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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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