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Sustainability at Impack: How We Choose Our Eco-Friendly Materials

Sustainability at Impack: How We Choose Our Eco-Friendly Materials

At Impack, our team constantly works hard to make it easy for shop owners to switch to eco-friendly shipping materials. Whether it's mailer bags, tapes, or boxes, we try to consider the entire journey of the item: How it is made, whether we can avoid single-use plastics, and how easy it is for end users to dispose of them properly.

We've learned that the most eco-friendly materials aren’t always the best choice if it's hard to dispose of. Not everyone is willing to go out of their way to do this, especially if the recycling or composting center is far from where they live.

Flat Mailers and Bubble Mailers

For our flat & bubble mailer bags, we opted to use the D2W material. They are made by adding the D2W agent into the traditional mix that would make regular poly mailers. This helps to break down the bags at the end of their useful life into water, carbon dioxide, and biomass, which microorganisms and bacteria can consume, at a much faster rate (~ 2 years, depending on the specific conditions) compared to decades or more with regular poly mailers.

It is important to understand here that poly mailers are not the problem, but recycling is. In an ideal world, if everyone recycled the mailer bags properly by bringing them to a local recycling center under “flexible plastics,” then we wouldn’t have such a big problem as we do right now. However, we’ve learned that people either do not know that mailer bags are not curb-side recyclable or that it is not convenient to bring them to a recycling center for one reason or another.


On top of this, most compostable plastic packaging options have their own shortcomings too:

  • Not sturdy enough. They would often rip when being pulled by force.
  • They would still need to be taken to an industrial compost site, which is even fewer than recycling centers.
  • Limited print & customization options.

In short, we’ve decided that as people's recycling habits are not going to change, we would address the problem by addressing the poly mailer material. Specifically, we opted for a material that has a much quicker breakdown rate, at around 2 years at the end of its useful life. So, in case a bag manages to escape the recycling center, it would still break down and not cause damage to the environment in the way that traditional plastics do. You can geek out further on the different eco-friendly mailer options, with the pros and cons to each here.

We would of course, always recommend everyone to recycle first.

Packing Tapes

For our tapes, we use gum tapes without fiberglass strands. While this limits the weight they can handle, it ensures easy recycling at curb-side or recycling centers, however people prefer.

Paper Boxes

For our boxes, we avoid using plastic film for strength. Instead, we use premium paper and cardboard to address any cracking issues when folded.

Always Innovating for Sustainability

We aim to be transparent and always seek new sustainable options. This means that we don't stop at the material options we are currently using, and from time to time, you might see us introducing a new material or a better packaging solution to shop owners who need to ship out their products to customers.

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