Product waste

How to Reduce Packaging Waste for Your Business

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Within all sized companies, manufacturers, distributors and retailers are always seeking out ways to cut costs from different aspects of their business.

Packaging comes in many forms, from cartons, plastic bags and polyolefin shrink film, to pallets and drums. It can be used to protect and contain items or goods purchased by a consumer or consolidate and protect goods from being tampered with or the outside elements as they pass wugh the supply chain.n

Product waste

If an item is integrated into packaging and is intended to be used and thrown away with it, it is still considered packaging. For example, a mascara brush which forms part of the container closure would be considered as packaging as it is thrown away after the product has been finished with.

An item which is not considered to be packaging if it is either:

  • Part of a product and is necessary to preserve, contain or support the product during its lifespan and use, e.g. tea bags and pots for house plants intended to stay with the plant throughout its life.
  • A disposable item designed to be used at the point of sale which does not fulfil a packaging function, e.g. drinks stirrers and plastic cutlery.

Analyse your packaging use

We suggest assessing whether you are using the least wasteful form of packaging, for instance, should a particular order be packed into individual boxes or wrapped with polyolefin shrink film on a pallet? Try to consider whether packaging can be reused, as you could, for example, ask your customers if they mind products being delivered to them in reused packaging, for example, using used boxes.

Think how you could recycle packaging waste. This will reduce your waste disposal costs, and you may even be able to sell waste for recycling. Consider whether you could buy recycled materials to use in your own packaging.

The reasons

By cutting waste, you can save money and time, therefore, making your business more efficient. More and more customers are only buying from companies who are ‘greener’, so waste that isn’t disposed of properly can be harmful to the environment, and this could put people off.

Advice

Shipping materials like wood pallets can be heavy and add extra weight to an already large load. Extra weight in the back of a van or lorry can equate to more fuel consumption and greater carbon emissions. Reducing packaging weight reduces impact on the environment and not to mention your wallet. You can swap out wood pallets for reusable recycled-content plastic containers and can cut waste, weight and cost as a result.

Polyolefin shrink film can be the perfect packaging solution for your business as it will give your products a stronger seal, protect them during transit as well as having puncture and tear resistant characteristics.


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