This packaging makes a difference
The benefits of eco-friendly alternatives

At Progress we have taken the step to consolidate our own packaging to make it recyclable, reusable and biodegradable, while using only materials that are from sustainable and renewable sources.

Here we take a closer look at how when considering packaging in any format, the choices we make have never been more important than they are in today’s eco-conscious world.

Text by Vicki Walmsley
Photography by Guy Farrow

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Now, more than ever before, society is aware of the damaging environmental effects plastics and non-recyclable materials have on our planet.

What started out as a small wave of change in our everyday lives – such as plastic bags no longer being readily available at every sales counter, and the availability of reusable bags in store – has now gathered a momentum that is seeing each of us, as individuals and a collective, becoming increasingly environmentally conscious with our day-to-day habits and consumer choices. If a product isn’t biodegradable, it at least needs to be sustainable, recyclable, or reusable, meaning eco-friendly production should be a concern for all brands in today’s world of manufacturing.

As a packaging supplier to those brands, we knew it was imperative for us to lead by example and take control of our own choices by showing what can be achieved with a little mindful resourcing. For the first time in our company’s history, we’ve produced a consolidated range of packaging for our own goods – a range that is fully recyclable with no plastics, polythene, or vinyl included.

In fact, we’re so passionate about environmentally friendly alternatives, we didn’t simply design a new range of products. We reviewed our entire packaging processes, from tissue and tape, to protection, wrapping, reusability, and recycling.

Progress Packaging Sustainable Eco Recycled Biodegradable Green Luxury Bespoke Retail Range 2

For the first time in our company’s history, we have created a consolidated range of eco-friendly packaging for our own use.

Progress Packaging Corrugated Mailing Box Carton High Quality Shipping Branded Bespoke Printed Retail Luxury Recyclable Environmentally Friendly Eco Durable E Commerce Reusable Kraft 1

This box is biodegradable, produced using 70% recycled content, FSC approved, from sustainable forests.

Previously, goods shipped out were sent in stock boxes – ones reused from those that arrived to us containing other products. We also used vinyl tapes and protective bubble wrap, as well as bubble wrap and polythene mailing bags. All common products and practices you’ll see within most companies around the world today.

Corrugated mailing boxes are one of the most popular forms of packaging in the market, meaning they also create a lot of waste. When reviewing our options, we knew how vital it was to ensure the boxes were both durable and fit for purpose, as well as being fully recyclable and reusable. These high quality, double-layered E/B flute corrugated board boxes have Kraft outer and inner layers, allowing for a high-quality print on the surface. We included a security zip tear to reduce package tampering, as well as an adhesive strip to the edges. Flexo-printed one colour using water-based inks to our custom design, it is fully recyclable, as well as being FSC approved.

‘If a product isn’t biodegradable, it at least needs to be sustainable, recyclable, or reusable, meaning eco-friendly production should be a concern for all brands in today’s world of manufacturing.’
Progress Packaging Sustainable Eco Recycled Biodegradable Green Luxury Bespoke Retail Range 3

We reviewed our own in-house shipping processes, bringing new methods in to allow us to lead by example and remain as eco-friendly as possible throughout.

Progress Packaging Sustainable Eco Recycled Biodegradable Green Luxury Bespoke Retail Range 4

Shredded card has replaced protective bubble wrap, giving stock boxes which were previously unusable a new purpose, expanding their life cycle for years to come.

Progress Packaging Sustainable Eco Recycled Biodegradable Green Luxury Bespoke Retail Range 5

This tissue paper is produced from sustainable forests, adding another layer of eco-friendly protection to the products being shipped out.

Progress Packaging Sustainable Eco Recycled Biodegradable Green Luxury Bespoke Retail Range 6

Together, the shredded card and tissue not only provide protection, but also provide a truly unique unveiling experience for the recipient.

Now, any boxes we receive are shredded using an in-office shredding machine, and then used to provide product protection to our packages during transit, meaning their life cycle continues on without waste.

Another part of the protective packaging used is the branded tissue we have created. These tissue sheets have been made from sustainable forest sources, and while our version is printed using a flexo-print in-line colour, flood colours are possible. As is a PMS matched print, allowing for a wide range of branding options.

Progress Packaging Sustainable Eco Recycled Biodegradable Green Luxury Bespoke Retail Range 7

This kraft paper tape is fully recyclable, replacing the old vinyl tapes that previously prevented boxes from being recycled once applied.

Progress Packaging Corrugated Mailing Box Carton High Quality Shipping Branded Bespoke Printed Retail Luxury Recyclable Environmentally Friendly Eco Durable E Commerce Reusable Kraft 2

Environmentally conscious sourcing has no bearing on the quality of the package. These cartons are strong, reusable, recyclable, and biodegradable, while also fulfilling their purpose and looking the part.

Progress Packaging Packing Tissue Recyclable Box Paper Protective Branded Eco Friendly Printed Retail Shipping E Commerce Durable Custom Made Bespoke Carton 1

While our version of tissue is flexo-printed in line colours, flood colours are also possible, as is a PMS-matched print.

Progress Packaging Sustainable Eco Recycled Biodegradable Green Luxury Bespoke Retail Range 8

All the individual elements come together to provide a fully eco-friendly packaging range suitable for all sectors.

‘We’ve considered the whole packaging process & life cycle – from tissue & tape, to protection, wrapping, reusability & recycling’

A common mistake made when using recyclable boxes is the tape applied to seal it. More often than not, a box is responsibly sourced with the idea of making it fully recyclable, only to be spoilt when the vinyl or PVC tapes are applied to the outer. This tape is then left on the box throughout its existence, meaning that when it reaches the point of recycling, it’s rendered useless, adding to the environment’s wastage. Our kraft paper tape was produced from sustainably produced papers and is fully recyclable. It can be printed using flexo-print in-line colours, and is a durable, eco-friendly alternative to the PVC tapes out there on the market. When recycling boxes and mailing cartons, it does not have to be removed beforehand, meaning less wastage of both product and time.

Progress Packaging Sustainable Eco Recycled Biodegradable Green Luxury Bespoke Retail Range 9

We included a security zip-tear to reduce package tampering, as well as an adhesive strip to the edges.

Progress Packaging Sustainable Eco Recycled Biodegradable Green Luxury Bespoke Retail Range 10

This kraft paper bag is produced from renewable resources.

Progress Packaging Sustainable Eco Recycled Biodegradable Green Luxury Bespoke Retail Range 11

Kraft paper mailing bags are an eco-friendly packaging alternative to the more frequently used polythene mailers on the market.

Progress Packaging Corrugated Mailing Box Carton High Quality Shipping Branded Bespoke Printed Retail Luxury Recyclable Environmentally Friendly Eco Durable E Commerce Reusable Kraft 3

‘Please reuse and recycle’ is the message we’re sending out with every package shipped. It’s time to make small changes that will make a big difference to our planet in years to come.

‘We’ve developed processes & sourced materials that can deliver big brand impact – without adding significant cost or impacting on the environment’

Surprisingly, finding an alternative to the mailing bags proved to be the most time consuming. We investigated various polythene bags that claimed to be biodegradable, but we felt their claims weren’t 100% fact-based the way paper bags proved to be. The final design we signed off were Kraft mailing bags produced using paper sourced from sustainable forests. These are an eco-friendly alternative to the more frequently used polythene mailers, with excellent durability. By being environmentally conscious about the materials we use, we can reduce waste without reducing the quality.