Public awareness and concerns regarding single-use packaging waste are increasing, and with them, the demand for sustainable packaging solutions. In the 21st century, packaging matters, and eco-friendly packaging companies are and will continue to be the preferred choice. The future of packaging has been unboxed, and this article intends to expose its contents through the prism of the top 40 sustainable packaging companies.
The awareness of environmental issues has been raised, and with it, the public’s interest in alternative eco-friendly solutions. In this aspect, sustainability is a more expansive concept that refers to the company’s role in society and its ability to generate value by effectively managing its environmental and social impacts. When customers demand biodegradable packaging, manufacturers respond.
However, public awareness has not been the only generating motor toward a more sustainable future. The term ESG (environmental, social, and governance) is frequently haunting companies, resulting in an increase in their sustainable characteristics. By assessing how companies perform in relation to environmental and social issues, ESG is mainly used to evaluate them as potential investments.
The pool of sustainable packaging suppliers is vast and deep, and with the competition between them, the standards for sustainable packaging rise higher. Further, with the development of technologies, the deepening of global warming and environmental damage, and increased public awareness, these standards have changed throughout the years. In fact, the eco-packaging world has been tightened up and will continue to be under strict observation.
This section aims to reveal some key factors to which sustainable packaging brands intend to reach out. Further, we outline the characteristics to consider when ranking the top 40 eco-packaging companies.
Whilst sustainability has taken a key position within the packaging industry, and the competition has reached unexpectedly high levels, ranking the best recyclable packaging companies is difficult. With a strong focus on tomorrow, these top 30 biodegradable packaging manufacturers build a promising eco-friendly future.
Elopak, a Norwegian company specializing in liquid food product packaging, offers a sustainable alternative to plastic bottles and other packaging options in the aseptic market. Elopak cartons are mostly made from paperboard, which is a renewable resource when sourced sustainably. In 2022, the company introduced the Pure-Pak eSense carton, a technology that uses a polyolefin blend barrier instead of aluminum, removing the aluminum entirely from their packages. The Pure-Pak eSense carton no longer has an aluminum layer, but it is still as durable and easy to use as a regular aseptic carton, keeping the contents fresh.
Amcor is a leader within the sustainable packaging industry dedicated to producing lighter and reusable packaging that incorporates a higher proportion of recycled materials. The company is involved in manufacturing both flexible and rigid plastic packaging solutions, offering a wide range of products and services related to packaging. These include solutions for food, beverages, personal care, home care, healthcare, and industrial applications. One of Amcor's core values is to meet and exceed the expectations of its customers through outstanding sales, marketing, and service.
Flexible, high-performance, sustainable packaging is Gualapack’s specialty - making their products a good fit for businesses and individuals who sell cosmetic and food products. Based in Italy, Gualapack’s unique offerings include pouch packaging options for infant and baby food, including spouts and anti-choking caps designed for baby consumption.
These products are 100% compostable and biodegradable, owing to Gualapack’s focus on reducing environmental impact.
Tetra Laval, a multinational corporation with Swedish roots that is headquartered in Switzerland, provides both technologies and services for the production, packaging, and distribution of food in a sustainable way. According to its 2022 sustainability report, this company has achieved an 80% use of renewable electricity in its operations by increasing its solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity. This brings the company considerably close to its core target of using 100% renewable energy by 2030.
Boxed Water is Better provides a greener option to plastic bottles with their 100% recyclable packaging comprising 75% paper. The box features an aluminum lining and a plastic cap while being free of BPAs and phthalates. The paper used in the packaging is sourced from well-managed forests, and the company uses a portion of its profits to plant trees in areas impacted by deforestation and fires. The brand has planted more than one million trees in national forests. Additionally, by flattening the boxes for shipping to regional filling locations, the company uses one truck instead of the 26 required for transporting plastic bottles, significantly reducing its carbon footprint.
Using high-level sustainability standards, A New Earth Project offers packaging that’s very easy to recycle and therefore, relieves the customer of the burden of taking the material to specific drop-off locations. Instead, individuals and businesses can simply throw the product into the nearest local recycling bin.
