Best Eco-Friendly Packaging for Small Business

8 Best Eco-Friendly Packaging for Small Business

See some of the materials small businesses are using to package their products more sustainably.

8 Best Eco-Friendly Packaging for Small Business

Believe it or not, there were approximately 4.2 billion parcels sent in the 2020/2021 fiscal year, which is a lot of parcels and a lot of disused packaging.

This means businesses of all sizes, are looking for more sustainable solutions for packaging to send their products so as consumers we can reuse, recycle or even repurpose what would usually find its way into landfills.

So, if are looking for a more sustainable way to send your products you may be wondering what is the best eco-friendly packaging for small businesses?

Some of the best eco-friendly packaging materials for business include biodegradable bubble wrap and corrugated cardboard with more innovative materials coming to market such as mushroom packaging and packing peanuts.

These are just a few packaging materials that businesses are using to get their products to the end consumer and there are a number of other eco-friendly solutions that we will discuss in more detail in this article – so read on to discover 8 Best Eco-Friendly Packaging for Small Business.


  1. Green Bubble Wrap
  2. Biodegradable Bubble Wrap
  3. Paper Bubble Wrap
  4. Packing Peanuts
  5. Bio Plastic
  6. Mushroom Packaging
  7. Seaweed Packaging
  8. Corrugated Cardboard

1. Green Bubble Wrap

When you think of eco-friendly, people often think of “green products” – well how about Green Bubble Wrap.

Used in the same way as standard bubble wrap, this protective packaging is suitable for larger or fragile items.  This eco-friendly product is an economical packaging material useful for wrapping, cushioning, or filling voids inside boxes, and made from 75% recycled materials and reusable and recyclable.

Green Bubble wrap is an eco-friendly packaging suitable for any small business that is trying to reduce their single-use plastic consumption.

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2. Biodegradable Bubble Wrap

One step up from the green bubble wrap is Biodegradable Bubble wrap. 

It has all the benefits and product protection of Green Bubble wrap but is manufactured with additional additives blended into the resin.  This ensures the product breaks down quicker than standard plastic bubble wrap when exposed to the correct environment.

This product has been designed to break down between 2 and 3 years rather than the decades of normal standard plastic bubble wrap.

3. Paper Bubble Wrap 

One product that should be in your arsenal of packaging products and one of the most eco-friendly packaging materials suitable for small businesses is paper bubble wrap. Made from 100% recycled paper this product is biodegradable and fully recyclable, allowing easy disposal for the end consumer.

It is constructed with a natural honeycomb-shaped indentation making it a strong material whilst providing a shock-absorbing, cushioning textile, suitable for even fragile items to be shipped safely.

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4. Packing Peanuts

Similar in size and usage to the older style Styrofoam packing peanuts are a good sustainable alternative for businesses and are suitable for filling in voids inside boxes. 

They can also be used for packing around clothes for transportation; with their anti-static properties, they will cushion your products without sticking and clinging to the fabric.

The new type of packing peanuts is composed of a starch-based material meaning they completely dissolve and break down when exposed to water.

These packing peanuts are environmentally friendly, reusable, compostable, unscented, dust-free, abrasion-resistant, non-toxic, edible, and vegan friendly.

They are suitable for being used for packing materials for fragile and delicate items as well as suitable for cosmetic packing materials.  Indeed, Lush has been using corn-starch eco-friendly packing materials for its beauty products and cosmetics for several years.

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5. Bio Plastic

Another useful packaging product for small businesses utilising Corn-starch is Bioplastic.

Produced by companies such as Alpagro, they have developed a strong flexible material that is 100% compostable and a sustainable alternative to traditional plastic. Their Bio carrier bags and packaging have been vigorously tested and comply with European standards for compostable packaging.

Although they have a limited shelf life and require a stable storage environment, they are a good eco-friendly packaging material for clothing and other dry goods

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6. Mushroom Packaging

From Corn-starch to Mushrooms.

Mushroom Packaging is a recently developed, alternative packaging being used as a replacement for foam.

Made from just two ingredients, hemp hurds and mycelium.  This is a high performing, home compostable, biodegradable packaging solution.  It’s thermally insulating as well as being flame and water-resistant.

It is grown rather than manufactured and is 100% biodegradable. It has low energy consumption and low co2 emissions.  It is a very environmentally friendly alternative to conventional plastic packaging.

This packaging is already being used by a number of larger businesses – Ikea is using it for their flat-pack furniture; Seedlip for protecting their beverages, and Lush for their cosmetics to replace the conventional foam and plastic packaging.

There is also an increase in the number of companies that are developing the technology to produce mushroom packaging.  This will enable this new eco-friendly sustainable product to become a big player in the packaging market.

Find out more about Mushroom packaging.

7. Seaweed Packaging

A new bio-degradable alternative to plastic packaging is a polymer utilising an extract from seaweed.

Available in a rainbow of colours, this compostable replacement for plastic packaging is being developed into a range of packaging products.  From edible, single-use condiment sachets for food and bottle replacements for beverages. As well as developing thin-film packagings like polybags, retail bags and wrappers.

Seaweed packaging is looking to be a very eco-friendly packaging material for liquids as well as a useful replacement for carrier bags.

At the end of its 12-month shelf life, the packaging is recyclable and compostable within four to six weeks.  

Seaweed is also a plentiful resource and is grown and harvested with little impact on the surrounding natural environment.

Indeed, Seaweed can reverse the effects of ocean acidification, cleaning up polluted areas and encouraging biodiversity. Although in its very early stages of production, this is looking to be a very exciting development in sustainable eco-friendly packaging. 

8. Cardboard Boxes

From the very new to the grandfather of packaging.  Cardboard, specifically corrugated cardboard is thought to be one of the most sustainable eco-friendly packaging materials for small businesses.

This product is designed to protect your goods against damage in transit. Whether it’s your standard cardboard box, postal and mailers, inserts and dividers or bottle packaging.  Cardboard can be manufactured into various packaging designs and a variety of sizes, suitable for most items.

With the addition of environmentally friendly coatings to enhance the packaging, boxes can be made moisture and oil resistant, suitable for use for food products, liquids and take away containers. 

The products can even be printed with manufactures brands and logos and all without reducing or affecting its recycling and biodegradable properties.

The base materials are sourced from sustainably managed forests grown specifically for this use.  The Birch or Pine Trees used are fast-growing and these fibres are strong enough to be recycled and reused up to seven times before becoming too weak for further use. Whereon they can be sent to landfills and will fully biodegrade.

Corrugated cardboard can also be reused, recycled and is biodegradable which encourages careful management of forests.

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