A complete guide to protective packaging

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I’m sure we’ve all experienced frustration when products you’ve ordered arrive broken.

The hassle of returning and replacing damaged goods is felt by both consumers and businesses alike. The packing, handling, and transport costs can double instantly, from one trip to the customer to two.

Last year, our Unboxing Survey found that out of over 1,000 consumers, 7% of parcels arrived damaged. Although that had dropped significantly since 10% in 2016, the impact on brand reputation could be even larger; this is why the protective packaging type chosen by businesses is crucial.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to choose the right protective packaging solution for your business, we’ll highlight protective packaging examples and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this type of packaging!

protective packaging

What is protective packaging?

Protective packaging is an essential component of shipping goods. It ensures products are not damaged in transit and reaches customers in perfect condition.

Let’s consider the impact damages and returns can have on your business. Every time goods in a parcel arrive damaged:

  • The customer feels frustrated. They will have the hassle of making a complaint and returning the broken goods.
  • Your reputation is harmed. The customer may not want to buy from you again.
  • Costs go up. You’re paying for reverse logistics, replacement product and additional handling.
  • The environment loses too. Returning a damaged product doubles the carbon cost of the transaction (it triples it if you have to post out a replacement)

Choosing the right protective solution for you

The kind of packaging you’ll need will vary depending on the products you’re shipping. You’ll need the right amount of packaging material to protect your products, but you don’t want to overfill your parcels and be seen as wasteful.

When it comes to choosing the right protective packaging, there are a few things to consider, including:

  • The size of your product
  • The weight of your product
  • How fragile your product is
  • If you’re shipping a single item or multiple items in the same parcel
  • How do you want to present your products
  • The application of the packaging – e.g. void filling, blocking and bracing, cushioning etc.

For example, if you’re shipping non-fragile items, you might need a straightforward void fill solution. In this case, you could use loose fill packing chips or packing paper. However, if you’re shipping items prone to damage, such as glass bottles, you may need something more robust, like Flexi-Hex®.

ProductsVoid fillingEdge ProtectionSurface protectionCushioning, block and bracing
AirCap® Bubble Wrap✔ – extra-large bubble✔ – small bubble✔ – large bubble, extra-large bubble
AirCap® BubbleMask™
Cardboard Edge Protectors
Foam Corner Protectors
Foam Edge Protectors
Fill-Air Rocket®
Fill-Air® RF
Instapak® Simple™
Korrvu® Retention Frame
Pregis MINI PAK’R® Machine and Renew Film
Pregis PRO PAK’R®
Ranpak® FillPak® Fanfold Paper
Ranpak® FillPak® M
Ranpak® PadPak® LC
protective packaging

Protective packaging products

We offer a wide range of protective packaging supplies to meet your shipping or storing needs. Our products are suitable for many industries to protect all products from glass bottles to electronics and much more!

Below you will see a small range of popular protective products we offer, but if you want a specific type, please contact us today!

  • Geami WrapPak® – This solution is a combination of die cut kraft paper with a tissue interleaf paper. It offers great protection and enhances customer experience with beautiful presentation.
  • Airsac® inflatable packaging – This solution moulds itself around your products to provide maximum protection. There is specific ranges for different products such as bottles, electronics, pharmacy and frames; and it provides good product protection for all industries.
  • Bio loosefill packing chips – this eco-friendly, pourable loose fill is 100% compostable and perfect for filling voids, especially awkward spaces around packed items. This makes it ideal for putting multiple picks into one box or packing products that vary in size. We recommend this product for less fragile items, as sometimes movement in the pack can occur during transit.
  • Korrvu® rangeA cost-effective blocking and bracing solution that reduces the need for additional void filling or wrapping. It is quick to pack and widely recycled. Korrvu® is available as a suspension pack. Common questions about postal packaging
protective packaging

Frequently Asked Questions

Below we have listed some popular questions about protective packaging, but if you have any more queries that are not listed, our team of experts will be happy to help you.

Can I recycle protective packaging materials?

This will vary depending on the type of protective packaging you have selected.

All paper-based packaging will be kerbside recyclable as long as there are no special coatings on it. Plastic-based packaging, such as bubble wrap, while industrially recyclable, will be more difficult for end-consumers to recycle in their homes. It is always a good idea to direct people to the RecycleNow website to see what can be recycled and to apply clear recycling instructions on any packaging supplies you have.

What are the different types of protective packaging?

At Macfarlane Packaging, we provide a wide range of protective packaging solutions to suit various products and requirements. The protective solutions we offer include:

  • Air pillows and air cushioning
  • Bubble wrap rolls
  • Bubble wrap bags
  • Foam rolls and foam wrap
  • Instapak® foam from Sealed Air
  • Edge protection, including corner protectors
  • Loosefill packing chips and packing peanuts
  • Protective paper packaging, like paper cushioning and packing paper
  • Geami WrapPak®
  • Flexi-Hex® bottle packaging
  • Airsac® inflatable packaging
  • Protective packaging for glass bottles and other fragile items

Where can I buy protective packaging?

Whether you need bubble wrap, packing peanuts, paper packaging, or even mesh sleeves and corner protectors, Macfarlane Packaging offers a wide selection of solutions to suit your requirements.

Our products are available in a variety of sizes and styles, so you’re sure to find the perfect packaging for your products. You can order your postal product directly from our online store, or get in touch with our friendly team to discuss your options.