Packaging waste is the number one contributor to global warming, water pollution, and landfill buildup. As climate change escalates, many companies and large corporations are implementing practical strategies to reduce waste. They’ve realized that small shifts in policy and practices can improve their ecological footprint.
Customers are also demanding to see changes from the brands they support, with more pressure for them to use sustainable packaging. If that’s what customers want, brands need to improve their commitment to protecting the environment. But other instant payoffs come with a shift to greener packaging policies. One, which will instantly win over any financial director, is the significant savings to the bottom line.
A packaging line audit will reveal how material use can be optimized and can be used to kickstart the process. For example, a manufacturer could discover they no longer need to use a cardboard tray by merely making a small increase in the grade of polyethylene shrink-wrap they use.
While investigating these cost efficiencies, it makes sense to see how the packaging provider can assist. It could be something as simple as negotiating the roll cost when you buy in bulk. A bulk discount instantly reduces costs, but there’ll be further savings in fewer shipping and delivery fees.
Other ways to cut costs could include:
- Reducing the film width of the PVC shrink film or other shrink-wrap films.
- Reducing the film cut-off of the roll for each package.
- Thanks to new technologies, reducing the film gauge to a cheaper option could mean the integrity and clarity aren’t affected.
- Running a film audit will allow manufacturers to assess the number of rejects and what’s causing them. Once the weak spots are identified, they can be fixed.
Investigating alternative formulations could cut down on re-wraps too. Suppliers will be able to recommend more environmentally friendly and cost-effective products. For example, a flexible film can adjust to suit the size of your product, minimizing the amount of packaging you need. Flexible packaging film also requires less energy to manufacture and transport (because it’s lighter) and generates fewer greenhouse gasses in its journey to market.
It doesn’t always work to disregard plastics. For products that are shelf life sensitive, flexible plastics can be a greener option than glass or paper. Creating glass and paper packaging also releases emissions into the environment and can make for a heavier package, which costs more to transport.
If a company includes their staff habits in the auditing process, opportunities to change how the organization processes its wastes will also become clear. Here are some proactive ways of shifting to an environment-friendly culture:
- Hold internal challenges or reward systems to encourage staff to recycle.
- Educate staff about how they can recycle at home and work and support them where you can. For example, supply them with branded reusable lunch bags to cut down on waste and reinforce your brand’s greener strategy at the same time.
Rebranding your company with a sustainable culture could translate into a marketing opportunity too. Communicating the ways you’re reducing your carbon footprint, and packaging can build customer loyalty, boost brand recognition and even encourage new customers to switch to your product.
The media will also want to hear about the changes you’ve made in reducing packaging waste and supporting green processes. By sharing your successes, and how you as a company have cut costs, you can make an impression on the broader business community and even possible investors.
When you assess the benefits of a more efficient production process exploring ways to cut down on packaging waste becomes an opportunity for growth.
Melbourne Packaging Supplies sells a wide range of industrial packaging supplies and equipment including pallet wrapping machines. For more visit their store https://www.melbpack.com.au/shop/