How To Reduce Waste With Sustainable Packaging

How To Reduce Waste With Sustainable Packaging

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Sustainable packaging isn’t just another trend, it’s here to stay as a crucial step on the way to a greener future and smarter business operations. Whatever the role you play in the supply chain, we all have a role to play in this transformation. In this blog, we’re going to guide you through the benefits, some simple ways to implement and offer real world examples of sustainable packaging to show how important it is…

Understanding Sustainable Packaging

 

What is Sustainable Packaging?

 
 

Though it’s commonly thought of as paper, sustainable packaging refers to more than materials, but design techniques that produce minimal environmental impact too. Sure, as a biodegradable resource, paper is commonly used in sustainable practices. However, there are other recyclable materials that can be reprocessed and reused multiple times too.

The Regulatory Landscape

 
 

In the UK, regulations around packaging are becoming increasingly stringent. The government recently introduced the Plastic Packaging Tax for instance, which adds an import fee to packaging under 30% recycled material. Familiarising yourself with these regulations can not only help you stay compliant but also turn compliance into a competitive advantage.

Benefits of Sustainable Packaging

 
 

Environmental Impact

 
 

The obvious benefit of sustainable packaging is the impact on the planet, or lack of. By reducing waste and lowering the carbon footprint of your packaging operations, you’re contributing to a healthier planet.

Economic Advantages

 
 

Surprisingly, there are also a number of significant economic benefits to sustainable packaging. Although that initial investment can be high, the long term savings can be substantial. For example, by reducing waste management costs and the aforementioned tax incentives for eco friendly practices.

Enhancing Brand Reputation

 
 

Consumers today are more environmentally conscious than ever. Adopting sustainable packaging is a simple way to appeal to this green shift and growing base of customers/prospects.

An e commerce retailer that we work with recently put down a 10% increase in sales to introducing eco-friendly packaging options, which shows that sustainability can indeed be a market differentiator.

Implementing Sustainable Packaging in Warehouses

 
 

Material Selection

 
 

Choosing the right materials is the first step in implementing sustainable packaging.

Options include:

Cardboard: From pallet boxes to postal cartons, cardboard is widely recyclable and can be purchased from FSC certified sources.

Void Fill: Paper void fill is the obvious choice here, specifically our range of Hexcel and Hexafill, but there are also air pouches that have been produced using sustainable practices too.

Paper Tape: A fantastic product that often provides a better adhesive than standard tape. Paper tape is also much more sustainable, available in a multitude of lengths and can even be customised with your branding.

Supplier Collaboration

 
 

Working closely with suppliers is essential to source sustainable materials. Building strong relationships can lead to better pricing and innovative solutions. Be sure to communicate your sustainability goals and collaborate on ways to achieve them.

Technology and Automation

 
 

Adopting automation and new technologies can help you to optimise your processes and reduce material wastage. For instance, in our recent L’oreal case study, we managed to review their process and save them an incredible 13 tonnes of plastic per year!

Cost Management Strategies

 
 

Initial Investment vs. Long-term Savings

 

While sustainable packaging might be more expensive upfront, the long-term savings in waste management and potential tax benefits can offset these costs.

Waste Reduction Techniques

 

Implementing efficient packaging designs can minimise excess material use and waste. Techniques like right-sizing, which involves designing packaging to fit the product precisely, can drastically reduce material costs

Meeting Sustainability Targets

 

Setting Clear Objectives

 

To achieve sustainability targets, it’s crucial to set clear, measurable objectives. Define what success looks like for your packaging strategy. If you need help with this, don’t be afraid to reach out. Our team of packaging experts have helped businesses set goals for the almost three decades we’ve been in business.

Continuous Improvement

 

Sustainability is an ongoing process. Be sure to review your packaging practices regularly and identify any areas for improvement. It’s also important to stay updated on new technologies that can enhance your green efforts.

Employee Training and Engagement

 

Educating staff about the importance of sustainable packaging is essential. Make sure you provide training on any new materials and processes you might be using. And importantly, encourage employees to contribute their ideas because engaged employees are the most effective at driving change.

Challenges and Solutions

 

Common Obstacles

 

Adopting sustainable packaging can come with challenges such as higher initial costs, supply chain constraints, and a general resistance to change. But they’re well worth overcoming. Here’s how…

Overcoming Barriers

 

Practical solutions include:

Cost Management: Focus on long-term savings and potential financial/tax incentives.

Supply Chain: Build stronger relationships with suppliers and explore alternative sources for sustainable materials.

Change Opinions: Communicate the benefits of sustainable packaging stakeholders and provide training to emphasise its impact.

Conclusion

 

Reducing waste with sustainable packaging is not only beneficial for the environment but makes good business sense too. By understanding the benefits, implementing effective strategies, and overcoming challenges, you can significantly impact your organisation’s sustainability goals. Let’s take the first step towards a greener future today.

References

 

For further reading and resources, consider the following:

UK Government Guidelines on Packaging and Waste Management