Mailers

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Padded Envelopes

Demand for mailers is projected to increase 7.2% annually to $3.2 billion in 2026, with advances supported by continued robust levels of e-commerce sales and concomitant gains in the total number of packages shipped. In addition, mailers will take share from corrugated boxes in the packaging of shipped parcels due to a number of advantages including:

  • lighter weight, which reduces shipping costs
  • lower material use, which aids in source reduction efforts
  • lower overall packaging costs, as mailers do not require void fill

New Curbside Recyclable Paper Mailers to Experience Strongest Gains

Curbside recyclable paper mailers will grow at the fastest rate of any mailer type, boosted by recent new product development by various companies to improve the sustainability as well as protective performance of paper mailers. These new mailers feature improved padding materials, making them fully curbside recyclable – unlike mixed material paper bubble mailers – while weighing less than traditional pulp padded mailers and offering comparable or improved protective capabilities. Usage by major e-commerce players such as Amazon will be a major factor in their strong growth.

Health & Personal Care Products to See Largest Gains in Mailer Demand

Though most every application will see healthy growth in mailer demand, health and personal care products are especially ideal for both e-commerce and mailer packaging, as online shopping offers increased selection and price comparison compared to in-store shopping, and these items tend to be small enough to fit snugly in mailers. In addition to large gains stemming from strong growth in e-commerce sales, these products will benefit from the continued popularity of mail order prescriptions.

Sustainability Remains a Primary Concern & Key Driving Force

Due to its single-use nature and high visibility to consumers, packaging remains at the center of many companies’ efforts regarding sustainability. In an effort to improve sustainability, companies are focusing on more easily recyclable monomaterial mailers, such as bubble mailers composed entirely of polyethylene, and padded paper mailers featuring recyclable cushioning. The new curbside recyclable paper mailers in particular will experience strong growth due to their recyclability but also due to improved strength and performance, which allows them to be used for larger packages and with products requiring greater protection.

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