Hughes Enterprises

Sustainable Packaging from Hughes Enterprises

Maybe your corporate initiatives include a sustainability push, or you’re looking for ways to increase brand loyalty. Whatever your reason for “going green,” this movement is becoming less of an option and more of a necessity across industries. As packaging experts, Hughes is ready to help guide you in achieving these goals and more.

We’ve partnered with top suppliers of sustainable packaging who are at the forefront of this movement. Hughes packaging consultants are also knowledgeable about how to make sustainability work with all the necessary considerations. Our goal is the maximum possible protection for your products with the minimum impact on both your budget and the environment.

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What makes a package sustainable?

This can be a surprisingly complex question since so many factors go into sustainability and organizations often have unique approaches. Each organization also typically describes their sustainability goals a bit differently. However, a common theme is finding functional yet cost-effective packaging that ultimately supports the long-term health of our environment. Anything that meets those needs can be considered a sustainable package.

What are some types of sustainable packaging?

Sustainable packaging can often be sorted into a few basic categories: reduced, renewable, recycled, and/or recyclable. Any of these can make your packaging more sustainable, and the choice ultimately comes down to factors that are unique to your organization. This could be targeting what fits your corporate sustainability goals best or what will delight your end-users the most.

Reduced:

This is sustainability through reducing the impact of your packaging on the environment. This method could be as direct as minimizing the materials used in the packaging itself and being more thoughtful with packaging efficiency. It can also be indirect through methods such as reducing environmentally harmful side effects of the production process, including factors like carbon emissions or energy usage.

Renewable:

By selecting renewable resources over those with limited supply, it helps slow the depletion of materials used in the packaging process. It also ensures that there are always more of the resources needed to continue making that product as well as keeping it available for other needs.

Recycled:

This includes choosing recycled materials to utilize in the production of new packaging or reusing resources, such as water, in the production process. Even unused components from other manufacturing processes can sometimes be reused to create an entirely new product.

Recyclable:

This is anything that can be easily recycled by the end-user. For example, e-commerce organizations are increasingly choosing recyclable packaging. This both demonstrates their support for the environment and gives their end-users the ability to recycle.

What are some examples of sustainable packaging options?

  • Pregis EverTec Curbside Recyclable Mailer: Revolutionary cushioning for premium damage protection is now both curbside recyclable and cost-competitive.
  • PAC Worldwide Polyjacker-R Recyclable Mailer: This durable, ultra-tough and lightweight flatpoly mailer is not only 100% recyclable but also made with 50% recycled content.
  • Pregis Cushion-Pak® Paper Packaging: For sustainable surface protection and cushioning, Pregis offers this solution made from layers of 100% recycled paper.
  • Pregis Astro-Bubble® Green: Fully recyclable air cushioning bubble made from 100% recycled polyethylene that is great for void filling, interleaving, wrapping, and cushioning products.

Which options are right for my business?

Choosing how to go green is an individualized choice from company to company. It’s important to note that not every application listed above works for every industry. For example, food manufacturing businesses should be careful to check regulations in the area(s) they service. Packaging produced from recycled content may not be acceptable for certain food applications.

On the other hand, these organizations also have unique sustainability options like extending the shelf life of food to reduce the waste of perishable items. Ultimately, sustainable packaging comes down to finding a packaging partner who can help you identify the sustainable solutions that make sense for your unique industry, location, application, and a number of other factors.

What does the future of sustainable packaging look like?

Sustainability is rapidly evolving as new technologies enter the market. We don’t have a crystal ball, but we feel confident that the next few years will continue to show a rapid expansion of the demand for sustainable packaging and manufacturers creating options to meet it. We also anticipate that cost-effective options will increase as more research is put into creating products that meet both the sustainability goals and budgets of a wider range of companies.

Many manufacturers are already competing to produce new and better ways to support their customers’ sustainability initiatives. With this ever-changing landscape, it’s essential to find a distributor partner that can identify and test relevant new products, so your team doesn’t have to spend time analyzing options each time a new product is released.

Also, sustainability is not a one-time quick fix. Many organizations are beginning to view it the same way that the EPA describes the role of sustainability within its organization: “Sustainability isn’t part of our work – it’s a guiding influence for all of our work.” It is becoming a continual process weaving throughout each organization, and it may seem overwhelming at first. That’s where the Hughes team of packaging professionals can come in to help you sort through all the options and create the best strategy for your packaging needs.

Why does Hughes value sustainability?

Sustainability isn’t just the responsible thing to do, it makes sense from multiple perspectives. Here are just a few of the reasons we think of when our team thinks about the benefits of sustainability for our business and beyond:

  • As a service company, what’s important to our customers is important to Hughes. We’re always looking to stay on top of the latest trends in packaging so we can pass along our knowledge to our customers.
  • As a business in the packaging industry, we acknowledge that we rely on the environment to source materials for products. Depleting materials isn’t good for anyone.
  • As a company comprised of people, we also appreciate the environment on that personal level. We want to preserve it for years to come.

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