Ridding the world’s lakes, oceans, and rivers of plastic pollution is one of A New Earth Project’s biggest aims. This is done through collaborations with the surfing community, outdoor enthusiasts, and the packaging supply industry to create recyclable packaging solutions. While most sustainable packaging companies aim to make their products compostable, A New Earth Project focuses on making their materials recyclable instead so that they can stay in circulation.
Oji Holdings, a Tokyo-based company for sustainable solutions, is one of the leading pulp and paper-producing brands. Whilst sustainability has been a significant concern for the packaging industry, Oji Holdings has set a goal of achieving net-zero carbon targets by 2050. Oji has adopted two main strategies to achieve its ambitious 2030 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70% compared to 2018 levels. The first approach involves achieving a 20% reduction through the use of renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency. The second approach aims to achieve a 50% reduction by capturing and fixing carbon dioxide.
With an approach directly toward sustainability, Mondi PLC offers sustainable and innovative paper products that are free of chlorine. The company specializes in producing various paper and packaging products for both industrial and consumer packaging, including pulp, paper, and compound plastics. Mondi PLC also manages forests and offers its customers fine, uncoated paper, engineered materials, and flexible packaging.
The eCommerce industry generates one of the biggest plastic wastes in the world. With headquarters in New Zealand, Better Packaging Co makes use of ocean-bound plastic by turning it into recyclable and sustainable packaging products, often commissioning beach clean-ups throughout Southeast Asia, where most of their materials come from.
With its impressive line of products like document bags, padded mailing packets, poly garment bags, and more, Better Packaging Co. helps lessen the carbon footprint brought upon by commercial packaging companies and the eCommerce industry.
Other than products made with ocean-bound plastic, Better Packaging Co also offers plant-based packaging like compostable mailers, bamboo envelope tapes, compostable packing tapes, shipping labels, and even hygiene liners designed to protect swimwear and underwear for retail purposes.
Founded in 1892 and headquartered in Pennsylvania, Crown Holdings has a rich history and professional experience in the sustainable packaging industry. The company creates and sells packaging products and equipment for various consumer goods and industrial products in different regions across the globe. The company's sustainable solutions include steel and aluminum cans for the food and beverage industries, industrial products, including steel and plastic strap consumables and equipment, paper-based protective packaging, and numerous others.
With a worldwide presence and more than 300 facilities, Berry Global has a rich legacy of producing rigid, flexible, and non-woven products for its customers globally. Within the numerous solutions of the company is a packaging solution for syrup and liquid medications that includes tamper-evident PET bottles and closures. The child-resistant packaging is aimed at the pharmaceutical and herbal markets. Further, the company collaborated with McCormick to introduce food color bottles made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic that are fully recyclable.
Ecovative provides sustainable solutions to plastic packaging using science and agriculture, with the main focus on mycelium technology. Mycelium refers to the root structure of mushrooms, and it produces proteins and leather-like textiles that are sustainable alternatives to plastic foams.
One downside to fungi packaging is its short lifespan compared to other materials, which is unsuitable for individuals and businesses with long-distance shipping. With headquarters in Green Island, New York, Ecovative uses mycelium and hemp hurd to grow materials for their fungi packaging products. After use, these products can be broken up and spread onto one’s garden bed or compost bin.
LimeLoop completely revolutionized the e-commerce industry by offering reusable packaging and shipping logistics services. Merchants can place orders with any carrier using an outbound label, and LimeLoop handles the rest of the process. Customers can then return the empty package to USPS using the provided return label. LimeLoop's packaging is constructed from upcycled billboard vinyl and lined with recycled cotton, making it both lightweight and stylish.
Founded in 2014, Notpla is creating a range of biodegradable packaging materials that are derived from seaweed and plants as an alternative to single-use plastic packaging. Its solution involves a custom manufacturing machine that produces sachets, called Oohos, ranging from 15-100ml depending on the intended use. Brown seaweed grows rapidly, up to 1m daily, and does not compete with food crops. Additionally, Notpla's products biodegrade within four to six weeks.
