Sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging with Mail Boxes Etc.

Sustainable packaging for your business


Choose environmentally friendly packaging with Mail Boxes Etc.

Sustainable packaging is playing an increasingly important role for companies in every industry. After all, this is not just about choosing environmentally friendly and recyclable packaging to protect the planet. It is also becoming increasingly important for customers that companies act in a sustainable and environmentally conscious manner. Therefore, sustainable packaging is also a decision in terms of customer acquisition and retention. But what exactly is sustainable packaging and are there any legal requirements?

With Mail Boxes Etc. you get all the relevant information in one place. In addition, we are happy to support you in choosing the most suitable and environmentally friendly packaging solutions for your company.

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Definition: Sustainable packaging

Sustainable packaging is packaging that is environmentally friendly, conserves resources and helps reduce packaging waste. There are various ways to make packaging more sustainable:

  • Use of recycled materials: Packaging made from recycled materials helps to reduce the consumption of raw materials and reduce waste.
  • Use of biodegradable materials: Biodegradable materials such as paper, cardboard or plant fibers, for example, decompose and thus leave no waste.
  • Reducing the amount of packaging: You can also make packaging more sustainable by reducing the amount of packaging material. The use of reusable packaging or the use of size-optimized as well as minimized packaging can contribute to this, for example.

Sustainable shipping packaging is also possible. Ideally, a concept is applied in the company that covers all areas of packaging.

What sustainable packaging is available?

If you want to package your products sustainably, you have many options to choose from. It is important that you choose a packaging material that conserves resources. This means it should be recyclable packaging as well as material that grows back or is recyclable. Below you will find the most important materials for environmentally friendly packaging. We also show you in which areas they can be used particularly well.

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Sustainable packaging from wood

As a renewable raw material, wood is ideal for creating sustainable packaging. For this, the material must come from certified forestry. Certifications such as PEFC™ or FSC® indicate whether the material is treated responsibly. This applies to pure wood packaging in the form of boxes and also to processed wood in the form of paper or cardboard packaging. 

Paper or cardboard can even be CO2-neutral. If it comes from sustainably managed forests and is 100% recyclable, there is no negative CO2 balance. In this case, the CO2 absorbed by trees during growth is released again when the paper is recycled. This means that no additional CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere.

Paper and cardboard are suitable for almost all classic packaging areas. Properly processed, foodstuffs can also be hygienically and safely packaged in it.

Paper from alternative raw materials

Paper and cardboard do not necessarily have to be wood-based. The modern range of materials is constantly being expanded so that sustainable packaging alternatives are added. These include:

  • Grass paper
  • Cocoa paper
  • Bagasse (sugar cane)

All three materials are made from sustainable and rapidly renewable raw materials. Bagasse was a waste product of sugar cane processing. Grass is extremely rapidly renewable, which optimizes CO2 emissions. Cocoa paper is particularly easy to process for use with food. 

All options are recyclable and biodegradable. This makes them the perfect basis for sustainable packaging.

Sustainable plastic packaging

Classic plastic packaging has a poor carbon footprint and is unsuitable for the production of environmentally friendly packaging. Alternative plastic variants made from corn starch are therefore a possible solution for the future. 

PLA and CPLA are two plastic forms based on polylactic acid - which is obtained from corn. In its basic PLA form, it is suitable for simple packaging requirements. To make the material heat resistant, talc powder is mixed into the CPLA plastic. PLA is transparent. It is suitable, for example, for viewing windows in food packaging. CPLA is not transparent. Due to its heat resistance, it can be used for the production of hot beverage cups.

Sustainable packaging from hemp

Hemp is a sustainable alternative to traditional packaging materials such as plastic and paper, as it is a fast-growing, renewable and environmentally friendly material. Hemp is robust and durable and can be processed in many forms. Hemp paper, hemp fiber or hemp textile are just a few of these possibilities.

Some advantages of hemp packaging are:

  • Sustainability: Hemp grows quickly and requires little water and pesticides. 
  • Recyclability: Hemp packaging is easy to recycle because it is biodegradable.
  • Strength and durability: hemp is a sturdy material that lasts a long time and is good for transporting goods.
  • Printability: Hemp paper is well suited for printing. Packaging with individual designs can be implemented effortlessly.

Sustainable packaging made from bamboo

Bamboo can also be used in various forms for packaging. Bamboo paper or bamboo textile are robust and durable. As one of the fastest growing raw material resources in the world, bamboo is an important material for sustainable packaging. 

It requires little water, little space and few pesticides to grow, which further contributes to the sustainability of bamboo packaging.

