The Facts about … Void Fill

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, man realised that stuffing something into the space inside a box, sack or flagon stopped the contents rattling around and getting damaged!

And in that moment of pure genius Void Fill was invented!

These days, void fill comes in many forms, so let’s have a look at what is available out there …

Visit any antiques market, and you’ll probably find some old used newspapers ready to be wrapped around a pair of mantlepiece porcelain dogs or a glass vase.

Even looking at the most basic of void fill products – bubble wrap was originally invented as a wall covering!

So what other types of void fill, especially eco-friendly paper-based, can be used?

Tissue Paper: At the very lightest end of the scale is tissue paper, or acid-free tissue paper with a pH value of 7 (neutral) that won’t discolour or tarnish precious metals or fabrics. It is tempting to use coloured tissue paper for presentation parcels, but take care as some dyes can “bleed” their dye onto certain products and therefore spoil goods.

News Offcuts: Also known as packing paper, this is the unprinted unused version of old newspapers. The whole point of using this rather than newspapers, is that there are no inks that will transfer onto the products it wraps. News offcuts are not as soft as tissue, but is better for bulking up in large voids and is more resistant to tearing or puncturing than tissue.

Kraft Paper: This is more robust again than news offcuts. For even a small business, a space-saving Voidstar dispenser can make producing void fill very time-effective.

Honeycomb Wrap: For those looking for an eco-friendly alternative to bubble wrap (that takes literally centuries to decompose!) Honeycomb Wrap is a game-changing option! This space-saving paper with an innovative honeycomb pattern can expand to wrap around virtually any product. The Hexcel dispenser can save up to 75% in storage space and the wrap is 100% biodegradable, compostable and recyclable.

Shredded Cardboard: An absolute no-brainer is a Cardboard Shredder that creates free void fill material from used cardboard. If you have a lot of waste cardboard boxes from inbound goods and are paying money for brand new void fill, you need to stop now! Instead of spending time baling your used cardboard and then paying for it to be recycled, you could be making your own free void fill! Depending on the products you are using void fill for, you can choose a machine that makes protective matting for carton lining, interleaving and wrapping. Or you can choose a machine that cuts the corrugated board into narrow loose fill strips.

It is great to see so many eco-friendly void fill options available. Bubble wrap, loose fill packing beans or “peanuts” (how to blight the environment with the slightest breeze!) and air pillows have had their uses in the past, but thankfully there are viable paper-based alternatives available these days!

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