Founded in 1880 and headquartered in Westminster, Colorado, Ball Corporation is known for its rich history of innovative and sustainable packaging. Their products cover drink cans, food containers, and personal care packaging. One of Ball Corporation’s top priorities is sustainability, often collaborating with major companies to manufacture containers with a low carbon footprint.
They have a dedicated Sustainability page with full reports of their efforts to protect the environment.
With an eye on the details and care for customers’ preferences, PakFactory is a one-stop shop for custom printed packaging and branded boxes. The company offers a range of sustainable packaging options, including kraft boxes, custom bags, and sustainable food packaging, for any product. With a variety of stock packaging and the option to create your design, PakFactory serves a global market and has a growing base of satisfied customers.
Botanical PaperWorks offers an innovative sustainable solution in the form of plantable packaging. The company’s invention uses recycled materials and contains embedded seeds, providing a unique opportunity to the brand’s clients. Instead of being discarded, the packaging can be planted and will grow into various enjoyable plants such as flowers, herbs, or vegetables. It is particularly suitable for packaging small, lightweight items, wrapping products, or using it as box filler when shredded.
Scandinavian company Stora Enso is a leading provider of biomaterials, construction, and renewable packaging, with headquarters in Finland and Sweden.
Serving various industries with minimal environmental impact, Stora Enso offers packaging materials that are alternatives to fossil-based materials. Their products include takeaway packaging and utensils, plastic-free e-commerce, bio-based foam, beverage cartons, and much more.
noissue focuses on sustainable custom packaging for brands and businesses. According to their website, all of their packaging solutions are “either comfortable, recycled, or reusable”.
In line with their hip and trendy products, noissue has partnered with brands like Baggu, Uniqlo, AllBirds, PopUp Grocer, and more. Some of noissue’s offerings include custom tissue paper, food paper, cold cups, sticker sheets, poly mailers, water-activated tape, and mailer boxes.
Apart from Numi's high-quality selected tea products, the company has also taken several steps to promote sustainability, including nylon tea bags. The brand’s tea bags are made with biodegradable, non-GMO filter-paper bags. The company uses 85% recycled paper products for its boxes and soy-based inks. Further, Numi offers gift boxes made of bamboo, a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional tree-based products. In its latest sustainability audit, Numi estimated that its packaging choices saved 5,000 trees, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 659,000 pounds, conserved 4 million gallons of water, and prevented 317,000 pounds of waste.
Returnity provides personalized, durable boxes, bags, and mailers that can be reused multiple times. The brand enables customers to return or exchange online purchases without printing labels or handling packaging, reducing the need for face-to-face contact. By utilizing Returnity's services, companies can eliminate the need for 40 or more wasteful cardboard boxes and poly mailer bags, reducing packaging expenses and creating a better user experience.
Personal care products rely heavily on plastic, especially shampoo and conditioner packets. But with the help of disruptive technology, Nohbo produces water-soluble films designed to break apart when wet.
Founded in 2014, this sustainable packaging startup produces 30,000 kilos of product annually, all while offering customizable packaging solutions for businesses, consumers, and sellers. Nohbo has been recognized and honored by the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists for its sustainability efforts.
Founded in 1994, Strauss Family Creamery has implemented several measures to reduce waste and promote sustainability. The company uses over 640,000 reusable red milk crates instead of corrugated boxes to transport its products. Strauss Family Creamery also packages its milk in reusable glass bottles, with a refundable deposit of $3.00 added to each purchase. They have an impressive 80% return rate on bottles, with customers returning and reusing over 2.75 million bottles yearly. The brand is a critical leader in the industry and contributes to a circular economy that helps eliminate waste.
EcoEnclose is a brand that offers a wide range of eco-friendly packaging solutions, including shopping bags, boxes, labels, inner packaging materials, paper, wraps, stickers, and others. In fact, EcoEnclose provides an alternative to the commonly used clear poly bag by offering a 100% recycled, naturally biodegradable, curbside recyclable, and paper-based alternative. In 2022, EcoEnclose's sustainable packaging helped EcoAllies save 15,000 tons of emissions, protect 12,000 acres of forests, and conserve 21 million gallons of water. Additionally, the company has set a goal to become an "ecologically net positive" business by 2030.
