5 ways to explain molded pulp packaging is no longer just for egg cartons

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Molded pulp packaging is now used for electronics, beverages, and retail products, offering enhanced protection, custom branding, and cost savings.

Versatility in Form and Function

The molded pulp packaging has emerged as a sustainable option compared to the traditional packaging materials, such as plastics, and, in addition, it is now utilized in a wide array of industries. Initially, molded pulp was mainly used to deliver eggs to the market, but now it has diversified to include a vast range of applications from transport packaging for automotive equipment to retail packaging applications for various. For example, design engineers appreciate how molded pulp, being easily shaped into complex geometries, is used to cushion various irregular objects ranging from light fixtures to high-tech electronics that cannot fit into standard packaging. The latter application requires the molded pulp to have both solid and anti-static properties, and the transport-related damage rate is reduced when electronics are carried in a cushioned pulp tray by 70% compared to rigid plastics.

Retail is another sector where molded tasted pulp trays have become very popular. New retail is associated with more sustainably-minded consumers, and brands are considering the shift to greener packaging solutions that are still stylish and attractive to the customers. Molded pulp results in a pleasant unboxing experience and is often used in coffee chains and other retail sites where typically a tray and a beverage holder that were previously in hard plastic are now replaced with molded pulp. The use of molded pulp in transporting chain coffee beverages has contributed to a 50% decrease in the use of plastic in this sector globally Looking at the cost, pulp molding requires low energy, and the raw material itself is cheap, thus cutting costs important in large-scale production. When comparing packed trays of electronics, the price of prototyping a plastic tray was three times higher than that of the similar sized cellular molded pulp tray, and the manufacturing price was around 30% higher for the plastic tray as well. On top of that, the molded pulp technology has improved, and smooth double-sided surfaces beneficial for prints and details about the brand have been developed so that the trays with space for print are now integrated branded.

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Sustainability

In today’s consumer and manufacturing climate, molded pulp packaging stands out as the ‘right’ choice, in many ways. The substance that the packaging is made of is primarily recycled paper fibers; newspapers, cardboard, and any other post-consumer paper waste all combine to create molded pulp. As a result, the use of such a material for packaging greatly reduces the call for new, raw materials, derived directly from trees. To top it off, the packaging utilizes some 70% less water and 50% less energy than that required to produce new paper. This reduction in resource usage is nothing short of significant in this day and age, where waste is an issue of great concern across all industries. So, for many companies involved in the food service industry, the switch from styrofoam and plastic containers to more environmentally friendly alternatives made of molded pulp has become a matter of regulation and better business. Many coffee shops, cafes, and salad bars will no longer provide disposable packaging choices for their food and drink. This change both reduces the presence of single-use plastics, as increasingly demanded by regulators, and appeals to the burgeoning number of environmentally conscious consumers. According to some companies, this switch of materials is expected to lower projected carbon emissions by up to 40% over the following five years.

Molded pulp does not linger in landfills for thousands of years of decomposition, as can be the case with petroleum-based plastic packaging, and it is readily biodegradable and compostable. In the industry concerned with agriculture, molded pulp is often used to package fruits and vegetables. As such, it also becomes plant waste, compostable along with the remains of the plants it once protected. Thus, the molded pulp containers enrich soil as opposed to littering. From the perspective of the retail holders and manufacturers, molded pulp offers the dual benefit of being economic and environmentally helpful. The substance falls directly in line with both general and narrowly specific global, as well as local goals in terms of sustainability, including the reduction of reliance on plastic, and the lowered necessity to clean plastic waste decades after it is buried.

Enhanced Protection

Molded pulp packaging has come a long way to provide better protection for a wide range of products. It compensates for its flexible material by absorbing shocks, that is, protecting products from damage during transportation and storage. Molded pulp’s natural cushioning properties make it especially suitable for sensitive items securely, absorbing and damping shocks and vibrations that could otherwise damage products. This property is most amplified in the electronics industry – companies ship smartphones, tablets, and other fragile gadgets in molded pulp. Tests show that these electronic gadgets are 60% less likely to be damaged during transport than those packed in hard plastic, a less flexible material. This difference not only effectively ensures the product’s protection during transportation and storage but also saves company funds that would be spent on returned and exchanged items.

