, it can be hard for the recipient to dispose of it.