WestRock’s impressive distribution network makes it a powerhouse in the sustainable packaging industry. Considered one of the leading manufacturers in bio-friendly packaging, WestRock owes its success to a long history of sustainability, which remains at the heart of its operations.
Aside from the usual consumer packaging that they offer, WestRock also provides machinery solutions and corrugated materials.
As clear as the message behind the company’s name is, Loving Earth is committed to sustainable packaging practices for its chocolate bars, superfood bars, cereals, and Buckinis range. The company uses Econic, a compostable film made from FSC-certified wood pulp and non-GMO corn, for its chocolate bar and superfood bar packaging. The brand’s chocolate boxes and cereal boxes are made from 100 percent recycled wood fibers, with Econic used for the inner bag of the cereal boxes. The company's Buckinis range is packaged in boxes made of 100% post-consumer recycled fiber and printed with vegetable-based inks. The cans used for products like Coconut Sugar and Maca Powder are made from recycled paper.
Since 2007, with close attention to detail, Tiny Box Company has had a range of ethical packaging options that prioritize luxury and beauty. Tiny Box Company focuses on producing biodegradable packaging, eco-friendly gift boxes, and accessories that reach beyond just the good design. The company offers recycled jewelry boxes, bags, gift packaging, rigid boxes, acid-free tissue paper, ribbon, and more. Additionally, the company offers a broad range of postal boxes, recycled cardboard envelopes, and bags.
Smurfit Kappa is considered to be one of the leading companies in the world when it comes to sustainable, paper-based packaging. This manufacturing company provides packaging solutions for retail, industrial, and consumer markets. Just recently, Smurfit Kappa partnered with Biobest to create a sustainable solution to transport bees made with water-resistant paper and hexacomb fitments.
Honest Teas procures its raw materials from organic farms and strives to ensure that its organic products are easily accessible throughout the US. The company has obtained Cradle to Cradle certification for its glass bottles, indicating that they meet high sustainability standards in several areas, such as material safety, renewable energy, water stewardship, and reutilized materials. Recently, the brand raised popularity around the new packaging for its children's juices in Tetra Pak, which comprises 75% FSC-certified cartons and a combination of plastic polymers and aluminum.
With the only certified compostable labels in North America, Elevate Packaging is a top compostable packaging and label provider. Apart from providing comprehensive solutions such as bags, pouches, and labels, the company has developed a coffee bag using certified compostable films with a strong and durable high barrier layer for oxygen and moisture. The entire packaging, including the zipper and valve, is tested and certified compostable according to high industry standards.
Driven by the goal of a compostable waste stream, BioMass Packaging covers multiple packaging branches, providing several sustainable solutions to numerous businesses. The company’s closed-loop product lifecycle begins with agriculturally sourced raw materials used to create disposable products, then collected from municipal waste streams, composted, and finally returned to the soil as nutrients to cultivate more crops. Further, the company provides exceptional customer services that reach beyond its sustainable solutions and include educating and assisting customers and stocking and delivering products within 24 hours.
Founded in 1989, Earthpack has been creating environmentally-friendly bags and boxes for over 30 years. The company offers a variety of e-commerce packaging products, such as mailers, tissue, bags, and to-order boxes. Earthpack provides simple packaging solutions which enable its customers to personalize their packaging. Beyond sustainable products, the company supports and promotes various environmental organizations, including Ocean Institute, Surfrider Foundation, SurfAid International, SIMA Environmental Fund, and others.
Developed in New Zealand, Econic sustainable packaging has reached various businesses and provided eco-friendly solutions for 25 years. Econic packaging is available in two formats: ready-made bags and rewind film for form, fill, and seal production lines. The brand’s packaging can be customized in various sizes to meet specific product, brand, and production line requirements. Additionally, the company offers features such as home compostable zip seal closures, angle seals, four-side seals, bottom gussets, and others. The company's extensive technical support and continuous product development have enabled them to tailor Econic’s packaging to suit most dry food applications and certain short-shelf-life moist product packaging applications.