The beverage industry also makes extensive use of the molded pulp’s cushioning properties. Wine and spirit manufacturers use custom-molded trays to separate bottles and keep them stable while being transported. As a result, bottles of beer are not broken within trays that are placed in cases, which are further packaged, providing enough cushioning for bottles. Shocks and impacts are common during long-distanced shipping, so applying a molded pulp tray allowed the company to reduce the breakage rate by 45% compared to corrugated dividers. Reports from a furniture company show that scaffolders and other flat-pack designs also benefit. They pack furniture parts in molded pulp, which protects them from scratches, avulsions and, dents. Wet molded pulp seems to be especially effective, and according to customer image reports, the invention has greatly improved the condition in which products are received – less than 70% to almost 100%. In addition, molded pulp also significantly reduced transport costs. While in smaller shipments, the total weight of the items is not a significant factor, furniture is typically delivered in larger volumes. The lower the weight of the cargo, the less fuel it consumes on the journey. In many cases, customers report saving up to 20% on transportation costs.

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Customizability and Branding

Molded pulp packaging is not only environmentally friendly and protective but also remarkably customizable, which is highly appreciated by companies attempting to put extra emphasis on their brand image. Today, in their attempt to have their brand stand out and be different, many retailers seek to utilize various forms of unique packaging, which oftentimes incorporate some form of customization, especially with regard to the shape. Some examples include cosmetic companies that often have custom-molded trays for their products, which not only securely keep the product but also come with embossed designs and logos unique to that particular company. Thus, when brands decide to use molded pulp for their packaging, they want it to show right from the point of sale and be a part of the brand image.

One of the greatest advantages of using molded pulp is that, as a material, it has developed to a considerable degree over the last few decades, both in terms of appearance and the tactile feel. Today, the technology allows finishing the material with a myriad of finishes to more closely mimic other appearances such as various leather, felt, velvet, and other textures. Some companies prefer to stick to pure white or plain-colored finishes of the most modern and elegant textures, a choice particularly important for all brands that prefer to have a very clean and minimalist visual style, and tight visual identity. The effect that packaging that follows the same visual style of a brand has on the consumers is measurable, with engagement often increased by up to 30%. Additionally, if the customers perceive the packaging as the one of good quality, they also report being significantly more satisfied with the product and the company, which also increases the likelihood for repeat purchases. Molded pulp is also very printable, meaning the packaging can feature high-quality graphics directly on it.

Cost-Effectiveness

The cost-effectiveness of molded pulp packaging is an increasingly recognized feature, which is determined by several factors, including materials, production, and refuse advantages. As a result, more and more businesses will consider this solution in order to enhance their financial performance. First of all, molded pulp packages are highly cost-effective because they are produced from low-priced, reused materials. The primary element is paper waste, such as cardboard boxes, newspapers, or office paper, which is significantly cheaper than virgin materials or plastics. The use of reused materials also contributes to a lower cost-response, facilitating the selection of this package type. In addition to the reduced material expenses, the utilization of reused resources is beneficial on a broader range and supports the global refuse reduction campaign.

Second, the production of molded pulp is efficient in terms of energy supply. The typical manufacturing process involves combining water with pump and then forming the slurry into a specific shape, which is then dried. This chemical procedure requires less power usage than the process of plastic making, which includes complex chemical reactions and high temperatures. Molded producers are satisfied with the energy savings as well. For example, some corporate clients reported a 40% reduction in the energy cost of obtaining the same quantity of packaged products. Staffing expenses may also be minimized because less attention is needed for lower temperature and less complex device production. Molded pulp packaging is advantageous for companies that utilize online trading, delivery, and shipment because these are much less expensive because additional weight is not required. Lighter molded pulp packages imply less weight, and a 20% drop in delivery costs was documented by big e-commerce businesses that utilized molded pulp packages.

Finally, molded packages have become popular in the healthcare equipment and additional industries because of the quality of being capable of absorbing shipping shocks. As a result, the proportion of product coming back is predicted to decline. Product reimbursement is expensive for organizations, and some businesses in the electronics sector have observed that molded pulp programs lowered the percent of return merchandise from 30% to 10% due to efficient wrapping and decreased financial consequences.

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