Which material for a sustainable quilt and pillow bag ?
Due to changing consumer habits and anti-plastic legislation, at Woopak® we are facing a growing demand for sustainable packaging solutions to replace the existing traditional plastic packaging for pillow and quilts. It is not always easy to know which solution is the best to choose.
Choosing the right material is neither all black or all white, it all depends about objectives for the packaging and the context of its implementation. Indeed, to make the most appropriate choice, it could be relevant to consider the following questions:
Here is a guide of the different options we offer at Woopak® for more sustainable pillows and quilts packaging with their advantages and disadvantages:
Natural Materials for pillows and quilts bags
Organic Cotton: a preferred solution for intensive reuse of packaging and high-quality packaging
In terms of eco-responsible packaging, cotton bags are a very popular solution for the consumer due to their natural and robust appearance. Cotton is the most used textile fibre in the world with a vast industrial sector. Cotton also has the advantage of being a soft and flexible material which corresponds well to a quilts and pillows bag that calls for softness and comfort from the consumer.
A cotton packaging has the following advantages:
- Plant-based and renewable raw material
- Resistant – can be reused for life
- Machine washable
- High quality looking
However, cotton growing is very water consuming. Moreover, the sector accounts for only 2-3% of cultivated land but up to 24% of all pesticides discharged on farms worldwide. The need to wash the pesticide-soaked fibres leads to the discharge of wastewater and contributes to doubling the water consumption normally required for cotton production.
We choose to use at Woopak® for our quilts and pillows bags, an organic cotton to limit the counterproductive impacts of the high water and pesticide consumption required for the production of traditional cotton.
Disadvantages of cotton packaging:
- High price compared to cellulosic and plastic material, especially for organic cotton
- Despite the water savings of organic cotton compared to conventional cotton, the cultivation of organic cotton is still very water-intensive.
- Relatively heavy to transport
- Must be put in a special reycling bin to be recycled
We advise organic cotton packaging for a premium packaging with high durability and reusability. The ecological benefit of this type of packaging is very easily perceived by consumers
Kraft paper: a sustainable solution with a good value for money
Kraft packaging are used also a lot as a solution to replace traditional plastic packaging for pillows and quilts. It has the advantages of having very interesting ecological properties and a competitive cost compared to other ecological solutions which is ideal for large-scale markets.
The kraft is produced from wood pulp. Production is relatively high energy consuming but much more reasonable than cotton: 500L of water is needed to produce 1kg of kraft paper compared to 10,000L for traditional cotton.
Given its low ecological impact at the end of its life, kraft is preferable to plastic. Indeed, at the end of its life, kraft paper can be composted and degrade in a few days or recycled in the paper and cardboard recycling bin. It is quite resistant and can be reused before being recycled.
A kraft paper packaging has the following advantages:
- Plant-based and renewable origin
- Easily recyclable
- Good value for money
- Perceived as environmentally friendly by consumers
- Much less demanding on water than cotton
Nevertheless, the production of kraft paper is not always without impact on deforestation. That’s why at Woopak® we have selected a certified kraft to ensure that forests are managed in a sustainable way. We also use a high quality and highly resistant kraft to encourage consumers to keep and reuse it more than once. We offer it in its raw brown form and unbleached, which limits the processing of the material that could harm the ecological properties of this type of bag.
Disadvantages of kraft paper packaging:
- Less compact than plastic bags
- Requires 8 times more water than for the production of a plastic bag
- Creases easily
- Not very customisable in colour
- Not water resistant
- Generally, less reused by consumers than cotton or plastic packaging
Kraft pillows and quilts bags, especially if made from sustainably managed forest, have many ecological advantages over plastic packaging. Its attractive price/quality ratio makes it the preferred solution for a large-scale deployment.
Paptic®: a unique combination of the best properties of paper, textile, and plastic
Paptic® is an innovative material that is particularly well suited to the production of eco-responsible duvet and pillow packaging. It combines the ecological properties and the hand-feel of paper with the physical properties of strength and flexibility similar to fabric or plastic.
This innovative, material is a plant-based material composed of wood fibres coming from sustainably managed forests. Its process does not require investment in new manufacturing machinery, as it can be produced on the same machines used to produce paper.
Advantages of a Paptic® packaging:
- Renewable raw material
- Recyclable with paperboard packaging – paptic® fibres can be reused up to 7 times
- Manufacture in Europe
- Soft hand feel
- Higher resistance than kraft paper
- Wrinkles less than kraft
- A production that considers a wise management of water and energy resources
The incredibly soft feel of the Paptic® and its white colour is reminiscent of the softness of the duvets and pillows it packs. At Woopak® we were the first to offer this revolutionary innovative material to the bedding packaging market in Europe and we are deeply convince that this material is a real game changer for sustainable packaging.
Disadvantages of a Paptic® packaging:
- Heavier and less compact than plastic to transport
- It has a shorter lifetime than cotton or plastic packaging
Paptic® is a perfect sustainable, innovative, and impactful choice of material for your bedding packaging. It is easy to give to a Paptic® bag a second life since it is both recyclable and its strength and high-quality mean that it can be reused several times.
Plastic material: the choice of Recycled PET
Recycled PET is made from 100% recycled water bottles. The rPET we use at WOOPAK® is post-consumer and GRS certified. It can be available in non-woven or woven material. rPET material has the advantage that it is also 100% recyclable. It is therefore a plastic that can be used in a circular economy.
It has very similar physical properties to PET.
Advantages of a rPET packaging:
- It is a very versatile material
- High resistance to tear
- Low creasing
- Water resistant
- Endlessly recyclable with a stable quality
- Wide variety of colours, weights, and weaves
- It gives a second life to non-biodegradable materials.
- Recycled PET uses 2/3 less energy for its production than virgin PET
- It is easily collected for domestic recycling
The main disadvantages concern the end-of-life of the material:
- It decomposes very slowly and over thousands of years if discarded in nature
- It is a form of plastic originally made from petrol
- Very expensive regarding regular PET
- Consumers need to be educated and told that it is a recycled material so the packaging is not associated with a traditional plastic
Nevertheless, rPET remains a good solution to keep the technical properties of conventional plastic bag while taking a step towards greener packaging. As society is not yet ready to move away from virgin PET packaging, it is a good thing to offer an alternative for reuse the already existing PET.
Once the main material has been chosen, the components and design should not be forgotten for an eco-responsible pillow or quilt bag
The eco-design of a bag also lies in the detail of its smallest components and its design. Woopak’s expertise is also to support you in the design of a customised eco-responsible product. We can also integrate to products recycled zips and cellulosic yarns. We also bring our expertise to think about designs and how to use less petroleum-based components as we did with Familon quilt and pillow new packaging line.
The core value of Woopak® is innovation and the desire to be one step ahead in bedding packaging eco-conception, which is why we are constantly looking for new solutions to create the eco-responsible packaging of tomorrow.