As concerns raise around single use plastics, I see more and more creators wanting to switch their packaging materials from plastic to eco-friendly. Whether it’s from a company that is responsible with their sourcing or using materials that compost, I’d love to hear if you’ve made the switch and can recommend any vendors! Often this is for shipping items such as pins, stickers, postcards, or tees.
Some eco friendly shipping materials: (I’ve not used these myself yet, but i got these links from others who have)
Thanks for raising this topic!
I’m trying to eliminate plastic from my products and shipping materials as much as possible. I use cardboard envelopes and paper tape for shipping, biodegradable cello bags (as opposed to plastic ones) for packaging art prints. Sadly I can only get biodegradable bags from abroad, so I’m thinking of replacing them with alternatives, or not using them.
I use kraft paper to package items like badges/buttons, instead of putting them in bags. I’ve also switched to making products that I don’t have to import from abroad so I print my stuff locally.
If possible, I reuse packaging (boxes etc) whenever I receive stuff.
I’ve also moving away from doing certain merch (as well as buying it) because of the global outsourcing and exploitation of workers and human rights that comes with the production of such items (apparel most notably). Not to mention the environmental impact of that.
I use recycled cardboard boxes and old newspapers as much as possible but mail post rules here are really strict about package security so I have to use extra layers over the boxes with Kraft paper, bubble wrap for some items like mugs or figures. If Im sending prints I sadly have the need to use plastic files and seal them with tape.
in any case I have to use lots of tape for all the layers and boxes and etc. I am very sorry towards my patrons because they will have it hard opening everything… so its 50/50
I haven’t tried these yet (they’re on the way) but I’m going to try switching over my plastic sleeves to glassine as I run out of the plastic ones.
I use recycled/recyclable flap & seal bags from EcoEnclose for my art prints and stickers. I also use their cardboard mailers. They have bubble mailer options as well as recyclable shipping label papers.
I use sturdy chipboard for backing in bags, and cardboard for taping my prints to in boxes when I mail them (to protect the corners.)
Washi tape & recycled tissue paper for making the packaging pretty.
I’m still always trying to improve the way I package my stuff, though. My biggest two focuses are sustainability (stuff people can either use for themselves, compost, or put in recycling) and protection of the artwork. I used to draw on all the boxes I shipped, but now I just do little doodles on the shipping label itself so that people can re-use the boxes I send them without feeling weird about a small doodle on them.
A youtuber I follow just posted this video detailing all of the eco-friendly packaging she uses. Maybe this will help someone!
I would also recommend paper tape, as mentioned by others. It doesn’t help much to use card-board packaging when it’s then covered in plastic tape.
I use paper tape from Stickermule with my own logo on it. To make it sticky one has to put water on it. Not as convenient as plastic type, but still totally worth it. I often get emails from people just wanting to tell me how much they enjoyed it to receive a package with this custom typographic packaging tape.
I buy my bubble mailers from ecoenclose.com, which 1) is made from recycled plastic, 2) is recyclable, and 3) has 2 rippy-open things so you can reseal and reuse it if you so choose. I use flatpack cardboard to send my books, and I’m starting to use rubber stamps to personalize the boxes. Soon, I want to get a custom rubber stamp of my character to put on it!
I also use paper tape and thermal labels; I use a kraft paper tape that’s already sticky, but when it’s done, I’ll probably change to the labelled tape.
I’m also looking to the future and thinking about ways to do charms/keychains that aren’t adding more useless plastic to the world. I know there are wooden charms, and I want to start ordering closer to home, even if it’s more expensive. Transit emissions suck.
The biggest thing I’m doing right now is going through the stock of what I already have. My comic sleeves are not recyclable and are garbage plastic. But it’d be more wasteful to throw them away and get sustainable ones than it is to go through this stock first.
@ EU people, where do you buy your ecofriendly mailers, packaging materials etc? I’d rather not buy from a company that’s outside of Europe. I buy local as much as I can but we don’t have everything here.
Same. I have some plastic sleeves left because I couldn’t find biodegradable ones back when I bought them. :’) I’m now using the biodegradable ones but not sure what to do with the plastic sleeves.
I’m also looking to the future and thinking about ways to do charms/keychains that aren’t adding more useless plastic to the world.
Finally looked into Zap Creatives. Although it’s still overseas to me (I’m in the US, they’re in the UK), their charms are all made 100% with end-of-life recycled plastic or ethically sourced wood. So that’s what I’m doing for the future!
Wooden pins/charms seem really cool. Also it looks like Zap is now offering eco-friendly stickers as well.
Though I’ve just found out their charms don’t have a second layer of acrylic on the backside. I’m going to see what their quality is like but I hope the designs are well protected.
Either way, I’m hella gonna do some wooden charms here soon!
I buy charms regularly from Zap. It really depends on the usage but the charms I have on my keychains and backpacks barely have a scratch.
However I know some folks that have them in their pockets all the time and the designs have rubbed off. I’ve never known charms to have an acrylic cover. I can feel the designs on all the ones I’ve ever bought from various folks so this is news to me, that
that’s a thing! None of the suppliers I’ve looked at offer that as an option. Do you have any suppliers that do have some kind of protection or acrylic layer on top of the design?
Oh good! That’s really good to know. I’ll make a note in the product descriptions that heavy use can affect the designs but they should be fine.
We order from Vograce and they have an acrylic cover on both sides.
But Vograce is in China and as far as I know, they don’t use recycled plastics; shipping from China is a huge environmental hit; and the upcoming tariffs/taxes/whatever that’s gonna probably hit is gonna hurt haha.
So I’m glad Zap has good options. I also got a reply from Zap that said folks use the gloss to protect the backside, so that’s good to know as well. I’m definitely going to swap to Zap for the most part and only use Vograce for the fancy options, as sparingly as I can.
Oh also, for recycled stuff, I’ve been saving small plastic bags that things come in so I can reuse them as needed. I don’t know how often I’ll actually be using them but for now, it’ll do.
99% of the time I can reclaim a packing envelope/box that’s come to my house, although this does turn about 6 sqft of my loft space into a packing storing location (only slightly make me look like a hoarder ) I can get what I need when I need it. I’m also about to start using cardboard as a weed barrier while gardening and for compost. Who is getting excited about going eco?
Ecoenclose is my jam, although noissue (they used to only do custom printed tissue paper) released a compostable mailer: https://www.noissue.co/custom-packaging/compostable-biodegradable-mailers I believe they are working on the ability to custom-brand these, as their design is kind of meh.
oh nice! I’ll keep an eye on them since it’s nice to see other places putting out new options. I wanted to do custom tissue paper from them a while ago but the price tag wasn’t worthwhile to me (yet) with how often I currently ship stuff. maybe next year!
I really love seeing all of this eco friendly packaging! Does anyone have suggestions for how they address their packages that are compost friendly? The idea of being able to toss my whole package into the compost is great (at least parts that can’t be reused!).