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Reducing Your Businesses Packaging Waste

Did you know that statistically, each individual in the EU produces an average of 159 kg of packaging waste every year? By analysing their practices and making key changes, businesses in all industries can help to reduce the amount of packaging we produce collectively.

A great deal of the waste that is generated by businesses comes from packaging and most of these packaging products are used to contain, support, protect and present materials and items as they navigate their way through the various stages of the supply chain.

There are many different types of packaging materials, including:

  • Plastic bags
  • Shrink-wrap
  • Bubble wrap
  • Foam
  • Paper
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Corrugated cartons
  • Aluminium cans
  • Glass bottles
  • Pallets

Wasteful Practice

There are of course many other types of packaging material. Sometimes the packaging is essential but in other instances, it is clearly wasteful, particularly when you examine the way packaging is frequently used to present items and products to consumers.

As consumers, we are all familiar with products that have been packaged excessively, huge boxes for tiny items and similar scenarios. A glass bottle provides the ideal containment or ‘packaging’ for a bottle of wine, but anyone who has ever spent half an hour dismantling the packaging that surrounds some children’s toys will know exactly what I mean about excessive, wasteful packaging!

Is Your Packaging Use Wasteful?

Businesses can make significant savings by analysing their packaging use and eliminating wasteful practices, so whether you are a retailer, manufacturer or distributor, it is well worth examining this area of your business to see whether you could make some simple changes and save too.

Where possible, reduce the quantity of packaging you use as a business. Sometimes bad habits are formed over time and businesses do things a certain way, because that is the way they have always done them. Perhaps that shrink-wrap is not really necessary, or you could reduce the number of boxes you use. If any part of your packaging is not entirely necessary, just lose it!

By avoiding unnecessary waste, as well as saving money, you can also make your overall business model a more sustainable one.

Make Positive Changes

Switch – replacing some of your packaging materials for more sustainable alternatives could make a huge difference both economically as well as environmentally. Wherever possible, choose materials that are recyclable, reusable or returnable.

Could you use shredded waste paper instead of styrofoam nuggets? Or would it be possible to change your current systems to encourage the recovery and reuse of some packaging items such as boxes or envelopes?

Market Your Sustainable Practices – inform your clients and customers about your sustainable approach to packaging as this green image could help you to push your brand forward. Your green credentials may encourage clients and customers to do business with you, giving you the edge over competitors with less sustainable practices.

Choose Recycled Materials – the cost of recycled materials nowadays is comparable to the alternatives, so where possible, purchase recycled or part recycled materials for use in your own packaging, supporting other sustainable businesses.

Recycle Your Packaging Waste – by recycling your own packaging waste responsibly, you can reduce your disposal costs considerably and you may even be able to generate a small extra income by selling your waste packaging.

For any advice or information about buying new or used balers and waste compactors just contact us here at Phoenix Compactors and Balers and we’ll be happy to help.

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