One sure way to start a lively debate in an online sellers’ forum is to ask how an item should be packed for safe shipping. Every seller has their own methods and their favorite packing materials – from plastic bubble wrap, foam peanuts and air pillows to repurposed pool noodles. We thought it was time to throw another contender into the mix.
Scotch Brand reached out to us with information about a new type of packing material made with 100% recycled paper that could replace some of the more popular packing materials.
A spokesperson sent me a free box of the Scotch Cushion Lock Protective Wrap to try, calling it a “sustainable expanding paper wrap that cushions, immobilizes and secures your item for proven protection throughout its journey – whether you’re shipping, moving or storing.”
It was a bold claim, so I decided to put it to the test. I selected something fragile – a cordial glass – to put the packing material through its paces. I chose a small box that only allowed about 1” of space around the cordial and used only the Scotch Cushion Lock to wrap and pad the item inside the box.
I unrolled what I thought would be enough Scotch Wrap to start – about 4 feet. But looking at the flat sheet of brown paper, I wasn’t sure that this would be enough protection for a glass item being shipped via USPS.
The “magic” happens when you grab each end of the sheet and pull, creating a honeycomb that not only adds volume to the sheet, but also locks it into place as the item is wrapped. No tape was necessary.
I placed the wrapped glass inside the box, sealed the package, and shook it. There was no movement whatsoever – so far, it was impressive.
I mailed the small box USPS First Class Package Service to a destination across the state, about 100 miles away. When it arrived 2 days later, the packing material had retained its honeycomb shape – no sagging or flattening at all.
More importantly, the glass cordial survived the trip nicely, arriving in one piece. The wrap had done its job, and because I had used a smaller box and the lightweight wrap, I had likely saved a bit on shipping as well.
Because tape was unnecessary, the recipient was impressed with the ease of unwrapping the item. This will not only save sellers the cost of any tape they might have used with other types of packing material – but it will also be welcomed by buyers – no scissors required to get to their precious item inside.
The retail price of the 30-foot roll is $7.99 for a 12 in x 30 ft roll (or $149.99 for an “industrial” size 1,000-ft roll). We haven’t done the math to see how it compares with other types of packaging, so let us know what you think. Keep in mind that because it expands, a 30-foot roll would pack more than a 30-foot roll of a different type of material (the company says it expands 1.5 times its original length).
The company spokesperson sent us a fact sheet; here’s what it says about the key features:
- Proven to protect.
- Conforms, cushions and immobilizes your fragile and non-fragile items.
- No scissors or tape needed—just pull to expand, wrap in a 360° fashion around your item, tear by hand, then place into a box for a nested and protected ride.
- Made with 100% recycled paper and is curbside recyclable.
- Takes up to 85% less storage space compared to traditional plastic cushion wrap.
- Expands 60x its original thickness, filling up your box with less material (hello stabilization!).
- Expands 1.5x its original length so you can wrap more, with less.
While shoppers are concerned about receiving their items in one piece, many are also concerned about the environmental impact of the packaging used to protect their items. Not giving buyers a reason to ding you for the packaging you use is another potential advantage.
Readers might remember I was a bit underwhelmed with a previous innovation from the company, the Scotch Flex & Seal shipping roll. But I was suitably impressed with Scotch Cushion Lock, with cost being the wildcard factor. I should add that we were not compensated in any way for reviewing this product, except for the free roll of the material for testing.