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Corrugated Packaging & Digital Printing Sustainability: Become More Eco-Friendly

Looking to make your business more eco-friendly? Your packaging is the perfect place to start. Read to learn more about the rise of sustainability, the sustainable elements of corrugated packaging, and digital printing sustainability.

Sustainability is a Modern-Day Buzzword — But What, Exactly, Does it Mean?

Sustainability is the practice of producing only what is needed when it is needed, in a manner that doesn’t compromise future generations’ ability to continue to do so. Sustainable methods are aimed at balancing ecological, human, and economic needs. Essentially, sustainability poses the question of how we can waste less while still producing, consuming, and making money off of what’s needed.

Sustainability in packaging is more important now than ever, with two-thirds of consumers preferring products in recyclable packaging and more than half considering sustainability in their purchasing decisions. So although it’s become a bit of an industry buzzword, sustainability genuinely does matter to consumers and affects the bottom lines of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies.

That’s why there’s been a huge industry shift to more eco-friendly packaging that produces less waste in recent years, with corporate giants like Coca-Cola, Mars, Unilever, and H&M making significant changes and vowing to achieve better overall sustainability. Often, precedents like these leave small- to mid-sized consumer brands wondering how to make an impact without having to make a significant investment.

One of the easiest and most impactful changes any company can make is to switch over to more sustainable packaging materials and methods for your next packaging program. Here are a few tips on how to make your packaging more sustainable without breaking the bank.

Corrugated Sustainability

Long known as one of the most recyclable materials, corrugated box fibers are recycled up to 10 times to create new boxes and other paper products again and again. That’s why switching to corrugated from other materials, particularly plastic packaging, will automatically make a huge difference in any brand’s level of sustainability.

Outside of the material’s recyclable qualities, the forestry industry creates jobs, fueling the economic part of sustainability’s balance. Despite popular belief, this industry also actually promotes, and doesn’t deplete, North American forest growth by encouraging those with the potential for economic gain to take better consistent care of the forest areas they work in. Since it balances economic potential with eco-friendliness, the creation and reuse of corrugated material is a prime example of sustainable principles. 

Already a much more easily recyclable option than any form of plastic packaging, there’s been an extra emphasis on increasing how much corrugated is recycled versus thrown away in recent years. This has resulted in a skyrocketing recovery rate now nearing almost 100 percent, with the recovery rate for corrugated packaging landing at 96 percent in 2018 — up from 54 percent just 15 years prior.

Not only is corrugated packaging automatically much more sustainable than other packaging material options, but there is also significant research and investment going into continuously improving the creation and recycling processes of corrugated. This makes corrugated packaging almost a no-brainer when it comes to improving your company’s sustainability practices in an impactful and cost-efficient way.

Digital Printing Sustainability

Digital printing is more sustainable than traditional processes, due to reducing emissions and waste throughout the process. As carbon emissions released throughout production are a huge part of the conversation around increasing corporate sustainability, this is a valuable method for producing high-quality graphics while still considering eco-friendliness.

On top of reducing your carbon footprint, digital printing processes reduce your waste of old or obsolete packaging inventory since they produce packaging much quicker and on-demand. As a result, asking your packaging partner about using digital printing is a great way to sustainably update your packaging without a total overhaul.

At Dusobox, our G7 certification —an internationally recognized facility training program aimed at achieving expert-level industrial printer knowledge and gray balance skills — also ensures less waste during the printing process. This certification leads to quicker printer problem recognition and resolution and more consistent and exact color-matching.

Our expert color matching and manipulation mean fewer prototype tries upfront to get your vision right, while ensured color consistency across prints means fewer throwaway mistakes down the line. This makes working with a G7 certified printer a double value add, and you can expect consistent, high-quality finished packaging products as a result of more efficient and sustainable processes.

Dusobox’s Commitment to Sustainability

Dusobox has been dedicated to creating innovative, beautiful, and environmentally responsible packaging for more than 70 years. Our proven, long-term dedication to both our customers and the environment makes us a trusted resource for the highest quality custom eco-friendly packaging and displays on the market.

In an effort to extend our positive impact, we recycle more than 20 tons daily, use sustainable digital printing methods, and have invested in a new paperboard product called Mako-Board™ to replace the throwaway plastics used in packaging and outdoor signs. Our packaging and printing experts will work with you to design the most sustainable packaging possible while honoring your vision and cost requirements.

Contact Dusobox to discuss the options for more sustainable packaging today.