Three Void Fill Options to Help Reduce Your Plastic Use

9 February 2022

Paper Bubble Wrap

As of the date of this blog’s writing, we’re just seven weeks away from the introduction of the UK Plastic Packaging Tax, which will see manufacturers and suppliers face a £200 charge for every tonne of plastic packaging used. Unsurprisingly, then, many businesses are seeking out reliable, versatile and, mostly importantly, more sustainable packaging alternatives, in order to avoid the soon-to-be-introduced levy.

It likely comes as no surprise that plastic has long been a mainstay void fill choice for manufacturers and retailers alike, since it’s cheap, robust and highly effective at protecting products. From packing peanuts, to bubble wrap and air pillows. There’s a range of options out there to choose from. But while many plastic void fill products are fully recyclable, they could prove a problematic choice for companies wishing to cut their use of virgin plastic in the long term.

To help in the search for reliable, affordable and performant solutions that meet the government’s criteria to avoid taxation, here are some key options. 

Biodegradable Loose Fill


As outlined, packing peanuts are a go-to for many businesses seeking out a low-cost, versatile void fill choice - particularly those who pack electronic equipment. 

Fortunately, a non-plastic alternative to conventional loose fill chips is out there, offering all the protection capacity of polystyrene loose fill with none of the environmental impact - and with a few performance benefits thrown in.

biofil™ is a 100% natural loose that’s both biodegradable and low-static, making it perfect for protecting sensitive electronic goods and packing in high volumes, allowing for a seamless transition to greener packing without changing workflows or adjusting transit packaging to better facilitate a new protective layer inside the pack. 

Paper Bubble Wrap

Paper Bubble Wrap

Sticking with the theme of like-for-like protective packaging options, paper bubble wrap is fast becoming a must-have for businesses on the hunt for more environmentally sustainable packaging options in the long term.

Our paper bubble wrap is lightweight, centre-perforated and packed in sheet form, with flexible sheets ensuring measurability and providing protection against knocks and abrasions - just like polythene bubble wrap. What’s more, it’s fully recyclable, and without a trace of virgin plastic in sight. Bonus.

Paper Air Pillows


Many of you may be familiar with air pillows as a robust, lightweight, and quick-to-dispense option for protecting your goods. It’s likely that you’ve sent or received a package laden with these nifty air-filled hemispheres in the past, in fact.

Again, unsurprisingly, air pillows are a staple choice for many retailers, since negligible plastic volumes are required to adequately fill cartons and protect goods en masse. Nevertheless, overall volumes can quickly surge for operations handling increasing throughput, which will no doubt be a major consideration for businesses assessing their material choices ahead of the Plastic Packaging Tax’s introduction in April.

That’s where 100% paper air pillows from AirWave™ come in. 

Made from recycled paper in combination with a biodegradable inner lining, AirWave™ provides the same protection capacity as regular air pillows, all without plastic. Better still, they’re lightweight and serve to keep pack weights low. 

Whether you’re running the system on demand or adding it into an integrated hopper system, this innovative solution boasts a 95:5 material-to-air ratio - without the storage headaches of holding bulky void fillers on site. 

Looking for more options to go plastic-free for good? Check out our sustainable brands and discover how you can effect lasting, impactful change in your business.

To discuss your packaging needs with us, send us a message, or call us on 01543 396700 to speak to a packaging expert today.

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