Christmas is just around the corner, which means time at the beach or pool, Christmas feasts, end-of-year parties, swapping gifts, and sharing joyful gatherings with our nearest and dearest.
But like it or not, Christmas carries a less favourable truth: it’s one of our most wasteful times of year.
Some estimates say Australians create up to 50 percent more waste during the festive season than at any other time. That’s food, unwanted presents, Christmas trees, single-use plastics, seasonal clothing and up to 150,000 kilometres of wrapping paper (four laps of the entire planet).
And while we’re not trying to be grinches or scrooges about an important time of celebration, it’s also an important reminder about our environmental impact.
That’s why at Rawson, we’re here to show you how to have a greener Christmas when you’re planning your product packaging.
Importance of eco-friendly Christmas packaging
Conventional packaging, wrapping papers, tapes and ribbons may dazzle under the Christmas tree, but they’re often laden with non-biodegradable materials and harmful dyes that can contaminate lands and waterways.
There’s a reason why eco-friendly packaging matters for Christmas and the festive season: we can significantly reduce our ecological footprint and help contribute to the preservation of our planet for future generations while still enjoying the holiday spirit.
Some benefits of eco-friendly Christmas packaging
Reduced environmental impact
When we manage them responsibly, printing and packaging are renewable. Eco-friendly packaging materials have a significantly lower environmental impact compared to their traditional counterparts. They can often decompose faster, be recycled more easily, and use fewer resources and energy to produce.
Positive brand image and bottom line
Studies show a majority of consumers now factor sustainability into their product choices, and they’re willing to pay more for eco-friendly packaging options. When your brand offers sustainable packaging options and works with other sustainably-focused suppliers, it can attract environmentally aware customers.
Regulatory bodies are tightening restrictions on many non-sustainable practices. By using eco-friendly packaging options, and working with other sustainably-minded suppliers, your business can stay ahead of compliance requirements and demonstrate its commitment to responsible business practices.
Sustainable packaging ideas for Christmas with Rawson
Here are some ways to introduce sustainability in your packaging at Christmas with Rawson.
Recycled wrapping paper—and wrapping paper you can recycle
It’s easy to think that all wrapping paper is basically the same. But there’s huge variation in what you can choose to sell or wrap your products in, and what you and your customers can do with it once it’s ripped off the presents hidden inside!
Wrapping paper can be made from numerous paper materials ranging from totally virgin paper (new paper made from wood chips) to 100% recycled ingredients. There’s also FSC certified paper (which can be virgin or recycled), made from materials sourced from sustainably managed forests with fair labour conditions.
Many wrapping papers are finished with eye-grabbing foils, laminations, plastic/clay/wax coatings, glitter, inks and dyes. Many of these glitzy additions make it harder to recycle or compost the paper compared to more eco-friendly plain-paper or ink-only wrappings. Chat to us about what eco-friendly flourishes can be added to your wrapping paper.
There are plenty of other reusable packaging options for your products, such as paper and cardboard bags and boxes. At Rawson we specialise in fibre-based, folding carton packaging that’s widely used across many sectors and can often be made with recyclable or sustainable papers and cardboards.
They’re great choices because they can also be repurposed for future gift giving, which reduces waste and adds an extra layer of value to your products.
Packaging so good you don’t need wrapping paper
Designing a package that’s so beautiful it acts simultaneously as regular product packaging and festive wrapping means there’s no need to add another layer of wrapping. When it’s made with eco-friendly paper it gets an extra tick for sustainability.
Sending “season’s greetings” cards to customers, colleagues, friends and family is another important part of the festive period, as well as your brand management. While e-cards are a popular alternative, there’s also something lovely about exchanging personalised paper cards.
But it’s good to remember that cards usually end up in the bin. If you’re considering an eco-friendly paper option, speak with us about recycled papers, vegetable inks, and minimising non-recyclable coatings and flourishes.
Printing with eco-friendly inks and coatings
We use water-based coatings to protect our paper products, and eco-friendly vegetable-based inks made from corn, walnut, coconut, linseed, canola and soybean extracts. These inks are beautiful to look at but don’t contain harmful chemicals and solvents typical in traditional inks.
Sustainable production processes
We operate a closed-loop manufacturing facility: printing byproducts are reused or recycled, reducing our energy use, resource use and what’s sent to landfill. As an FSC certified printer we source paper from certified suppliers who adhere to sustainable forestry practices—and you can include the globally recognised FSC logo on your materials.
Other ways to make your wrapping traditions more sustainable
Reusable, recyclable or compostable ribbons, string and tape
There are plenty of biodegradable or recyclable twines, ribbons, raffia, jute and paper/plant-based tapes to substitute for traditional plasticised options.
Biodegradable packing peanuts or crumpled recycled paper
Posting a fragile gift? Traditional polystyrene packing peanuts and bubble wraps are an environmental no-no as they’re non-biodegradable and can harm wildlife. Choose crumpled newspapers, recycled butcher’s paper or an affordable biodegradable alternative made from cornstarch, which breaks down easily.
The role of certification and an eco-friendly supplier like Rawson
When you’re hunting for a sustainable packaging Sydney-based supplier, choose Rawson Print & Packaging. We hold internationally recognised certifications including FSC and ISO 9001 quality management. Certification provides you with a transparent way to verify the environmental, ethical and quality standards of our production processes and ensure we’re the right match for your brand.
This festive season, consider how you can bring environmentally friendly measures into your holiday spirit. Choosing eco-friendly Christmas packaging is a small yet impactful step towards a sustainable future.
From the Rawson team, we wish you a safe, happy and healthy Christmas and festive season.