The trend of using sustainable packaging is gaining momentum, and it will see a consistent rise in the future as well. More and more companies are using packaging materials that are eco-friendly throughout their entire life cycle, including in their functionality, marketing, and after their use has been fulfilled. Sustainable packaging also helps in reducing the costs involved with packaging design.
Here are some ways you can contribute to sustainable packaging for reducing packaging waste:
1. Using Recyclable and Reusable Materials
Use packaging materials that are either reusable or recyclable. You can reuse the materials for various purposes such as using left-over cardboard boxes to store office equipment. This helps in reducing waste and preventing the unnecessary purchase of products.
Using recyclable materials like cardboard or paper for packaging helps you convert them into other products that can be effectively used later. This ensures that the packaging materials don’t go to waste or to the landfills once they are discarded.
2. Encourage Minimal Packaging
Invest in developing a packaging design that doesn’t use a large amount of packaging material. Embrace simplicity along with creativity to come up with an attractive and minimalistic design. Minimal packaging helps in reducing material use, leading to reduced product cost. You would even consume less energy to manufacture both the material and packaging and less fuel is used to transport items.
3. Use Sustainable Raw Materials
It would be a good idea to source sustainable raw materials to fulfill your packaging needs. You could even ensure that the packaging originates from a sustainable source. Turn to sustainable forests to source the wood required for manufacturing cardboard or paper required to produce packaging material. Other sustainable goods you can opt for include cotton, new man-made fibers, and wood from sustainable farms.
4. Bring in an Industrial Shredder
Invest in an industrial shredder as it can shred almost anything that’s made up of fiber, such as paper or cardboard. Shredders can generate a lot of shredded material, which can be used to fill packaging boxes. These paper cushions do a great job of protecting the corners of your cardboard boxes. Moreover, shredded paper is a practical and eco-friendly way to pack and ship your products too.
5. Seek Biodegradable Packaging
Using materials like corn-based plastic is recommended as it can be broken down in a commercial composting facility. Biodegradable packaging ensures that none of the packaging material goes into the landfills.
6. Use Stretch Wrapper for Safe Packaging
If you are transporting products around the warehouse, you can save on packaging and energy by securing the products together using stretch film rather than packing them in large boxes. Stretch film is easier to fit in bins and recycling containers.
It’s important to stretch wrap pallets of products for long distance shipping as well. Wrapping safe to ship loads can actually help the environment. How? By keeping damaged, unsellable products out of landfills. Find out more by reading Lantech’s blog “How Stretch Wrapping HELPS the Environment,” and learn how to wrap a safe to ship load “Quick Guide to Stretch Wrapping.”
7. Train your Staff
There may be occasions when waste is being created, or it isn’t being disposed of properly because the staff isn’t aware of the waste disposal processes that have been implemented in the facility. It could either be because they aren’t communicating with the warehouse operatives or because they haven’t been given the appropriate training. Training your staff would go a long way in reducing packaging waste.
8. Use the Right Loose Filling
Do not use a large package for shipping a small item, unless it is absolutely necessary. Avoid using the wrong boxes or wrong, loose fill. Understand what kind of loose fill packaging is appropriate for different types of items. Using the correct type of loose fill will help you protect the product better.
Reducing waste and disposing of it in the right manner will help in making your organization as well as the planet green. Implement sustainable practices in your facility and encourage your staff to embrace sustainability in different organizational processes.
About the Author
Erich Lawson is very passionate about the environment and is an advocate of effective recycling. He writes on a wide array of topics to inform readers on how modern recycling equipment can be used by industries to reduce monthly wastage bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environment saving techniques by visiting his blog Northern California Compactors, Inc blog.
You may be interested in these related posts:
- Sustainable Packaging, Stretch Wrapping, and PET
- The dirty secret of CPG sustainability - do you know where the bodies are buried?
- The Place for Stretch Wrap in CPG Sustainability Plans
This post was published on December 12, 2017 and updated on December 13, 2017.