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Eco-friendly Packaging Tips for Retailers In 2020

March 11, 2020

Packaging waste is a hot topic in 2020. As everyday consumers start to embrace eco-friendly packaging, big business has followed suit. It used to be that customers had to shop from small boutique brands to get their eco-conscious needs met. That is not the case today. As the retail sustainability trend grows, more companies have adopted the eco-friendly ethos. 

Eco consumerism is on the rise. Don’t fall behind!

Jump on the eco-packaging bandwagon

Wasteful packaging seems outdated. It’s just not in line with consumer trends today. If your e-commerce store wants to reach Gen X, Gen Z, and millennials, you had better at least consider your environmental impact. 

One great way to do this is eco-friendly retail packaging. The packaging is an important customer touchpoint. What customers see when they open the box and handle the product speaks volumes about your business. Whether you choose glass bottles instead of plastic for personal care products or choose soy ink labels instead of regular ones, you convey a lot to your customers by the type of packaging you choose.

Tweak retail packaging, so it’s more eco-friendly

Reduce, reuse, recycle — these are words to live by. Reducing may be the most important part, as followers of the “zero-waste movement” can attest. That means minimizing unnecessary retail packaging. For example, you can nix cardboard inserts and liners, lengthy manuals that no one reads, placing bottles and jar inside retail boxes, and more.

Choosing glass over plastic is gaining popularity since glass can be recycled and repurposed. Yes, plastic can be recycled, too. But much of it ends up in landfills anyway. Micro-plastics have reportedly got into most tap water, says the World Health Organization. Glass is better for the environment.

While deforestation is a big concern, plastic is enemy #1 for environmentally-minded consumers. Recycled paper and cardboard can also curb your carbon footprint. Soy ink and acid-free paper also get the green light.

Get rid of excess shipping materials

It’s not just retail packaging that is a problem. Shipping materials are an even bigger threat to the environment. Saying no to unnecessary packing materials not only reduces your carbon footprint, but it also reduces shipping costs by cutting out what you don’t need. If, for no other reason, spending less on packing supplies should entice even the biggest global-warming deniers to re-think how they pack orders for shipment. Yes, eco-packaging can save money.

Choose eco-friendly shipping supplies

Here are some things to consider: Colorful tissue paper may be a nice touch to your branding, but keep it minimal. There’s no need to go overboard, which is wasteful. Acid-free paper is also better for the environment. Biodegradable shipping bags and eco-friendly shipping boxes are also good bets.

Crumbled or shredded paper are good packing peanuts alternatives. Paper also works as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic Air-packs. Bonus points if the paper is recycled.

Finally, ship in the smallest box size possible; not only will this reduce shipping costs, but it is less cardboard that goes into the trash when the customer receives their order. 

There are many more ways to streamline packaging, but you get the idea.

Bundling shipments are good for the environment and save money!

It’s also a good idea to ship in the least number of packages possible, an option mega-retailers like Amazon offer. Again, this is better for the environment since a delivery truck won’t have to make 2+ trips to deliver packages to the customer’s doorstep. 

Another benefit? Reducing the number of shipments per order can lower shipping costs and increase profit. Fewer packages also mean the risk of packages getting lost in transit goes down, too. It’s a win-win.

Not sure where to start? Let our experts help

Once you start thinking about how to be more eco-friendly, it becomes easier. If you’d rather not think about it, contact Simpl Fulfillment to learn about our pick and pack services. We are the 3PL picking and packing experts and will be happy to discuss eco-friendly packaging with our hands-off order fulfillment service.

What our clients are saying...

Darcie Nicholson

Go Rings

"We couldn't live without Simpl Fulfillment. The decision to work with Barrett and his team has changed our business for the best! Their speed, accuracy and great communication have made our work lives SO much easier. Trusting them with our jewelry business's fulfillment needs means that we can focus our time and energy toward growing the business instead of just keeping up with it. Plus, they're kind and fun. That's the kind of people we love working with."

Phillip Van Nostrand

La Rousse

Great company. My partner and I have been working with Barrett over at Simpl for a couple of months now and he has been VERY accommodating with our particular shipping requests (pink bubble wrap, putting on pink shipping tape, stickers, etc).

Our business involves pretty boutique shipping, and when we had outgrown our garage that we operated out of, it was really helpful to find someone like Barrett and Simpl Fulfillment to help take care of our orders!

Dustin Gersch

Paleo Powder Seasoning

Simpl Fulfillment has totally helped our business.  We are a small business and by adding Simpl to our team they have saved us time and money.   Great company and very friendly people.  Orders go out on time and everything is easily tracked on my computer and cell phone.

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Hang Your Keys

I've worked with over 5 different 3PL companies in the last 4 years and Simpl has been the best. It would take other 3PL's around 4-5 days to get orders marked as shipped and 5-7 days to get scanned into USPS. That was extremely frustrating as it increased customer service requests. Simpl ships my items out the next business day and also handles all of my returns. I love not worrying and having everything on autopilot. I get weekly updates and their picks are super accurate. Highly recommend working with Simpl.

Lawrence Johnson


We've been working with Simpl fulfillment for close to a year now and have only the best to say about their business and team. They are extremely responsive and able to work with us as partners to deliver a world-class experience to our customers. Everything from their integration to our Shopify, Amazon and eBay portals through to a near-instant response time on escalations makes this a partnership we look forward to continuing on the road ahead. Thanks Simpl!