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Sustainability is a hot topic in today’s eco-conscious society, with managers scrambling to find ways to make their operations less impactful on the environment. Packaging waste is a sore spot in this conversation, as product and shipping packaging materials are often single-use and/or not recyclable. Reducing the amount of waste on your packaging line is a great way to cut costs, make operations more efficient, and improve brand image. In this post, we’ll go over several strategies that work well for minimizing packaging waste.

Design Minimalist Packaging

Minimal packaging is on-trend and eco-friendly. When designing product packaging, strive to only use materials and components that are absolutely necessary. Simplify the packaging as much as possible and packaging waste will decrease by default. Consumers will appreciate less complicated, more user-friendly packaging and your financial department will love the reduction in material costs.

Choose Sustainable Materials

When choosing the raw materials for your packaging needs, always opt for materials that are sustainable, renewable, and recyclable. Recycled cardboard, biodegradable plastics, or responsibly-sourced raw materials are great alternatives to traditional packaging materials. As an added bonus, sustainable materials often require less energy to produce and give companies an opportunity to connect with their customers by providing info on how to properly recycle product packaging.

Try Reusable Packaging Systems

If you ship products to repeat customers often, consider using reusable packaging options that can be shipped, returned, and reshipped multiple times. With this model, it may help to incentivize the return of the packaging by offering customers a discount for each returned package. Reusable packaging solves many of the environmental problems associated with single-use packaging, but is not really an option for all industries.

Educate Customers

Businesses who are trying to reduce their packaging waste need to communicate about these initiatives with their customers early and often. Not only can this communication help educate customers on how to properly recycle or return packaging materials, but it also gives the company extra opportunities to engage the customer, solicit feedback, and offer incentives.

Collaborate with Suppliers

Work closely with packaging material supplies to make sure you’re up to date on their latest sustainable offerings. Share your sustainability goals with your material suppliers and discuss how they can help you meet your goals while staying on budget.

Monitor, Report, and Improve

Set clear, measurable goals for reducing packaging waste and regularly monitor and report on their progress. Reporting on these numbers to various levels of management involves everyone in the sustainability initiatives and gives different areas a chance to share ways for improvement. 

Econocorp is Your Packaging Sustainability Partner

By adopting these strategies, your packaging line can reduce waste, streamline operations, and slash expenses…not to mention contributing to a more sustainable planet for us all. Waste reduction efforts show customers that your company is committed to responsible practices, which will improve brand image, bolster customer loyalty, and probably even bring in some new referrals. For packaging equipment and machines that complement your sustainability goals, make your next call to Econocorp. Our cartoners, tray formers, and case packers are all designed with sustainability in mind, allowing you to use whatever materials, packaging designs, and processes you want to make your packaging operations as efficient and eco-friendly as possible. Give us a call at 781-986-7500 to find out more by speaking to one of our knowledgeable sales reps today.