With 39 packaging design and application centers, Sealed Air is a company that specializes in providing protective and food packaging solutions with a focus on offering materials and automation at scale. The company provides sustainable solutions in 114 countries, considering every stage of the packaging lifecycle. The company's TempGuard brand of insulated box liners is designed to safeguard temperature-sensitive and perishable goods during transportation for up to 48 hours. These liners are made from recycled paper and curbside materials.
Founded in 2010, day-by-day TIPA continues to address the environmental impact of flexible plastic packaging. TIPA's goal is to create flexible packaging that can have the same end-of-life as organic matter while retaining the desirable properties of traditional plastics, such as printability, transparency, durability, shelf-life, and sealability. The company has developed a proprietary bio-based blend that possesses the same characteristics as regular plastic but is certified for both industrial and home composting. The company works with various brands to perform shelf-life tests and ensure that their packaging has the same shelf life as traditional packaging. TIPA focuses on the food and fashion industries, both major consumers of flexible packaging. TIPA’s solutions are free from microplastics, toxic residue, and other pollutants.
Founded in 1921, Paper Mart has more than 100 years of experience and knowledge within the sustainable packaging industry. Paper Mart has evolved from a modest garage-based business in Los Angeles into a catalog company and, ultimately, the US's largest discounted packaging supply firm. Today, Paper Mart provides an array of eco-friendly products, including shopping bags, boxes, mailers, and packaging sheets made from recycled and post-consumer cardboard and paper. Additionally, the brand uses water-based and algae-based inks for printing products.
The high-density packing peanuts provided by Puffy Stuff are all-natural, biodegradable, and don't generate static electricity. In fact, the brand’s solution is 100% biodegradable according to ISO standards, unlike other loose-fill materials derived from plants. The innovative solution completely dissolves when exposed to rain and does not shrink in humid conditions. When Puffy Stuffy contacts water, it degrades into inert proteins rapidly consumed by soil bacteria.
Founded in 1980, Uline has been committed to providing high-quality products and services to customers for over 40 years. The company offers a range of sustainable packaging products, such as bags, pillows, and recycled boxes. Uline also provides biodegradable packing peanuts that meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards and are made from organic starch. A family-owned business, Uline distributes shipping, industrial, and packaging materials to businesses in North America.
Established in 2011, RePack offers reusable packaging solutions for online retailers and circular rental businesses. The company provides customers with prepaid packages that can be returned to RePack for reuse, reducing waste and promoting sustainability. RePack utilizes recycled plastic materials for its bags and boxes since they are durable, recyclable, and designed to be reused multiple times. This allows businesses to easily exchange parcels with their customers in a sustainable manner.
Rocket Industrial, a family-owned packaging company, was founded in 1957 in Wisconsin and has since become a nationwide distributor that provides packaging solutions across the United States. The company sells packing peanuts made from starch-based, renewable resources that are environmentally friendly, anti-static, dust-free, and abrasion-resistant to protect sensitive electronic equipment. With rich industry knowledge and experience, Rocket Industrial has been the sustainable right hand to many businesses for years. Rocket Industrial's packaging experts perform tests, analyze data, and provide customized recommendations to help customers optimize their packaging processes.
Sustainability is 21st-century companies’ brighter side – a promising solution for different tomorrow and ecologically-oriented business values. Today, biodegradable packaging is a must. The constantly increasing societal demand for compostable packaging solutions pushes sustainable packaging brands ahead and beyond their reachable visions. The above-outlined 40 recyclable packaging manufacturers are an example of the strong position that sustainability has gained within society nowadays and the accomplished growth in this aspect.
Consequentially, the competition within the sustainable packaging industry has dramatically risen, leaving a vast scene for companies to compete and a direct encouragement for progress. Eco-friendly packaging companies operate considering key factors such as packaging costs, product life cycle, usage of renewable energy, and quality of materials. Each today’s step toward sustainability transforms into a promise that we, as a society, make toward our planet. These 40 sustainable packaging solutions are just the beginning.