Published: Published by ben@wbc.co.uk BigCommerce on 4th May 2023


Your Ultimate Guide

Rose Miller, 28th April 2023

Since the UK government announced a cost increase on the Plastic Packaging Tax last month, retailers and businesses are even more motivated to find plastic-free alternatives to protect their prized goods throughout transit and storage.

At WBC we are constantly trying to innovate our designs and release more eco-friendly products, the most recent addition being our eco-friendly honeycomb packaging range. This protective packaging solution is the far more eco-friendly option, but what about the other benefits? What is honeycomb packaging? How does it work? And how does it compare to bubble wrap?

To answer these questions and more, we’ve created the ultimate guide for businesses interested in using or already using honeycomb packaging.


What is honeycomb packaging?

Honeycomb is a protective packaging paper used for shipping and storing products. The packaging solution is a great alternative to foam and plastic and works perfectly to provide that extra cushioning.

How does it work?

Drawing on patterns from nature to inspire design is a concept that dates back thousands of years - and for good reason. The natural world is full of intricate designs that create sturdy, functional structures. The honeycomb pattern resembles the honeycomb of the bee and is used in many bio-inspired man-made designs for its lightweight, flexible and robust structure.

The design consists of hexagonal cells, formed by folding a flat sheet into six-sided polygons. The cells interlock to create a rigid structure that is easily rolled away and requires no tape to seal. The design means that when tension is applied to the roll and pulled, it expands revealing the honeycomb cells, creating a compact fit as they mould and stretch to fit snugly around the item.

What are the eco-benefits?

Honeycomb packaging is made entirely from recycled materials, uses less paper in the construction process and is biodegradable and compostable. Due to its lightweight and compact design, it also requires less space to store and transport which decreases the carbon footprint needed for transport.

Is honeycomb wrapping paper more expensive?

Honeycomb paper packaging costs slightly more than alternatives such as bubble wrap, but can often pay off over time due to its lightweight and compact texture that saves on storage and transport costs. For example, honeycomb paper wrap can store up to 250m of paper wrap on a single roll.

Bubble wrap vs honeycomb?


Bubble wrap cannot be recycled at home due to the many layers inside the material that require different recycling processes, whereas Honeycomb is easy to deal with and can be recycled at home. Overall, bubble wrap is not as eco-friendly but it does last for years so if you’re planning on reusing it, it’s not so bad.


Since bubble wrap is full of air and adds barely any weight to your shipments, it does tend to be the cheaper option. But honeycomb packaging is also a lightweight material, and when it comes down to price per square inch there is very little in it.

Which to use when?

For larger items such as glassware or ceramics, bubble wrap is potentially the better choice as it is available in several different sizes.

For smaller items, such as small glass jars, honeycomb packaging wins the best choice award just about, as it provides good protection without adding weight to your shipment. On the other hand, the lightweight quality makes the honeycomb option less strong so less protection for extra delicate or fragile items that could be bumped along the way.

For items with awkward-edged or jagged angles, honeycomb packaging is the best choice owing to its compact design that moulds around the product locking in on itself for secure protection.

The honeycomb bottle sleeve is the perfect choice for sending a hamper full of bottles that need extra protection, as the sleeve will add extra cushioning without ruining the gifted look with its stylish finish.


What is the honeycomb dispenser?

At WBC we provide a honeycomb paper dispenser for our customers that like the idea of creating an in-house packaging operation. The heavy-duty “manual dispenser” makes wrapping fast and efficient and takes up minimal countertop space so fits perfectly into any retail store.

Our honeycomb paper dispenser kits include 2 paper rolls that measure 508mm wide and require no scissors, just simply tear off and wrap! By buying it as a kit, you save 15%, compared to buying items separately.