Design audit

Design Audit

3 tips for eco-friendly packaging without added costs

Do you want to protect the environment?

These days, your customers are certain to be environmentally aware and requesting options that help to safeguard nature. Therefore, you should also do your best to meet their demands when wrapping your products in gift wrap and handing them a plastic bag over the counter. 

Whether you use environmentally certified packaging materials or not, keep reading as we suggest 3 ways in which you can protect the environment while saving money.

Normal recycled plastic bag

Recycled foil bags

”The most eco-friendly thing you can do is to use bags made with recycled foil. The bags are available with and without environmental certification, but regardless, the recycled foil bags will be both better for the environment and a cheaper purchase than a newly manufactured item,” says Peter Mosgaard, Sales Manager at Scanlux Packaging.

This means that you can easily choose the eco-friendly option, even if your packaging doesn’t have, for example, the eco-label for biodegradable plastic, TÜV AUSTRIA, or the German Blue Angel that certifies recyclable material.

In terms of quality, recycled foil bags are just as robust as new bags, although it is visible that they are made from recycled materials. The material has a granulated surface and can be difficult to add a nice print to.

”You can tell that the bags are made from recycled plastic, but if you want to show that you have made an environmentally-friendly choice, this can be part of your company’s narrative,” explains Peter Mosgaard.

classic brown bags range

Brown paper

Another tip is to replace glossy wrapping paper with a coarse, brown paper. “By avoiding the use of bleached, white paper for your print, you also avoid the bleaching process which requires the use of chlorine.

When there are no chemicals involved in the production of the wrapping paper, this protects the environment significantly,” says Peter Mosgaard. Of course, not all brands are suited to the use of coarse, brown paper.

If brown kraft paper doesn’t compliment your brand, you can settle for non-coated paper – in other words, paper without a glossy or foil exterior in, for example, gold or silver. Doing so eliminates the use of plastic and metals.

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Different sizes brown bags


You should always consider the amount of packaging required to package your product. Many businesses use bags that are too big in relation to their products.

If you want to be both environmentally and price conscious, it is a good idea to downsize to smaller bags, saving you extra plastic or paper and benefitting both the environment and your budget.

“Similarly, many businesses also use very robust bags or boxes. If your product isn’t heavy and therefore doesn’t require a very thick bag to carry it home in, you could opt for a thinner alternative instead,” says Peter Mosgaard.

When it comes to choosing the correct size, you can also save a considerable amount by having your packaging cut to standard measurements. Standard measurements are cheaper that specialised measurements, as there isn’t a large amount of waste when the product is cut on the machines.

What’s your starting point?

If you already have a very thin plastic bag and wish to change to a paper bag for example, then it will be more expensive given that paper is considerably more expensive than plastic.

On the other hand, if you have a paper bag and are looking for something more environmentally-friendly, then you can choose a plastic bag made with recycled foil as it has less of an environmental impact than a paper bag – even though it’s cheaper to produce.


When assessing the savings and additional costs of environmentally-friendly choices, in reality the price differences depend on your individual starting point.

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