Introducing and establishing any new category can be challenging because it is natural for us to feel a sense of aversion to change when a new product or service challenges our way of working that we are accustomed to for many years. This is often due to the fact that us humans are creatures of habit and prefer to stick with what we know. However, as the world evolves and becomes more conscious of the need for sustainable practices, it is imperative for consumers to be open to new and innovative solutions across industries that can help reduce waste and promote a more sustainable future.
One such innovative solution in the global packaging industry that challenges plastic bubble wraps or thermocol for protective packaging has been honeycomb paper or paper bubble wraps. Since we launched EcoCushion Paper in 2021, we have been at the receiving end of all kinds of apprehensions, doubts, and questions. With this post, we aim to address some of the most frequently asked questions with complete transparency.
We hope this builds your confidence to swap from plastic bubble paper to EcoCushion wraps, because like we always say, every package makes a difference!
It does not offer adequate protection; it can protect small items but larger fragile items don’t work
This is a common misconception as the product category is new for packers and without any practical ‘touch and feel’ there is natural fear and apprehension that paper bubble wraps will not be adequate to replace plastic bubble wraps for protection against damages in transit. To bust this myth, it is first important for us to understand the cushioning mechanism in honeycomb paper wraps and how it exactly works.
First and foremost, this eco-friendly packaging is made from high strength kraft paper (which should not tear too easily when stretched open).
Secondly, the innovative cutting pattern on the paper, when stretched, opens into a 3D honeycomb pattern. A 3D honeycomb structure is known to be good for offering strength because of its unique geometry. The hexagonal shape of the bee-hive structure provides a large surface area with minimal material, allowing it to distribute weight and force more evenly across its structure. This leads to a stronger and more durable material. Additionally, the 3D structure of the honeycomb provides strength in all directions, making it resistant to bending, twisting, and shearing forces. This is why honeycomb paper makes for a reliable protective packaging material for fragile or heavy objects.
Third and lastly, it is important to keep certain basic techniques in mind to ensure adequate protection, for instance bubble wraps where the air bubbles are already popped are not recommended to be used for wrapping fragile. Similarly, it is most important to stretch Eco Cushion paper until the 3D honeycomb structure appears as this forms the foundation for the cushion. Secondly, ensure adequate wraps for fragile/ heavier articles (generally we advise 3-4 wraps depending on the material, weight, transit distance, etc.). And lastly, ensure there is not empty space in the final box or package so that the wrapped product does not move and collide with the walls of the box.
With this guidance, multiple customers of ours are now seamlessly using EcoCushion Paper wraps for wrapping their ceramics/ vases/ glassware/ other such heavy articles for safe shipping.
“Paper needs to be of high/ higher gsm (for instance 100 GSM to 120 GSM) for it to be stronger for honeycomb paper wraps”
This is a very common myth and one of the most regularly asked queries from new customers. Paper, unlike plastic, carries inherent strength and strength of paper is not determined by its weight or GSM (grams per square meter). There are metrics such a Bursting Factor, Tear Factor, etc. which are measures of strength of paper whereas GSM is purely a measure of the weight/ thickness of paper. The cushion in honeycomb paper comes from the 3D hexagonal structure that is created when the paper is stretched, and if the paper is very thick, then this structure does not get formed very easily. This is the reason why it has become a globally accepted standard for GSM to be in the range of 80-90 specifically for the purpose that paper bubble wraps are meant for.
“It is way more expensive than plastic bubble wraps and therefore not feasible for us”
Up until last year when honey comb paper was not a commonly available alternative, the initial cost was slightly higher than traditional packaging options such as plastic bubble wrap rolls or thermocol. However, now with increased demand as consumers as well as businesses across industries are seeking eco-friendly packaging, the overall supply chain has also evolved, thereby reducing the unit cost for paper bubble. The prices for these wraps are now comparable to plastic bubble wrap rolls, as the prices was plastic have increased over a period of time as Government introduced bans on single-use plastics and lower micron plastics. For small business owners, another important factor to keep in mind during this unit cost comparison is that paper bubble stretches by up to 40-50% (giving it its hexa paper honeycomb structure), which means that the usable length for a 100 Meter roll is actually 150 Meters, and so ideally the cost should also should be compared to 1.5 rolls of 100 Meters plastic bubble wrap.
Honeycomb paper rolls take 80% lesser storage space making it a huge rental cost saving in warehouses for medium and large businesses. It is fast and easy to use and needs no scissors or tape, therefore reducing manpower and materials costs.
Further, it is 100% recyclable and compostable, therefore reducing waste and avoiding disposal costs which have become a huge factor of consideration for businesses given the norms of EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) guidelines which mandate recycling or disposal of plastic waste generated by manufacturers, traders, or resellers.
Lastly, consumers have explicitly started demanding eco-friendly alternatives and green packaging, and using honeycomb wraps creates large customer stickiness and brand enhancement for small and large businesses alike.
So, while the initial investment might seem slightly higher for small businesses, the long term benefits make it an economically viable and environmentally responsible choice.
Are there any other apprehensions that you might have regarding EcoCushion Paper? We would love to address your doubts! Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your queries relating to this innovative eco-friendly packaging!