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Why Sustainable Packaging for Supplements Matters

Article-Why Sustainable Packaging for Supplements Matters

Why Sustainable Packaging for Supplements Matters.jpg
Earth Day affords us the chance to take a serious look at how our choices are affecting the world around us. Making a difference in the world can often seem like an insurmountable task, but the reality is that it’s the small choices we make every day that can make a difference. That means consumers are looking for better choices, and businesses need to think about what effect they are having on the planet, not just their customers.

Why Sustainable Packaging Matters

As a plastic-free supplement company, we’ve thought long and hard about why sustainable packaging matters and spent hours researching the solutions. If you’ve yet to consider why sustainable packaging matters, keep reading.

  • Protect the Planet – in honour of Earth Day, this has to be the first thing we talk about. Our planet will not survive if we don’t choose to live more sustainably. The UK alone produces more than 100 million tonnes of waste each year, much of which ends up in a landfill. All that waste also emits methane as it breaks down, which contributes to global warming and pollution. Making the switch to sustainable packaging means you will no longer be contributing to the problem.
  • Health-Conscious Customers are Often Eco-Conscious – Customers who are conscious about their health, especially if choosing all-natural products, are often also invested in improving the health of the world. They typically try to recycle and carefully consider where they are spending their money. When you have sustainable packaging, you better cater to these customers.
  • You Can Educate Your Customers – Your sustainable packaging will help educate your customers about how to be more environmentally friendly, especially if you guide them on how better to dispose of your products and why it’s a better choice.

The Difference Between Biodegradable, Compostable, and Recyclable

One of the reasons why we put in so much effort to find the right eco-friendly packaging was because we know that our packaging will end up in the environment. We wanted to ensure it would decompose quickly in any environment. It’s key to understand the difference among the terms used so you can best choose your sustainable packaging.

  • Biodegradable – Biodegradable means something will—eventually—break down. Once the product or packaging ends up in a landfill, bacteria will consume them. The caveat here is that it will often take hundreds of years to do so.
  • Compostable – Compostable is the gold standard of sustainability, it means that the product or packaging will decompose in just six months. This is by far the best option.
  • Recyclable – Recyclable is any product that can be broken down and reused to make something new. It’s important to be aware that something recyclable will often take hundreds of years to degrade if it doesn’t make it to a recycling bin.

These options are all better than single-use plastics, and so are worth investigating if your supplement packaging is not yet eco-friendly. However, some are better than others.

Also, beware greenwashing – a practice of using language that implies your products are more eco-friendly than they really are. Don’t do this in your own marketing, and be wary when searching for sustainable packaging. 

Easy Eco-Friendly Swaps

We found it surprisingly difficult to find 100% plastic-free options, but it’s better to make small tweaks to your packaging over time than make no change at all, especially if you’re currently using single-use plastic containers. A few swaps to consider:

  • Offer reusable glass jars and refills – few glass jars are entirely plastic-free, but it’s a good idea to offer a reusable container and sell refills in recyclable packaging.
  • Use paper and cardboard – for some products and packaging, you may be able to use paper products that are widely recycled. Try to find those made from recycled products where possible.
  • Strive for compostable and recyclable – strive to find packaging that will decompose in six months or less, or is recycled everywhere.
  • Keep dyes in mind – some dyes add toxicity to the soil when they break down, so consider using eco-friendly dyes for your packaging and labels. 

It’s worth it.

Doing thorough research to make sure your supplement packaging is sustainable takes time, but it’s worth it. If we want to live in a healthy world, where we don’t have to worry about what kind of world future generations will inherit, we’ve got to put in the time. Together, we can protect the planet.


Grace Carter
Founder of
Ethical Nutrition Co