There are always new innovations for the packaging industry. Our MBE employees will inform you in a conversation about current offers and provide you with a competent packaging service. Together we will find the optimal products and materials for your company. This is how you design sustainable packaging solutions that are good for you and the planet.

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What do sustainable packaging solutions cost?

The price of sustainable packaging solutions depends on various factors. For example, the material, design, size and quantity of the packaging play a role here. Mail Boxes Etc. will determine an individual offer for you that takes your needs into account.

Sustainable packaging is still sometimes more expensive than conventional packaging. This is because they are made of high-quality, environmentally friendly materials that often have special designs or functions.

At the same time, there are cases where sustainable packaging is less expensive than conventional packaging. Paper packaging, which comes from sustainably managed forests and is easily recyclable, often offers a price advantage over plastic packaging. Likewise, reusable packaging can be less expensive in the long run.

We will compare various options for you and determine the cost progression as well as the potential cost savings. We will also be happy to show you the positive effects the use of sustainable packaging can have on the company as a whole. In the long run, switching to environmentally friendly packaging solutions will be the best way to operate economically.

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Sustainable packaging tips for your business

It is not always possible to make the packaging strategy for a company completely sustainable in the short term. But even small changes can help create sustainable packaging:

  1. Use reusable packaging: Reusable packaging, such as reusable containers or bags, can be less expensive in the long run. They also avoid the use of disposable packaging that must be disposed of after a single use. Sustainable materials don't necessarily have to be used.
  2. Make the switch to environmentally friendly materials in small steps: Look for packaging made from sustainable, biodegradable materials such as paper, cardboard, hemp, bamboo or fabric. Avoid packaging made of plastic, as it takes a long time to decompose and thus pollutes the environment. Replace individual areas of packaging - such as a clear viewing window - with sustainable solutions.
  3. Consider recyclability: make sure packaging can be easily recycled. This is the case if they are made of compostable materials or made of materials that can be easily separated. This will make recycling easier. Specify on the packaging exactly which parts are to be recycled and how. 
  4. Optimize packaging design: choose packaging that is designed for efficiency and sustainability and uses as little material as possible. Also consider packaging transportation and choose packaging that is as lightweight and space-efficient as possible to minimize carbon footprint.
  5. Use certifications: There are several certifications that indicate the sustainability of packaging, such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). 
  6. Consider the entire production process: Replace add-on products such as adhesives with environmentally friendly alternatives, too. Switch to compostable paper garbage bags for waste disposal.
  7. Educate your customers: Make the sustainability of your packaging clear by highlighting it on your products or in your marketing materials. This way, you can draw attention to your company's sustainability and improve customer perception at the same time.

Sustainable packaging materials in the all-round carefree service from the MBE Cente

With Mail Boxes Etc. you are choosing an experienced partner at your side. We advise you extensively on the subject of sustainability for your packaging. In doing so, we are not only able to offer high-quality packaging materials. We also cover the entire packaging process for your company. From goods collection and storage to packaging and order picking. You receive a comprehensive all-round service from a single source. In addition, you can have your packaging customized with our printing service to ensure another high-quality point of contact with your clientele.

Simply contact our MBE service staff by telephone. We will be there for you personally right away. You can also reach us at more than 150 locations throughout Germany. Find out now how you too can convert your production to sustainable packaging.

We are looking forward to your inquiry!

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*Service offerings may vary by location and MBE Center.

MBE Deutschland GmbH • Bundesallee 39-40a • 10717 Berlin • Tel. +49 30 72 62 090 • Fax +49 30 72 62 09-250 • •

Mail Boxes Etc./MBE Centers are operated by independent operators as franchisees, who operate under a franchise agreement under the brand name of MBE. Through its franchise network Mail Boxes Etc. provides support services for businesses and individuals. Logistics and shipping services represent the main services of MBE – enabled by MBE through contractual agreements concluded for the benefit of its franchisees with the main national and international express couriers - and other graphics and printing services - provided either directly or on the basis of agreements with large printing centers. The promotion of services for business and private customers is carried out in the framework of the business activity of each MBE franchise partner within and outside of the MBE Centers ("farming"). Each franchise partner is contractually obligated to perform such activities. Mail Boxes Etc. and MBE are registered trademarks used with permission of MBE Worldwide S.p.A. (All Rights Reserved). The services offered by the individual MBE Centers can vary depending upon the location. The material available on this Internet site, the information contained herein and any other relevant related data may not in any manner be copied, distributed, changed, republished, reproduced, downloaded or forwarded to third parties, without the expressed prior written authorization of MBE Deutschland GmbH. We accept no responsibility with regard to the unauthorized use of the material available on this Internet site, the information and/or the data contained herein.
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