It’s not a myth that online shopping requires massive amounts of energy and resources, and reducing your packaging waste is just one of the things you can do to minimize your impact on the environment. Only about half of the 75 million tons (per year!) of container and packaging waste is recycled annually – that means 37 million tons still end up in landfills. What can you to lessen your carbon footprint and save money, to boot? Here’s a look at five ways distribution centers can reduce packaging waste:
Changing your packaging design to a shape that minimizes waste material is a cost-efficient way to reduce your environmental impact. Reevaluate your packing strategy to determine if you can pack more products with fewer uses of materials. Using boxes that are an exact fit instead of accommodating the products with extra packaging is another way to minimize packaging materials. However you go about it, reduced material use also leads to reduced product cost, so minimal packaging is a win-win.
Avoid Mixing Packaging Materials
If at all possible, use only one type of packaging material. It’s inconvenient for end-users to separate them for recycling, so there’s a good chance that even recyclable materials if mixed, could end up in a landfill anyway.
Invest in an Industrial Shredder
Shredders are a good investment because they can generate a lot of packaging filler from almost anything made of fiber, such as paper or cardboard. Shredded paper makes for a practical and eco-friendly (as well as economical) packaging material.
Use Biodegradable and Recyclable Packaging
Styrofoam peanuts have long been the filler of choice for packaging sensitive items. But this classic filler is undeniably bad for the environment as it sits in landfills for eternity. Biodegradable packing peanuts are now available, along with “green” air pillows and bubble wrap made from corrugated cardboard. Learn more about eco-friendly packaging alternatives in this guest post by Cory Levins, Director of Business Development for Air Seas Containers.
Responsible and Sustainable Sourcing
Source your packaging supplies from suppliers who are committed to providing only sustainable and recyclable materials. Using sustainably sourced raw materials is an integral part of any green packaging initiative and will add value to your company which will help you gain the trust of your eco-conscious customers.
Next Level understands the impact of operational costs on any size business and we are committed to helping customers increase efficiency and profitability through lower material expenditures and cost-efficient design solutions. Connect with us today to get started on organizing and optimizing your facility!