Over the years, the demand for void fill packaging has increased as the volume of online sales has grown. A total of 2.8 billion parcels were sent in the 2019/2020 fiscal year which was an increase of 209 million parcels compared to the previous year, and as our long-term shopping habits have changed for ever, this is likely to continue to increase.
As the demand for void fill packaging continues to grow, we also need to address the environmental impact of non-sustainable packaging and switch to more sustainable solutions.
Void fill fits into gaps between a box and its contents, preventing movement during delivery. Not all void fill packaging is kind to the environment and many different materials and options are used, including board honeycomb, polystyrene pieces, bubble wrap, airbags, foam cushions and packing peanuts. Traditional foam packing peanuts are made from polystyrene, a material commonly used to make foams and certain hard plastic products, also referred to as Styrofoam.
Polystyrene packing peanuts do not break down once they are disposed of and can spend years in landfills, lakes, or seas. It is estimated that it could take 500 years for traditional packing peanuts to decompose, so this is not a solution that is sustainable. Recycling options for polystyrene packing peanuts are extremely limited as the Styrofoam can only be repurposed back into itself, or a similar material and can not be turned into other products unlike some recycled plastics.
One of the best, environmentally friendly, and sustainable solutions for void fill packaging is Wood Wool. Eden Wood Wool is a mechanically produced, multifunctional wood-based material in the form of fine strands up to 500 mm long, 0.15 – 0.2mm wide and virtually dust-free. Eden Wood Wool is of the highest quality and is used in many applications for void filling including in the logistics industry. It does not attract fungus or bacteria and has good elasticity/velocity which safeguards high value products from damage during transportation.