Home / Drawdown

Sustainable Packaging 101



As eco-friendly initiatives are being declared by many brand owners in the marketplace, we aim to become a major player in the game of sustainability. But because sustainable packaging is more complex than most think, we want to help by breaking down commonly used terms:

SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING (a.k.a Eco-Friendly and/or Green Packaging)

The use of materials and manufacturing methods for the packaging of goods that has a low impact on both energy consumption and on the environment.


Packaging is recyclable if it can be collected, sorted, reprocessed, and ultimately reused in manufacturing or in the making of another item, but not necessarily for its original use.


The degradation of material from naturally occurring microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi or algae over a period of time. Many biodegradable products are not compostable, and the terms should not be considered to be equivalent. For example, if a bag is labeled biodegradable or marine biodegradable, it will break down under the proper conditions to become micro plastics. These micro plastic particles eventually end up in our soil or consumed by marine life.


Instead of emitting greenhouse gases in a landfill, carbon from compostable items is captured within the compost and becomes a nutrient-rich soil amendment.  A product that is “compostable” breaks down into natural components and eventually turns into a nutrient-rich material or becomes part of the healthy soil.


Packaging that is or can be used more than one time.


A renewable resource, according to the U.S. EPA, is a natural resource that can be remade, regrown, or regenerated in a relatively short period of time. (i.e, plants and trees)

Basic Tips:

Think before you toss! Before disposing waste, stop and think: Reuse, Recycle, Compost, or Landfill? Each form of disposal has its own set of rules and nuances depending on where you live.

Sorting Packaging – It’s critical to be mindful and diligent about sorting your trash.

Recycle:  Natural materials such as metals, paper, glass, and most plastics can be recycled and made into new materials.

Compostable: Biodegradable or compostable packaging requires special sorting and care.  Do not assume that these materials will biodegrade in a landfill.

Cleanliness of Packaging – If your waste has been in contact with foods, make sure your packaging is clean before being disposed. One contaminated container can make an entire bale of recycled material unusable. This waste is then sent to landfills.

Landfill – Most items can go in a landfill, but should first be considered if they can be recycled or composted first. Items that should definitely go in a landfill are made of materials that cannot be used again.


To deem yourself a true competitor in today’s retail, e-commerce, health & beauty, and restaurant environments, you must now deliver a one-of-a kind packaging/unboxing experience that is Pinterest worthy while bettering the environment.

CRP is here to help you shift to sustainable packaging solutions as our global supply chain integrates the best use of eco-friendly materials and specific certification requirements needed for projects (FSC, ISO, ASTM, ASTM D6400 and EN 12432 certified).

We have access to domestic and international options that meet required ethical and sustainable levels for paper shopping bags and mailers (APB) along with compostable shopping bags, mailers, and totes (read more here). CRP also represents IEKO – an international product development, manufacturing and distribution company. IEKO is attacking the problem of toxic and non-sustainable plastic waste with compostable products for the cannabis/CBD and restaurant industries alongside compostable mailers and bags for retail markets.

Additional Resources