In this age of being leaner, greener, and more efficient, and with recycling initiatives being implemented, your customers may have specific packaging requirements to meet the needs of their end user. Switching to packaging or a packaging design that is reusable and/or serves multiple purposes offers many advantages to both the manufacturer and their buyer. Whether you call it sustainable, green, or reusable packaging, anything that can be used repeatedly and for multiple purposes brings tremendous benefits to the planet and your bottom line!
Before we tell you about the four ways to incorporate reusable packaging into your business, consider all of the advantages it has to offer. The Reusable Packaging Association (RPA) says reusable packaging offers Economic, Social, and Environmental benefits over single use packaging at all levels of the supply chain.
- Prevents waste from entering the solid waste stream
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
- Requires less energy
- Supports source reduction
- Reduces labor costs and overall packaging costs
- Improves transportation efficiency through standardized loads resulting in fewer trips
- Reduced cost-per-trip by reducing fuel costs
- Reduces inventory by requiring less storage space
- All of these economic benefits results in a rapid return on investment (ROI)
- Improves workplace efficiency and safety
- Recyclable at the end of its service life
Real world example
One such company who focuses on eliminating packaging waste is Costco who distributes a 16-page Packaging Specification Packet to all suppliers. Taking action against packaging waste has been instrumental in lowering costs for the retail giant and ensuring that products arrive to the warehouse undamaged.
The Packet includes Performance Requirements, Stacking Strength, Pallet Load Configurations, and much more. Costco has these specifications in place in order to drive out costs by eliminating excessive packaging, handling, and corrugated waste.
We at Valley Box completely agree with these types of policies. You can read more about our practices in our Green Business Packet available for download.
Valley Box encourages you to conduct packaging reviews and set your own guidelines that make sense for your business! We've put together four steps to incorporate reusable packaging into your business:
Implementing a packaging recycle plan. Almost all packaging materials come in recycled alternatives. Your packaging supplier can provide choices.
Start the practice of reusing incoming packaging materials by having employees sort and organize materials for other shipping events.
Work with your packaging provider to assess your packaging design with the intention of reducing waste.
Asking your suppliers to conform to your packaging requirements can help to reduce waste and drive down costs.