By Packaging Resources, Retail, Sustainability in the Packaging Industry
May 28

Your Top Packaging Frustrations and How to Fix Them.

If you are in charge of coordinating packaging for retail items, events, or other purposes, you have probably run into several of these common packaging frustrations. But have no fear, because there is always a solution! Here are some common packaging complaints along with a few solutions that we hope will help.

Environmental Ordinances

Environmental regulations are popping up in numerous U.S. cities and states that ban certain types of packaging and limit what can be used. These laws impact most retailers and some food service companies, and they also impact the end consumer. Your first step is to check and see if your state and city have any laws that you need to follow concerning packaging.

Many ordinances require plastic bags to be ‘reusable grade’ which means they need to be at least 2.25 mil in thickness. If bags that are deemed ‘reusable’ by regulations are okay for your area, there are several plastic shopping bag options that can meet this criteria.

When it comes to paper bags, the recycled material content can be important for some ordinances. Luckily, most paper bags are made with recycled materials, and some are 100% recycled. Just be sure to check your paper bag options in relation to your local regulations to ensure they are allowed. In some cases, you may be required to charge customers for their paper bags.

Regardless of the laws, reducing waste and using eco-friendly packaging is always a good practice to follow. There are always affordable alternatives to cheap plastic bags, but it may take some getting used to. Always encourage your customers to reuse your packaging as many times as possible before discarding or recycling.

Recycling Concerns

There are many packaging options available that are earth-friendly and recyclable. Many paper packaging items are made with 100% recycled materials and are recyclable and/or compostable. This includes many types of shopping bags, boxes, tissue paper, and other packing materials.

Plastic items can be easily made with recycled materials, but not always to the fullest extent. Plastic can be much harder to recycle, and only a few types of plastic are considered compostable. If you choose plastic packaging look for reusable grade plastic materials or certified compostable plastic packaging.

Another approach is to use reusable packaging items, and encourage your customers to reuse. Reusable packaging is only ‘eco-friendly’ when it is used repeatedly before being discarded. Otherwise the packaging just ends up in landfills where it cannot break down. Often reusable packaging is made with plastic blend materials, but many are also made with 100% cotton or other natural materials like bamboo.

Broken Bag Bottoms or Handles

If you’re using cheap bags to tote heavy items, you might experience breaks and tears in the bag bottoms, handles, or sides. To prevent this from happening, make sure you are buying the right type of bags for your products.

There are two main types of shopping bags for retailers; paper and plastic. Paper shopping bags are usually made with 50 or 60 pound paper and usually contain recycled content. Because of this, these shopping bags are strong enough for most everyday retail goods, but might break down under the pressure of heavy items like candles, mugs, wine bottles, etc.

For heavier items, paper eurotote shopping bags are a great option. Eurotote bags have reinforced bottom boards and are made with durable, heavyweight paper. They also include stronger rope handles with reinforced turn tops to prevent the handles from breaking.

Plastic bags are generally very strong and can be purchased in many different options to meet your needs. However, some of the cheapest plastic bags will rip and tear more easily. Low density plastic bags are a less expensive bag option that offers more strength. Low-density plastic is manufactured in a way that allows more stretch without breaking, and the handles are often reinforced. Plastic bags can also be made with heavyweight high-density plastic, like with frosted plastic bags. These bags are very sturdy and structured and can hold heavy items with ease.

Complicated Assembly

Some packaging products require assembly that is not exactly ‘quick and easy’. But for almost every product with complicated and frustrating assembly instructions, there is a better alternative out there.

Many retailers like using ribbon to add a special touch to their packaging, especially around the holidays. But ribbon can be frustrating to tie and curl on the spot. Instant pull-bows are a great alternative to ribbon. These bows ship and store as flat ribbons, but assemble to a full beautiful bow in just seconds. Stretch loop ribbons are also a good choice for gift boxes, because they come pre-tied and ready to use.

Boxes are another category where things can get complicated. Some folding gift boxes take a little more time and patience to assemble, and not all retailers have that kind of time. On the other hand, rigid boxes can be really expensive and take up a lot of storage space. There are a few folding box options that are easier to assemble:

Magnetic folding boxes are a unique type of box that can be assembled and reassembled in seconds. The boxes ship and store flat, but just need to be folded into shape and no complicated tabs or slots are required. The lid also has hidden magnets so it snaps closed with ease and stays shut until you open it. These luxury gift boxes are a higher end and reusable option that offers easy and quick assembly.

Hi-wall folding gift boxes are another easy option for retailers. These boxes have a folding base where only the bottom needs to be folded up into place. The optional matching lids arrive completely ready to use. Saving you from having to figure out how to fold a box lid on the spot. The base boxes ship and store flat so they don’t take up too much storage space.

Plain or Ugly Box Fillers

There are more options to fill your boxes than just your standard packing peanuts or bubble wrap! Crinkle cut paper shred is an easy and colorful way to cushion your items inside a box or bag. This paper shred provides optimal cushion and fill and can be purchased in a huge variety of colors.

Tissue paper is another great packing option, most commonly used in bags. You can also use tissue paper in your e-commerce packaging and boxes to add some cushion and protection for your products. The best part about tissue paper is the huge variety of colors, styles, and design prints that are available. Tissue paper makes customizing your packaging easy and fun, and allows you to change things up more often without a big financial burden.

We hope that you’ve found some possible solutions for your packaging woes in this blog. Visit our website to shop for easy-to-use and ready to ship packaging items!

See how Splash Packaging can elevate your brand with exceptional quality & style.

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