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Businesses today face two incredibly significant and difficult challenges, the economy and the environment.
The economic effects of COVID-19 are still being deeply felt by many and are causing other issues like higher operating costs and supply chain shortages. Meanwhile, environmental issues like climate change are hitting harder than ever before. Combined, both these challenges are putting a lot of strain on businesses of all shapes and sizes.
So, what can businesses do to reduce the effects of climate change and find financial success during an economic downturn? A simple but often forgotten solution is to reduce their packaging waste. In fact, high levels of packaging waste not only negatively impacts the environment through pollution, but it also eats into your bottom line by not being optimized.
Whether you are looking to cut down on packaging waste for environmental reasons or to reduce your operating costs, this guide covers everything you need to know about reducing packaging waste inside a business. Learn more below!
While packaging may appear to be one of the most straightforward processes in a product’s supply chain, the reality is that each business has a unique packaging system based on the products they sell. With that in mind, it is important to tailor how you will minimize your packaging waste to the context of your products and how they are distributed.
When assessing your current packaging, you will want to consider the following points and their respective questions:
Answering these questions will give you an excellent starting point for minimizing your packaging waste effectively and safely.
One of the quickest and most impactful ways to reduce your packaging is to simply use less of it.
Cutting down the amount of packaging you use might seem difficult at first. You might be unsure about which part should go and which material should stay, and this can cause disagreements and uncertainty among your product team.
These concerns are valid because, if the wrong materials are removed from your packaging, this could have negative consequences on your product’s security and consequently your buyer’s satisfaction.
To learn more about how you can minimize the amount of packaging you use per product, check out these tips. They include:
If you are looking for even more opportunities to make your packaging more efficient, it may be a wise option to see a packaging consultant. These industry experts can help spot inefficiencies in your packaging and provide you with a plan to safely remove unnecessary packaging materials.
If your primary concern is about the environmental impact of your packaging, a simple yet effective action to take is choosing recyclable materials for your packages.
When selecting recyclable packaging products, it is crucial to consider how easy it is for your buyer to recycle the packaging. This is because certain packaging products are only recyclable in certain facilities, some of them unreachable for your average customer.
One example of this is the packaging mailer. Despite being theoretically recyclable, many residential garbage services are unable to accept it at the curbside. The consumer will instead have to travel to a specialist recycling center or drop-off point, which can feel counterintuitive to a greener lifestyle if they have to drive many miles.
Thankfully, there are mailers that are affordable, durable and curbside recyclable. Replacing easily recyclable packaging is an effective way to lower your consumer’s carbon footprint and cut down on waste.
Another way to significantly lower your packaging waste is to process it in smaller pieces. Packaging waste can take up a lot of space and, if excessive, it may present a workplace hazard to your staff. This waste also comes at a detriment to your finances, as valuable real estate is needed to collect and store your waste before it can be disposed of.
This is where a cardboard shredder can be a very valuable investment. Shredders efficiently process used or unwanted packaging, ideal if your business’ own supplies come wrapped in large quantities of cardboard. By reducing the physical size of your packages, you can free up valuable storage space for other more practical uses.
Going green can do a lot for your business. Not only does it help, but it can bring other benefits, including a more stable supply chain and potentially even cheaper costs.
And the biggest benefit of environmentally-friendly packaging is one of the best ways to tackle packaging waste both inside your business and across the globe.
When purchasing environmentally-responsible packaging, be sure to do your research before investing in a packaging solution or product. While there are plenty of options out there to choose from, it is important to be equipped with a sound knowledge of environmental issues and their causes.
For example, did you know that biodegradable is not as environmentally-friendly as compostable packaging, and if misused, can actually harm the environment? Read more about the difference between compostable and biodegradable packaging here.
If you are looking to make your business’ packaging more efficient, contact Crownhill Packaging. We are one of North America’s leading packaging suppliers and are well-known for our commitment to sustainable and innovative packaging solutions.
Learn how we can help you optimize your packaging and its systems by contacting our team today!