Packaging MattersSustainability

Sustainable Packaging

Packaging Matters

Shipping Green with Brown

Sure, preparing your package for shipping should seem like a no-brainer but if you want to ship that package sustainably, you may not know where to start. No matter how you ship, selecting the right packing materials is a crucial step. Here are some things you can do to ensure your package has a successful, eco-friendly journey.

Large-volume shippers within a closed-loop, or managed open-loop system might consider using reusable transport packaging such as plastic pallets and reusable crates, totes, or bins. These items can be used for shipping through UPS*, or for storage and transportation within your own facility.

Reusables are typically made of virgin or recycled plastic, sturdy wood, or metal. These materials are resistant to chemicals and moisture, offer strong insulation, and better protection for your product. Designed for many years of use, these sturdy containers protect your products, even in rough shipping environments. Industry consultants, manufacturers, and logistics providers like UPS's Eco Responsible Packaging Program can help you source materials and design a sustainable packaging and shipping program.

Reusable transport packaging is an eco-friendly alternative to shipping with cardboard boxes and materials that can only be used one time. Shipping with reusables can lower company costs over time, reduce waste and save recycling costs. And of course, it's better for the environment.

Sustainable Packaging for Small Shipments

Individuals and companies with smaller shipments don't fret, there are ways for you to make your small shipments more eco-friendly as well. If shipping with a reusable crate is not practical for you, there are ways you can improve the environmental impact of shipping with a standard cardboard box.

Many retailers sell packing materials made of recycled and recyclable content. Just some of the eco-friendly products available include:

  • Bubble wrap
  • Non-toxic foam
  • Biodegradable twine
  • Biodegradable starch peanuts
  • Recyclable green anti-static peanuts

Participating The UPS Store® locations offer earth-friendly air pillow or retention packaging. These eliminate the need for bubble wrap and packing peanuts for your fragile to semi-rugged items, and they can be easily recycled right at your curb. While you're there, ask if your neighborhood The UPS Store participates in the peanut recycling program.

You can also save shipping materials you receive and reuse them for your own future shipments. Go online or find and download a mobile app to locate a recycling center that accepts or distributes shipping materials.

*NOTE: Additional fees may apply.

Get Started

Find eco-friendly packing materials or speak to one of the packaging experts at The UPS Store.

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Packaging Guidelines

UPS will help you think inside--and outside the box. Follow our guidelines for smart packaging, from the outside label to inside protection.

Packaging Advisor

From apparel to windshields, our Packaging Advisor tool can provide customized guidelines on the best way to package your shipment for a safer journey.

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