In today’s climate-conscious world, people around the globe are all looking for ways to cut their carbon footprint and consciously lessen their impact on the planet - Especially those in business.
A survey by the shipping service Sendle found that 64 percent of consumers would be more likely to make a purchase from a retailer that offered compostable packaging. If that statistic doesn’t get you interested... just wait!
A whopping 91% of plastic isn't recycled!
For businesses that ship products, packaging is a major part of the operation so getting this right is key. So, what is sustainable packaging you ask? The concept of sustainable packaging refers to the use of packaging solutions that minimise environmental impacts and footprints. Want to know more about how to package sustainably?
8 Top Tips to Make Your Packaging More Sustainable
- Use less packaging - Does the item need to be wrapped twice or placed in a bag in a box? Use less where possible.
- Share disposal and recycling best practices.
- Ship as smaller packages - Reduce box sizes.
- Try alternative materials - Look into parcel bags or letterbox sized boxes instead of larger boxes.
- Use less new materials - Recycled packaging is available.
- Use materials that are easy to recycle.
- Make sure your customers know what packaging can be recycled - Leave a note inside the parcels or on the packaging itself.
- Try packaging that can be repurposed for returns - Resealable pouches are a great way for customers to use the same packaging.
- Consolidate orders from the same user into one package.
- Use digital pick lists and packing slips.
According to studies, shipping emissions could be the source of 17% of all global CO2 emissions in 2050, and this doesn’t factor in the carbon costs of packaging. Can you imagine the percentage if we add in the 131.2 billion parcels shipped each year globally?
It is projected that [half of UK retail sales will be online](http://Half of UK retail sales will be online within 10 years) before 2029 - Are you online? With the ever expanding and rapid growth, it takes its toll on the environment. Follow for tips on how you can make your whole operation sustainable.
Being eco doesn’t just stop at packaging however, it can be the delivery, the manufacturing and the overall wastage/usage of certain materials in your day-to-day processes. Take a walk around your business location whether that be an office, warehouse or even your home. Noting down any potential waste that you can see will help access.
- Do your employees drink tea/coffee out of cardboard cups? Think about moving to bamboo mugs instead - They are re-usable and come in tonnes of cute designs at great prices.
- Even washing out glass jars and bottles and then re-using them is a key component to your waste reduction strategy.
- Office-based businesses, for example, can use refillable toner and ink-jet cartridges.
- In regards to paper waste, use previously used paper for note taking. Use the other side of used paper to reduce paper by 50% - it really is that simple!
- Look into paper usage: Do not print unless of course necessary. Digital picking can help with this in warehouses. Unless colour is necessary, you could print documents in black and white. Also, ensure that all printers are set to the double-sided print option to save wastage. This simple default halves paper consumption instantly, already putting you ahead of the game.
- Why not also think about battery consumption - use re-chargeable instead of using numerous batteries.
- Employees who drink water at work and depending how large your business is, you’re looking at a lot of plastic waste if they use plastic bottles or cups. Consider inserting a water filter or getting a water cooler instead.
- If you can’t reduce or reuse an item, then the last option is to recycle it. This could be paper from the office, cardboard boxes from manufacturing materials and even milk bottles from the tea/coffee drinkers.
- Keep in mind that recycling also include food waste, or composting, you should also have that service in place.
There are numerous ways you can help reduce business waste, keep an eye out for those listed here. Speak with your staff to ensure they are aware of all changes you will be making / plan to make as they are a huge part of the success.
You may think ‘we have time before worrying about sustainability’ however take a look at these statistics, you may be shocked... https://www.theworldcounts.com/stories/Paper-Waste-Facts