Your Guide to Sustainable Void Fill

Void fill is an invaluable commodity in the packaging sector. Whilst we should always endeavour to use the correct size box, void fill can act as an added barrier to keep products safe in transit.

Traditional forms of void fill include polystyrene foam peanuts and plastic bubble wrap. However, both products are incredibly hard to recycle and will end up in landfill taking centuries to degrade.

Styrofoam and foam wrap are comprised of polystyrene, this is recycling category 6 and means that it is incredibly hard to recycle. Whilst Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) such as styrofoam is 100% recyclable, not many councils can accept it for recycling.

The industrial movement towards creating a more Circular Economy involve the three R’s; Reuse; Recycle; and reduce. Each of our sustainable void fill products reach at least one of these requirements.

Air pillows

Air pillows are one of the most popular uses of void fill. Using less plastic material and covering a larger surface area means that it is one of the most sustainable void fill alternatives. A recent study found that 5 fully loaded artic lorries are required to transport the equivalent loose fill compared to just 1 pallet of the Pacplan Nano Film. Reducing not only the amount of waste produced but also the carbon emissions caused by freight transport.

Shredded cardboard

By utilising a cardboard shredder, you will have the capacity to re-use your cardboard waste as void fill, not only eradicating the expense of purchasing void fill materials, but additionally the expense of waste disposal. By reusing your cardboard waste you are decreasing both the chemical and logistical impact of shipping extra material in.

Kraft Paper

Kraft paper is distinguished by its superior strength compared to other paper alternatives. Using reduced lignin and a high sulphur ratio, the chemical processes behind creating kraft paper is also more sustainable, the pulp does not require extensive bleaching which is not only environmentally damaging but also decreases the integrity of the paper itself. Kraft paper is also fully recyclable. 

There are a range of paper dispensers from the X-wrap for small businesses to the X-PAD and X-FILL for larger industrial packing.

Southgate® supply a wide range of innovative void fill systems via their network of approved distributors throughout the UK and across Europe. For more information, call Southgate on +44 (0)1553 69 29 69 or email

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