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Sustainable Packaging Trends For Consumer Electronics

Arrangement of black smartphones in box with devices

Every year, millions of consumer electronics are sold. But what happens to the packaging they’re wrapped in? Unfortunately, most packaging ends up in landfills—or worse, as ocean pollutants that harm marine life and the habitats they need to survive.

If your company produces electronics or plays a role in this industry, it’s important to stop contributing to land and ocean pollutants. But how do you do this while still transporting and delivering electronics in packaging that protects them from damage?

One of the simplest ways to reduce the environmental impact of your business and lower carbon emissions is to shift to sustainable electronics packaging.

Due to many advancements in creating eco-friendly alternatives, sustainable packaging for electronics is not only possible but more accessible than ever.

How Much Do Consumer Electronics Contribute To Packaging Waste?

The short answer to this question: A lot.

Electronic products are one of the most purchased product types in the world, automatically placing them high on the ladder of packaging waste contributions. Furthermore, electronic products are often fragile and very expensive. This means that packaging needs to be durable, thick, and able to protect them from harm over long-distance journeys and multiple handling stations.

In some cases, particularly delicate electronics like mobile phones, may even be double-boxed for extra protection, thus making the packaging waste pile up even higher.

When it comes to pound-for-pound materials, all that extra padding often means that packaging for electronic products tends to be on the less sustainable end of the spectrum.

What Are The Current Environmental Challenges Associated With Packaging Consumer Electronics?

Even though many companies and movements across the world are fighting hard for change, there are still several environmental challenges and hurdles faced by companies trying to adapt their electronics packaging to be more sustainable.

Let’s take a closer look at the top three:

1. Limited sustainability options

As much as the interest in sustainability and more sustainable product options is growing, the world is not yet where it needs to be. This makes it hard for businesses to find eco-friendly packaging that meets their design and budgetary needs.

2. Lack of education

Even though a lot of consumers express interest in the process of recycling their product packaging, only a small percentage fully understand how, where, and what is actually recyclable.

3. Insufficient recycling systems for some materials

While the recycling rate for paper packaging is quite high with the rate for corrugated boxes being 96.5% in 2018, the recycling rate for plastic packaging is much lower. As prevalent as recycling is in the global waste system, a huge quantity of used plastic packaging materials never make their way to recycling stations. This is due to many factors, including a lack of knowledge, limited or no plastic recycling facilities, or waste not being separated correctly for recycling.

Wanting to make more environmentally responsible decisions for your business can be a frustrating process when you understand the challenges it entails. However, with the right mindset and resources, changing your business for the better can become a much simpler undertaking.

How Can Sustainable Packaging Solutions Help Your Electronics Business?

By switching to sustainable packaging solutions for electronic products, you can appeal to the growing number of eco-conscious consumers who vote with their wallets. These green-conscious consumers are increasingly demanding either compostable or recyclable packaging choices, not just for electronics but for food items, clothing, and other consumables, too.

Sustainable packaging is as good for business as it is for the planet. In addition to opening up your market appeal, you can also significantly reduce your company’s carbon footprint and reduce the amount of waste it produces, thus contributing to a more circular and sustainable world.

How Can You Make Electronics Packaging Sustainable?

Consumer electronics packaging can be made sustainable by using the right materials. The more selective you are about the materials you use to wrap, pack, and transport electronics in, the easier it will be to reach your business’ carbon emission targets and sustainability goals.

The options available for more sustainable electronics packaging are vast. Some of the latest trends and innovations in planet-friendly packaging for consumer electronics include:

1. Use of compostable packaging materials

Compostable packaging materials are, by and large, the easiest and most effective way to make your electronics packaging more sustainable.

There are a wide variety of electronic-friendly designs available, such as the ones created by Cruz Foam. These designs can be recyclable in the paper recycling stream, or compostable meaning they can be turned into usable soil amendments.

Cruz Foam’s biodegradable packaging materials are ASTM-tested[1] and available in a broad selection of styles, including packing envelopes, flexible wrap packs, cold-chain boxes, and a block-and-brace box that suit even the most fragile electronics.

2. Increased use of recyclable materials

The global recycling system may not be perfect, but it is helping. Reports show that 82% of paper and cardboard-based product packaging does find its way into the recycling system, making the increased use of recyclable materials one of the best and most popular ways to make your electronics packaging more sustainable.

In addition to increasing your use of recyclable materials, it is also important to continue educating and raising awareness about how consumers can recycle them effectively.

3. Smarter packaging designs and more efficient logistics

Another way to make electronics packaging more sustainable is to improve your packaging designs. More streamlined, lightweight packaging means less waste and a better use of resources.

Some companies are implementing QR codes to their packaging designs. The goal of this design is to educate consumers on how to properly recycle their packaging and provide general information about planet-friendly habits they can adopt for a more sustainable world.

Innovative designs and creative approaches to logistics management are crucial for the future of sustainable packaging design in the electronics sector and beyond.

How Cruz Foam Can Help

Cruz Foam is one of the world’s leading sustainable packaging brands. With a wide variety of different boxes, envelopes, and packaging options, fragile electronic products can be protected and delivered to consumers in quality materials while contributing to a greener, more sustainable planet.

With completely biodegradable and compostable materials, Cruz Foam’s innovative range of durable electronics foam packaging and other eco-friendly options can be used to pivot your business in a more sustainable direction.

Take a look at our range of products now to find out how to lead the way with sustainable electronics packaging. With Cruz Foam, your business has the power to pave the way for a greener future.

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