More and more companies are switching to Inflatable Air Cushion Packaging, such as the Springpack Blue Ocean Film, but what are the benefits of doing so?
Air Cushion, sometimes called Air Pillow, protective packaging is an alternative to bubble wrap, loose fill packing peanuts and paper void fill. Supplied on a roll, air cushions are inflated by a small machine when needed, making them an ideal space-saving void fill solution.
On average, each air cushion contains only 1% material and 99% air, making it a great eco friendly void fill choice. Filling the void inside your box mostly with air extremely reduces both your material and shipping costs, as well as the number of resources used when packing.
“I care about the planet – Why should I use Air Cushions?”
Let’s take a look at why Springpack’s Air Cushion Packaging is a great choice when compared to another protective and void filling packaging.
When we consider packaging materials, it’s important to consider the popular “Three R’s” of sustainability. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Using Air Filled Cushions for packaging will reduce the amount of materials you require to pack your parcels. A recent study found that 90 grams of Air Cushion material were equal to the equivalent of using 527 grams of paper to package.
All of the Air Cushion packaging Springpack supplies are made with recycled materials. Reusing existing materials, instead of creating new ones, is a great way to reduce the environmental impacts and amount of waste caused by plastic packaging.
Due to having a great level of durability and versatility, our Blue Ocean Cushions are reusable by the end user. They can be reused many times for many applications until they eventually wear out or are no longer required. When no longer required, the end user can simply deflate, and recycle it.
Our entire range of Air Cushion films is made using 100% recycled and 100% recyclable materials. This is a stark contrast to some paper and biodegradable plastic options.
Most bio-degradable plastic cannot be recycled. This is because it contains enzymes that break down the plastic. Whilst bio-degradable plastic often sounds like a great idea, unfortunately, it is single use and requires specific environments to break down. If bio-degradable plastic is mixed into a batch of regular plastic, it often results in the whole batch being ineffectively recycled.
As the world becomes more aware of the need to protect the planet, it is becoming increasingly important to showcase your sustainability credentials. All of our blue ocean films are preprinted with information on their recycled and recyclable credentials to easily display to all who encounter them just how sustainable the cushions are.
“How does air cushion packaging work to protect my products?”
Air cushion packaging works to fill your parcels with as much air as possible to cushion your item. This type of packaging has no harsh edges and effectively moulds itself around your product. This results in the most effective cushioning.
Our Eco Friendly Air Cushion Packaging offers great shock absorbency, due to how malleable it is when inflated. In comparison, when a harder void vill option is used, it can deflect the shock onto the product, instead of absorbing it.
A further benefit to the air cushion is that it is dust free, and has no hard or abrasive edges. It will not scratch, scrape or add dust to your products.
It is also extremely durable and offers amazing puncture and water resistance, making it a great choice.
To protect products, it is very important to use a good packaging technique. On average, around 70% of breakages in transit are due to a very common packaging mistake – not putting protection on the bottom of the box. When in transit, no matter how many “This Way Up” labels are on your package, you should always assume that the box will be resting on every side at some point in its journey. To combat this, we recommend adding cushioning too the four internal walls, top and bottom of your box.
To package against breakages, we recommend laying a few rows of your cushions along the top of the box, popping your product on top and pressing it in. This method ensures the product is securely enveloped inside the box, and suspends it. Having the product suspended protects it from impacts and shocks.
“How do I dispose of Air Cushion Packing?”
Springpack Blue Ocean Air Cushion Film can easily be recycled at larger supermarkets alongside carrier bags. This means it is incredibly easy for the end user to dispose of.
“What types of air cushion packaging are available?”
There are two main types of air cushions. Depending on the way you use them, one can be interchanged for the other if necessary.
“Anemoi” air cushions have smaller pockets and perforations. These are designed to be wrapped closely around your product. These are a great substitution for bubble wrap or tissue paper.
“Aeolos” air cushions are larger. These are designed to fill the gaps inside your package. They are a great substitution for packing peanuts, polystyrene or paper.
We also stock a “Hybrid” film, which is suitable for both protective and void-fill packaging.
“How To Use Air Cushion Packaging?”
Air cushion packaging can be used in many ways, such as void filling or blanket wrapping your product.
The best way to use Air Cushions is to lay them over the box and press the product into them. This saves a lot of time for your packer, as well as ensures the product is protected from all sides.
Air cushions can be used instead of, or in conjunction with traditional packaging materials.
Using our complete air cushioning system is quick and easy; simply load the film, and press start.
The films have perforations, meaning they can easily be torn to your required length without requiring a knife to cut them. Saving you lots of time, and reducing your risk of injuries or damage to products caused by using knives.
“How will switching to Air Cushions Save Time?”
The Mistral 4 air cushion inflator can inflate up to 30m of air cushion film in one minute, making it very time efficient which can increase productivity. The machine can be integrated into your packing space with an overhead hopper, or one to the side of your bench. Having the materials nearby, yet conveniently out of the way, reduces the requirement for the packer to leave their workspace whilst still allowing ample room to complete the job effectively.
Machines, such as the Mistral 4 can be fixed to the side of the packing bench and will inflate the film upwards. This then fills the hopper above and can be pulled down when required. Sensors can also be added with a minimum/maximum level, so your hopper automatically refills to the perfect amount of air cushions, without the need to leave your workspace.
In summary, air cushion packaging is an extremely efficient packaging solution. It is sustainable, cost-effective and time saving.
If you’d like to discover how your packaging operation could benefit from making the switch, why not book your free Operational Packaging Audit with one of our Packaging Pro’s?