Void fills are used to add cushioning to the product you are shipping to protect it during the transit. If you are not using a custom box to pack your products, then void fills are really important to keep the items in place in an oversized box.
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#1 Bubble Wrap
Bubble wraps are the most common option of void fills available these days. They are slim and flexible plastic sheets which can be used to wrap around the products, or just put them in the void spaces in the packaging. Bubble wraps are inexpensive and easily available, but they are not recyclable and their rolls take larger space to store.
#2 Air packets and Tubes
Air packets are also inexpensive void fills that can be used in place of bubble wraps. Air packets or air tubes are simply a heat sealed plastic bag with a lot of air in it. They offer same flexibility and protection as bubble wraps with an added advantage of being lighter. Like bubble wrap, they cannot be recycled and storing them requires larger space.
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As an alternative to bubble wraps, foam sheets are quite frequently used to fill voids in packaging. Foam sheets are more resistant to wear than bubble wraps and hence can be reused multiple times.
#4 Packing Peanuts
Packing peanuts are soft peanut shaped cushioning, which are used to fill void spaces in packaging. These are usually made from Styrofoam. Packing peanuts made from corn starch is an eco-friendly variant adhering similar mechanical properties as other packaging fillers.
Crumpled paper can act as a very good void fill. With the weight being the only downside, paper is very easy to store, comes in various colors to match the aesthetics of the packaging and is also recyclable.
Various kinds of paper such as newspapers, butcher paper, handmade paper or tracing paper, all have different mechanical properties and come with different padding capabilities. Papers, however, can also be expensive.
#6 Crinkle Paper
Crinkle paper is simple finely shredded paper. You can buy them directly, or use a paper shredder and make them in-house. Crinkle paper comes in various colors and is much lighter than the crumpled paper.
Excelsior is an alternate eco-friendly void fill that is made by finely shredding wood into small threads.
#8 Post Industrial Scrap
You can use the scrap from your own manufacturing process as a void fill. If you manufacture apparel, then you can use leftover bits and pieces of clothes to fill the voids in your packaging.
Choosing the right void fill can be important for your business as they determine that your products reach safely to your customers. Also, by choosing the right void fill, you can also cut down on the packaging costs for your products.
Have you ever used some other void fills in your packaging other than the options mentioned above? Share with us, we would be happy to know what do you use for filling the void spaces in your packaging.
[Image Courtesy: Storopack.com]5