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If you’re a committed green business looking for eco-friendly ways to package your product, then you’ll be delighted to know the market is growing with boxing and shipping options that are reusable, recyclable, biodegradable, and made from recycled material. We review some of the major providers that offer the best eco-friendly alternatives for boxes and packaging below.

Eco-friendly Boxes Today: The Truth About Cardboard

Did you know that more than 90% of all products shipped in the U.S. are packaged in corrugated boxes which adds up to over 400 billion square feet of cardboard? While corrugated cardboard is one of the top most recycled materials, not all cardboard is recyclable. Thankfully there are many eco-friendly packaging alternatives and several wholesale packaging companies who offer products that are truly eco-friendly and durable enough to handle products of all sizes, shapes, and weights.

When doing your research for a box provider, be sure to consider all aspects.  You want to reduce the  environmental footprint of boxing and shipping and that can happen in a number of ways:

  • The right ingredients: Use 100% recycled or raw materials.
  • The right production process and supply chain: Use a provider that minimizes the production process and uses a sustainable supply chain.
  • Its reusability: The goal is to create a circular economy around boxing and packaging by extending its lifecycle and usability.
  • The right labor practices: Social responsibility is just as important as environmentalism.  Be sure to consider who is making the product, working conditions, and other economic and social factors involved with manufacturing and selling packaging products.

Here are some box providers to consider:


One of the largest, trusted eco-friendly box providers is EcoEnclose.  Whether you need a custom fit to ship your unique product or just a standard box, EcoEnclose offers shipping boxes in all shapes, sizes, and configurations. Even better, all EcoEnclose boxes are 100% recyclable and biodegradable! EcoEnclose also offers 23ECTB, 32ECTE, 32ECTC, and 44ECTC corrugated cardboard depending on the durability you need to safely ship your products.

Utilize EcoEnclose’s algae ink printing for a truly green shipping experience. While water and soy-based inks are more environmentally friendly, they still use carbon-based pigments whereas algae ink pigment is made of algae cells. While algae ink is only offered in black print right now, this new-age technology has been found to be carbon negative – that is, it sequesters more carbon than is used to produce it.

Prices obviously vary based on the type of box and size. The most common basic boxes for standard shipping range from $0.50 to $1.84 when purchased in bulk. You can find their prices listed on their site here.

Besides shipping boxes, EcoEnclose offers eco-friendly options for mailers, bags, void fill and packing paper, stickers and labels, and more! You can check them out first hand and free samples as well.


If you’re looking for a simple, affordable and purely minimalist option, check out Packlane‘s Econoflex shipping box. The 32 ECT corrugated cardboard is made from 100% recycled Kraft and is both fully recyclable and biodegradable. Once you upload your logo or other artwork, Packlane’s box designers convert it into a single-color (black), half-tone design and use direct contact printing for crisp line quality. Packlane also offers other features such as box dividers and void fill that is sustainable, 100% recyclable, and compostable.

Green Packaging Group

Green Packaging Group serves as a packaging directory that connects customers to sustainable packaging vendors. Launched by three eco-minded businesses, Salazar Packaging Inc, Globe Guard Products and Nashville Wraps, the B2B company features a variety of sustainable options for shipping boxes, envelopes and mailers, wraps and fillers, and much more. The site also includes a blog for sharing tips and guiding customers on how to choose the best packaging for their products.

Printing Circle

Printing Circle offers a wide variety of boxing and packaging options producing them from eco-friendly material. The company also focuses on eco-printing and utilizes colors extracted from organic substances for the printing of their boxes. Printing Circle offers a variety of wholesale boxes including Green Boxes, Recyclable Kraft boxes, Eco-friendly gift boxes, Environment-friendly packaging, Ecological Bux Board Boxes, Reusable cosmetic boxes.

Finding Eco-friendly Boxes On Amazon

Although supporting independent companies is preferred, the reality is Amazon is an affordable, reliable and convenient e-commerce market that you may already be partnered with and use for some items. Amazon lists a variety of box options on their website. Amazon’s most popular and recommended boxes come from Pratt. Available in a pack of 100 Kraft boxes for $64, the Pratt PRA0023 100% Recycled Corrugated Cardboard Box, 9″ Length x 6″ Width x 4″ Height is comprised of 100% recycled paper for packing, shipping, and storing and 32 ECT grade for standard stacking performance.

Using Amazon For Your Fulfillment

If you use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), Amazon takes care of packing, shipping and handling your products. While you don’t have freedom to make your own eco-conscious packaging choices, the good news is that Amazon is committed to being carbon neutral and sustainable and does a solid job of minimizing waste, using recycled materials, and choosing the right boxes. If you plan on using Amazon for warehousing and fulfillment, you can visit their seller central site and find out all the best options for getting your products to Amazon.

Sarah Long

Author Sarah Long

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