According to the U.S. EPA, residential, commercial and institutional users generate more than 75 million tons of container and packaging waste each year. Yet only about half of that waste is properly recycled, which means about 37 million tons of packaging waste ends up in a landfill. At Hughes, we’re committed to educating our customers on finding ways to reduce packaging waste in their distribution center operations. Below, our packaging experts provide the lowdown on how to cut-down:
1. Optimize Space
Excess packaging materials can be heavy and add weight to an already large package. Extra materials equate to extra space which leads to extra DIM weight costs. Reducing packaging weight, on the other hand, reduces the impact on the environment and costs. So, rethink how your products are being packed into boxes: can items be rearranged to save on the need for extra boxes? With a simple switch in packaging design and using custom-sized boxes, you can save big on space.
2. Efficient Use of Materials
Most businesses today are looking for ways of making their operations more efficient and more and more customers are seeking out and buying from brands who have “green” credentials. Reducing excess materials is one simple and effective way to start a green packaging initiative.
For example, using the correct type (and amount) of loose fill will not just save on material costs, but it will also better protect your product during shipment as well. Be a proactive company who is committed to sustainability and sound environmental policies and you’ll also gain the trust of your consumers.
3. Provide Proper Training
Often, waste is created (or not disposed of properly) because employees don’t know or understand the processes and procedures that have been put in place. Make sure your employees have the proper communication and training with warehouse operatives to ensure everyone’s on the same page and then reward them for their eco-friendly efforts.
4. Save Packaging with Stretch Film
As products are being transported around the warehouse and being shipped out to their destinations, protect packaging and keep products safe inside by securing them together with stretch a film machine. These ergonomically friendly machines require less manual labor and exponentially decrease the time needed to wrap packages. Their benefits are endless.
Reduce Packaging Waste with Hughes Green Consulting Services
Want to become a green company and reduce packaging waste? Find out more on our recent blog, “3 Ways To Create an Eco-Friendly Distribution Center.”
Wherever you are on your sustainability journey, there are many options for improving performance. Hughes and Twice Green Consulting Services will assess your current packaging profiles. We then develop plans to more responsibly source materials, including using renewable energy in your production, using materials that can be recycled and “upcycled” for subsequent use, are safe and effective for people and the environment, and achieve the ultimate goal of the package – to safely transport, protect, and promote the product contained within.
For more information on the Green consulting services Hughes Enterprises has to offer contact a Hughes Sales Representative for assistance.