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Don’t throw money in the bin: minimise packaging waste

Packaging is a must have item for any retailer but it’s also an expense – albeit a necessary one. Packaging can cost retailers dearly in landfill tax and collection charges and excess waste can also damage a brand’s green credentials, so what can be done to minimise it?

There are two basic rules; firstly minimise the waste you create and secondly recycle the waste you do:

Minimise waste

  1. Make sure your mailing bags are the right size: If goods are packed in bags that are too big, you are automatically creating waste. A clever range of sizes will ensure you have the right packaging for your entire range of products, with the added advantage that goods will arrive neatly presented to the customer. A packaging audit can help identify the sizes you need, Asos is just one brand we work with to ensure their packaging range is always best fit.
  2. Consider all your packaging expenses: Don’t forget to factor in expenses such as storing and transporting your packaging; lightweight, compact packaging such as polythene can offer cost savings over bulkier and heavier materials like paper or card.
  3. Maximise packaging reuse: If customers can use your packaging to return goods you are automatically boosting your company’s green credentials – and you have more material to recycle (see below)

Boost recycling quality 

  1. Investigate closed loop recycling: This type of recycling involves a firm’s waste being returned to its raw form and then used to manufacture a new product. This saves the scrap being sent to landfill and many firms pay you per tonne for your scrap which can counteract the cost of your packaging spend.
  2. Avoid contamination: To maximise the quality of your scrap packaging and sell at a higher price, it’s important to avoid contamination. With polythene packaging this can include paper labels or tape, so consider using polythene labels.
  3. Print carefully: Excess ink can also reduce the value of your scrap packaging. Clever design, typically taking up less than 10% of the surface area, ensures you achieving a higher price per tonne for your scrap. 

David Brimelow is Managing Director of packaging manufacturer Duo UK, www.duo-uk.co.uk

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