Log In

Blog Posts & Case Studies

Five eco-friendly packaging techniques that you should know

5 eco-friendly packaging techniques that you should know

Running an eco-friendly packaging operation is a challenge regardless of whether you are an e-commerce business or a fulfilment company. Let's admit it, sustainable packaging solutions aren't always low-priced, and you need to find the right balance between speed and material while keeping your carbon footprint down.

At this point, you have some decisions to make. Although the choice of material isn't hard, the techniques and systems involved require more attention. If you are environmentally responsible, 100% recycled paper is arguably the best solution. Your next concern is keeping costs down by saving paper and packing as fast as possible.

The following techniques will decrease the use of valuable paper material and increase the speed of packaging, cushioning, and void filling, turning your despatching department into an eco-friendly source of high customer satisfaction by delivering an intact product and offering a fantastic unboxing experience.

5 eco-friendly packaging tips that you should know

1. Cross

Although sometimes forgotten, cross-wrapping is one of the fastest and most paper-saving packaging techniques. Besides offering enough protection for smaller and mid-sized items, this technique also prevents movement when using boxes that require less void fill.

Simply place two crisscrossed paper cushions over the box and push your product down, assuring it is tightly secure against the sides of the box. The excess paper should cover and protect the top of the product. Before sealing the package, ensure that the item is not moving.

2. Coil

The not-so-popular coiling technique is versatile and can replace most bespoke moulded packaging. These paper coils will provide less or more impact protection depending on how much you tighten them. This technique excels when used on heavier items when placed on top and bottom.

Manually creating tight paper coils at speed may require some practice. With the aid of a wheel, you can create robust eco-friendly cushioning at a surprising rate, replacing the less environmentally friendly PU foams and polystyrene alternatives.

3. Block & Brace

If you need to pack an oddly shaped product, you will need a lot of cushioning or a bespoke moulded solution. With a block and brace technique, you will avoid a complete void fill and by using 100% recycled paper, you will not only prevent waste but also be environmentally responsible.

Particularly effective with fragile items, this technique is supposed to fully support the product by placing folded paper cushions, eliminating movent in strategic areas.

4. Layering

You’ve probably used layering when wrapping your dinner set when moving to a new home. This technique is especially effective when used to protect dishes and other fragile items that fit onto each other. Depending on the items’ resistance, you’ll want to use more or less cushioning.

Simply replace the expensive bubble wrap, and use a long strip of 100% recycled paper cushioning, folding it over the item. Place the next item on top and secure it with more cushioning. You should create a zigzag effect with the strip, always making sure that you have enough paper to cover the top of the last item, avoiding excess.

5. Void Fill

The whole point of void-filling is to guarantee that the items inside the package don’t move during transportation. This simple yet necessary technique requires that you pad all the spaces with enough paper, creating enough resistance so that items stand still.

Paper void fill is versatile because it adapts to any amount of space. Additionally, you can twist or fold it to create more or less resistance to the cushioning. Use this technique when packaging non-fragile items that do not need to be individually protected.


Paper void fill machines to boost your packaging efficiency

These techniques will increase your packaging rate, but you can take this to the next level by implementing 100% recycled paper void-fill machines such as the PaperJet® and SpeedMan® in your despatch system.

The PaperJet® systems are perfect for any technique making them your most versatile ally by customising the length and the amount of padding to meet your needs. The compact PaperJet Fit® can be ergonomically adapted anywhere around your packaging bench, dispensing cushioned paper extremely fast, directly to an area of your convenience.

The SpeedMan® systems are great for void filling and coiling, especially if you use the wheel add-on. Although you can create more resistant paper coils with PaperJet® machines, the SpeedMan® Classic allows you to manually create a resistant moulding coil capable of supporting heavier items.

See for yourself!

Both PaperJet® and SpeedMan® machines are excellent eco-friendly alternatives to supercharge your despatch department since they are loaded with award-winning Blue Angel and FSC®-certified 100% recycled paper.

If you are ready to see them in action, don’t hesitate and book a demo with us. We’ll be happy to help you find the best solution, no matter how limited your space or setup is. Reach out by calling us at 01799 513 213 or sending an email to sales@mckinleysgroup.com.


Sorry, this item is currently out of stock.
We currently hold [remaining-stock] units of this item in stock. The remainder will be put on back order.
You cannot order more of this item than we currently hold in stock.
You must order at least [min-order-qty] of this product.
You must order at least [min-order-qty] of this product. We currently hold [remaining-stock] in stock. The remainder will be put on back order.