Choosing to reduce the amount of waste during your packaging run is a great way to help the planet and improve your sales. Customers enjoy buying from companies that do their part to reduce the impact on the environment. In addition, reducing waste can even cut down on your costs since you won’t have to pay for as much material. Here are some of the easiest and most effective ways to achieve this goal.
Only Order What You Need
The most obvious way to reduce waste with your packaging run is to only order the amount of packaging that you actually need. This way, there won’t be leftover packages that use up extra cardboard, plastic, or other materials. If you have a smaller company or don’t need as much packaging, consider working with a manufacturer who specializes in small runs that can make exactly how much packaging you need.
Consider Reusing Packaging
Depending on your product, it may be possible to reuse the packaging. If, for example, you sell printer ink, you can ask your customers to return their empty printer cartridges so they can be cleaned and reused. It may also be possible to reuse packaging for other types of products, but you must first determine if your customers will be OK with this and whether it is hygienic.
Reexamine Packaging Shape
To reduce waste, consider whether you can change the shape of your product packaging. If your product is soft or liquid, such as shampoo or beverages, you may be able to adjust the shape of the packaging slightly. When done correctly, this can reduce the amount of material needed and waste. If, for example, you have an oddly shaped cardboard box that requires cutouts from a rectangular box, which is just tossed, you may be able to swap to a rectangular box and limit waste.
Thinking About Packaging Materials
In some cases, you may also be able to reduce waste by choosing a different type of packaging. Switching from cardboard to plastic or going from plastic to shrink-wrap may accomplish this. To figure out whether a swap like this would reduce waste for your packaging run, you will need to take some time to run the numbers for the materials used and waste produced through each method.
At Least Recycle
Even if you can’t figure out how to reduce waste with your packaging run, you can at least take steps to minimize its negative impact on the environment. If possible, choose recyclable materials and place a message on the product letting your clients know it can be recycled. While it won’t reduce the waste during production, it will minimize the amount that ends up in landfills after the product is used.
If you have already tried all of these methods and don’t know what to do to further reduce waste, consider talking to your packaging manufacturer. The company is likely to have suggestions since less waste means fewer materials used and a lower cost. It is in your packaging manufacturer’s interests to reduce waste as well.