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Simplicity Meets Sustainability: Filling the Void in E-Commerce Packaging

Filling the Void - Header

With eight million pieces of plastic making their way into the ocean daily, consumers are becoming wary of how they pollute the world. As plastic air pillows are now a very common void fill, we need new sustainable packaging solutions to keep consumer trust. So, what alternatives are there and how can we go about improving our green practices?

Below, we describe why void fills are still a necessity. We then highlighted the need for green practices and offer a few solutions. By the end, you should also understand how IPG can offer what you need to ensure you can move forward without driving away green customers.

Why the Void Needs Filling

Securing packages is paramount to protect customers’ goods. Some of the biggest dangers to this are the voids, or open spaces, within packages. The use of “void fill” creates cushioned sections within these areas to safeguard what you ship and reduce the likelihood of damage.

The Importance of Sustainability in Void Fill


If we continue to avoid using green practices in the shipping industry, we endanger the safety of the world. We create more plastic trash every day, and we still don’t know all the long-term effects of this.

Packaging Waste

In recent years, we have seen a shift in void fill, from “plastic peanuts” and polystyrene to air pockets made of a thin plastic sheet. Both are very effective at preventing damage, but we need to start thinking about making more sustainable choices. There is no further use for either of these items after one receives the shipment, so they tend to end up in a landfill or, worse, in the ocean.

Sustainable Alternatives

Good News! There are several alternatives to traditional void fill packaging materials. These ensure the materials used are compostable, or at least do not contain plastics that will remain in the environment for longer.


Paper Void Fill

Paper Void Fill is a way of using thick, crumpled paper to provide a simple method of cushioning the inside of a package. Using recycled paper to ensure less deforestation occurs or comes from sustainable forests. This means the material is safer for the environment by reducing how much the manufacturer must source new paper materials.

Another boost recycled paper gives is how it will biodegrade much faster than plastic. It breaks down over a natural cycle of only a year or two, without leaving harmful waste chemicals in the ecosystem. 

Due to the malleable nature of paper, you can also use it in many ways. You can fit smaller amounts into smaller gaps or fill larger sections with more of a reel.


Curby Fill™

This paper void fill comprises a honeycomb structure that offers some bounce. This “soft rigidity” means it can protect items from knocks or lighter bumps. The ultimate purpose of Curby Fill is to replace traditional packing methods such as bubble wrap.

While made from PEFC paper, you can also place Curby Fill into standard recycling, ensuring it sees reuse as any number of other paper products. 

When on a reel, this paper does not have this hexagonal pattern, which has been dye-cut into its surface. With a light pull, though, the paper expands and will begin to offer cushioning. This expands it to around 24 times its original volume without the need for inflation solutions.

Another benefit of this material is its ability to stick together without the need for tape. Due to its honeycomb design, it will “lock” together, ensuring you do not need to use additional materials during shipping.

Sustainable Packaging Delivery Solutions


Inserting a lot of void fill fast is a difficult process. It used to be that you needed a large volume of pre-made material, such as polystyrene foam chips. These days, though, a roll of thick paper can expand to fill a much larger space with effective void fill.

The following are some of the devices available to help dispense paper and speed up the packing process.

PaperSpace X-Fill™

Much like the X-Pad, the X-Fill Pro increases its speed to 415 feet per minute. This is perfect for much larger packages or other fast operations, making paper a better option than slower-to-fill plastic. It can even work with paper up to 30 inches wide, providing vast amounts of material in seconds.


Perfect Packer Automated Void Fill System

The Perfect Packer is an AI-powered device that can remove the need for manual void filling. It can also reduce your waste by removing guesswork from the process. This ensures a reduction in the amount you continue to send to a landfill.

The Perfect Sustainable Packaging Solution For Your Needs

While you might now understand why a sustainable packaging solution is important, putting it into practice can be hard. You need to work with a company that you can trust will provide you with the right equipment to get this done fast and without fuss.

IPG is a leading provider of both packaging and protective solutions, and we know how sustainability issues are now a pressing matter. We also have several ways to help you leverage modern and eco-friendly packing solutions. So, get in contact today to learn how we can help you fill that void while remaining green.