What are the eco-friendly alternatives to bubble wrap?

And how much are they?

Linda Denman
Account Manager

Linda has been with Acopia for over 17 years and there’s nothing she doesn’t know about packaging! And tennis – she knows a lot about tennis!

Bubble wrap has been around since the sixties and has been the go-to product for the busy warehouse looking for fast, reliable protective packaging. But not the best option for consumers looking at how they can add this material to their recycling.

Sustainability is firmly on the agenda with consumers demanding more from the brands the buy from, leaving retailers looking at more cost effective ways to go green. Bubble wrap can be recycled but it can’t be put into the recycling bin.  It has to be disposed of along with plastic bags but will consumers make a special trip to these type of facilities? Probably not. Are they even aware that’s what they need to do? The real issue becomes of how we dispose of it. With so many other eco-friendly options available now that can be added to the recycling bin, let’s take a look at what we know will be some consumer favourites!

The Geami Wrap

We think this will become very popular not just for its cushioning qualities but also for how it looks. An eco-friendly packaging solution which consists of a die-cut paper roll with a white tissue paper lining layer. It’s recyclable, biodegradable and compostable with no need for consumers to travel to special recycling facilities. One of its USP’s is guarding against ‘shock’. That’s made possible through the patented die-cut outer paper. Honeycomb in structure, it fully protects fragile goods against hard knocks and transport.  What’s really special however is how it looks. A whole lot nicer than bubble wrap, packaging has never looked so appealing! Whether used as a void filler or for wrapping products – customers are sure to love it! Equally at home on the shop counter or an ecommerce situation, If you want to make a statement with your packaging – this may well be the product for you.

Corrugated Paper Rolls

This is a lightweight, versatile option which comes in a various sized widths. Smooth one side and with corrugated flutes on the other, it’s the perfect product for cushioning and protecting ‘ugly’ freight. This means products that are irregular in shape with vulnerable edges. Again, this is ideal for not only wrapping but for interleaving and as well as void filling. The only down side is that that the larger rolls are very bulky and take up valuable storage space. It’s a great all rounder as well as being 100% recyclable, it’s certainly a great alternative to bubble wrap.

Papertech Papillon Machine

Ever thought about automated options for packaging? Often they can offer huge environmental benefits – and savings too! This system is very versatile and compact, as well as being easy to use. Fitted with wheels makes it nice and mobile means you can take it where you need it and pack conveniently. The patented shape of the paper cushioning used with this system is suitable for both void filling and product wrapping. Create on-demand completely recyclable void filling which can go straight into the home recycling bin. Compared to the similar Papetech shooter – the Papillon offers greater mobility, takes up less space and comes in a convenient desktop version too.

Ecopax Cardboard Shredder

For larger operations with busy goods in and despatch areas – then this might just be the perfect alternative to bubble wrap. The Ecopax gives you the ability to create void filling from your own cardboard waste. As companies get taxed on packaging waste, not only is this an amazing environmental benefit but it also represents a huge cost saving too. Creating your own void filling on demand is an efficient and eco-friendly way to turn waste into a viable protective packaging solution. Consumers can instantly understand that an effort has been made to use this type of void packaging instead of bubble wrap. It’s also a really effective way to reduce your carbon footprint.

How does this compare on price to bubble wrap?

To give you an idea on how this stacks up, a standard brown Papillon box of paper costs on average around £30.00 and is the equivalent to 5 bundles of bubble wrap. Each bubble wrap bundle, depending on size, costs from £25 to £30.

The cardboard shredders depending on speed level and capacity ranges in price from £2300 to £3200.  A significant initial investment but then you’re completely self sufficient afterwards in terms of making free void filling. These machines are also available for hire too.

When it comes to the corrugated paper rolls, depending on size and volume bought, an average cost for a 600 mm x 75 m roll costs around £28 to £35.

There are lots of ways you can make a difference with products that have the same capabilities as bubble wrap and will be appreciated by your customers. Not only are there opportunities to save money, you’re also doing your bit to save the planet too!

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