The potential of hemp goes up when you realize what a sustainable crop it is. When thinking about what hemp can replace, as far as specific goods, it’s often a much better choice for the environment.
The best example is hemp paper. Paper made from wood requires trees. These take a very long time to grow, so replacing the ones you cut down to make paper is a slow process. Also, mature trees absorb and trap a lot more carbon dioxide from the air than saplings. A mature tree is more valuable on an environmental level than one that’s newly planted.
Hemp is the exact opposite. With a short grow time, you can replace a harvested hemp crop within the same year. Not only that, but as it grows it helps aerate the soil, making it stronger and richer for the next planting. Like trees, hemp also sequesters harmful carbon dioxide from the air, but it works faster at the job.
Since hemp is an ideal crop when it comes to sustainable farming, shouldn’t the way we package hemp products reflect this amazing side of the plant?
What is sustainable packaging?
When it comes to packing products, materials are sustainable if they have a minimal impact on the environment. This can translate to using biodegradable or recyclable materials. It also includes packaging that doesn’t leave a heavy carbon footprint behind.
One of the best ways to incorporate sustainable packaging into your products is to reduce or even eliminate plastic. Plastic is terrible for the environment on so many levels. Replacing plastic with glass bottles and cardboard containers can really make a difference. Even swapping out packaging derived from hemp is a better practice when thinking about sustainability.
What types of packaging count?
A variety of different types of packaging fit into this category, so you have a lot of options when exploring how to shift away from plastics. Consider looking at:
- Packaging made from recycled materials. This includes paperboard cardboard as well as items deemed one-use that you’re reusing. This is when plastic is okay, since you’re reusing things like bottles or shopping bags. These are things that typically get used once before you toss them into the trash.
- Plant-based packaging. While packaging derived from hemp fits into this category, you can also find other biological sources. All of these can create packaging that’s biodegradable.
- Plastic alternatives. This type of packaging will look like plastic, but have one fundamental difference — it breaks down once you throw it out. Plastic alternatives are usually either compostable or biodegradable.. This means you can recycle them at home as compost or throw them away without the worry they’ll sit in a landfill forever.
It’s also possible to package sustainably simply by using less packaging. Think about how you sell/ship materials. Are they individually boxed before going into a bag or other box? How about when shipping a bulk delivery? Packing items up in a conscientious way can mean less waste. It can also save you money on supplies and materials as well.
Is the only advantage its impact on the environment?
While, yes, sustainable packaging is so much better for the environment, there are extra benefits to making the switch. The biggest — the potential for an increase in customers.
Being a more sustainable business, and promoting the steps you’re taking to get there, attracts people to your brand. As more awareness comes regarding the harm manufacturing can do the environment, those industries that can promote their sustainable efforts will often rank higher in the eye of the consumer.
Shifting your packaging to more sustainable options can put you ahead of the competition when it comes to hemp-derived products, so make sure you’re promoting your efforts.
Should you consider sustainable packaging?
The fit between hemp products and sustainable packaging is too good to ignore. The plant itself is such an environmentally friendly crop; how could you not want to package it in a way that’s as good for the earth as it is?
Of course, making this sort of shift, when you’re ready, takes time. Don’t feel like you have to do everything all at once. Baby steps are okay.
For help considering your options when it comes to quality hemp products, and the best strategies for packaging and selling them, reach out to the team at Arbor Vita8. We not only provide high-end hemp extracts, but also offer white labeling services for our superior products. Contact us today to learn more.