Choosing the Right Cushioning for Packaging Your Supplies
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
When it comes to cushioning and protecting your products, you are faced with a myriad of choices. Should you wrap the item in bubble wrap,
cover it with packing peanuts, or place foam or paper in the package?
Let's look more closely at each packaging option to uncover the right choice for your situation.
Perhaps the most traditional packaging option is packing paper. It is inexpensive and effective-plus, it can easily be recycled after use. Unlike
plastic and other man-made materials, it decomposes and returns to the natural environment.
However, packing paper might not absorb shock as well as other cushioning solutions. You'll likely need many pieces of paper to equal the same
effect as a roll of bubble wrap or foam. Crinkling or wadding the paper can increase the paper's thickness and strength. Nevertheless, paper is
usually best for non-fragile items that don't have far to go.
Made from a type of plastic called polyethylene, bubble wrap has air bubbles. These bubbles add a layer of protection for fragile items.
An advantage to bubble wrap is that it doesn't weigh much, keeping shipping costs low. However, it does take up a lot of space, so it's not ideal if
space is a necessity.
Bubble wrap is recyclable but usually not biodegradable. It sits in a landfill for many years without breaking down.
Like bubble wrap, foam is lightweight and recyclable. You can find foam in whichever shape works best for you, including as a pouch, roll, or
block. It's easy to manipulate and shape foam to fit precisely around any item, and this feature is ideal for fragile or oddly shaped items. Foam is
also a good choice if you need several layers of protection around your item.
Along with its flexibility, foam is one of the strongest types of cushioning to shield your items from damage. But it's more expensive and takes up
more room than paper and other types of cushioning.
Packing peanuts are small packing pieces made from polystyrene or starch. Starch peanuts are biodegradable, but polystyrene peanuts are not.
While one peanut alone doesn't do much, many peanuts work together to cushion and protect your items. Also, the lightweight peanuts don't add
much weight to your package.
However, if you choose packing peanuts, you need to be careful with the packaging process. If you don't pack enough packing peanuts, the
packaged items can shift and possibly even break.
If you're transporting items by truck or plane, you can protect each individual item with its own dunnage bag. A dunnage bag is filled with air and
helps absorb vibrations and shock during travel.
Dunnage bags are unique because they eliminate the need for boxes, packages, and other additional packing supplies. You can also reuse them to
protect future loads. But they are more expensive than other packaging solutions.
A similar option to a dunnage bag is to purchase an inflator machine. These machines create as many air cushions as you need to protect your
Before choosing the right cushioning solution, evaluate your items. Consider their weight, size, and shape and how far they're traveling. Large,
fragile items may do better with foam or dunnage bags, while small, non-breakable items will do fine with packing paper or bubble wrap.
Remember that failing to adequately protect your items can cause costly damage. Choose the packaging option that works best for your supplies.
At Mailender, we offer any of these packaging solutions, so order them today.