Man taping a box shut for shipping

5 Ways to Reduce Packaging Waste

In today’s world, packaging waste is a major environmental problem that affects everyone. With packaging materials comprising more than one-third of all municipal solid waste in the United States and an estimated one million plastic bottles purchased every minute around the globe, it’s clear that reducing packaging waste has become an urgent priority.

Fortunately, there are many steps businesses can take to lessen their impact and help protect our planet for future generations. Below, we’ll provide practical tips you can implement to reduce your carbon footprint.

Use Biodegradable and Sustainable Materials

As people become increasingly aware of the impacts of packaging waste, businesses need to take immediate action by using eco-friendly materials. Sustainable packaging is much better for the planet and can help your business create a positive public image through a firm commitment to green initiatives.

Materials such as paper, cardboard, glass, metal, and wood offer several benefits to help achieve your objectives. Even plastic packaging can now be sustainable through bioplastics made from organic materials derived from plants instead of fossil fuels.

To ensure your efforts towards reducing packaging waste are cost-effective, research potential suppliers who offer environmentally friendly packaging and their pricing models. Some packaging companies offer mark-downs when you place large orders. So look for companies that provide bulk discounts to save money while going green.

In the future, companies will be held more accountable for their environmental footprint. So it is wise to take the first steps and invest in sustainable shipping products now.

Purchase an Industrial Shredder

Container filled with shredded cardboard

Industrial shredders are machines that efficiently turn packaging waste into smaller pieces that can either be used as fillers for smaller packages or recycled as shredded components. Businesses can benefit tremendously from them since they allow you to reduce packaging expenses and waste hauling. 

In the long run, fewer trips to landfills result in reduced carbon dioxide emissions that pollute our atmosphere and reduce air quality. In addition to reducing your impact on air pollution, you can expect a positive return on investment when factoring in the savings from fewer purchases of new packaging material.

To determine if an industrial shredder is the best option, assess your budget, expected volume, and the amount of packaging waste produced. Reducing packaging waste is essential to keeping our planet healthy, but an industrial shredder may not be the most cost-effective solution for small-scale operations. The price of commercial shredders can be between $2,500 to $30,000. So do your research before purchasing to avoid overspending.

Incorporate Composting

Over the past decade, composting programs have sprouted up in communities all over the country. According to a recent article, composting has increased 65 percent and can decrease greenhouse gasses by as much as 310% over the next 100 years. 

It’s a proven way for businesses to reduce packaging waste and a cost-effective solution that uses biodegradable materials that decay naturally. All cardboard materials, excluding waxed cardboard, can be composted and transformed into nutrient-rich soil that helps sustain local farming industries.

To get started with composting, consult your local government offices or research information online to understand the laws, regulations, and recommended practices related to composting in your area. Additionally, many cities have designated drop-off areas for compostable items, and some businesses will pick up and collect them for you. 

Just be sure to do your due diligence when researching local companies and programs to find the quality of service that meets your expectations. Ultimately, it is a win-win for companies focused on reducing packaging waste, farming communities, and the planet.

Ship Products in Bulk

Man operating a forklift in a warehouse

Another smart way for businesses to minimize packaging waste is to ship in bulk instead of individual parcels. Companies that ship large volumes of products throughout the year can save valuable time by incorporating this method. 

Sending small packages regularly requires more boxes, inserts, and fillers, which increase the overall weight. With bulk shipping, it is much easier to lower transportation costs while reducing the total amount of shipping materials. Over time, the cost savings will be significant and do wonders for your bottom line.

In addition to reducing overall packaging waste, shipping in bulk will increase the likelihood that products will arrive in perfect condition. When individual products are shipped, they are more likely to experience shifting and potential damage due to external forces. 

To prevent this from occurring, bundle your products into one shipment. It will be much easier to protect them during transit and ensure customers receive their orders in the expected condition. Everyone knows shipping conditions can be brutal, but bulk shipping will help eliminate unintentional product damage and packaging waste.

Utilize Cartonization Software

Cartonization software is a powerful tool that businesses can use to tackle packaging waste and reduce its environmental impact. It is primarily used to assess the amount of packaging required for each order and determines the best size and type to use. 

If you’ve ever received an order shipped in overly large boxes, then you understand how wasteful that practice is. Unfortunately, many companies place speed over our environment and utilize this tactic. Sure, customers get their orders quickly and securely, but this is not a sustainable strategy. 

With cartonization technology, businesses have the power to reduce packaging material usage, saving them money and moving them closer to achieving waste management goals. Fewer boxes and less void fill material means reducing packaging waste is much more achievable than ever. 

In addition, cartonization software assists companies in tracking how much shipping material is used, which allows them to identify how they can lower expenses even more to increase profitability.

Reduce Packaging Waste with Gorilla Shipper

As you can see, lowering packaging waste is a very attainable goal if you follow our advice. But, while the tips we shared today are great strategies, they are not the only options. 

At Gorilla Shipper, you can go green with our eco-friendly, biodegradable, and reusable shipping solutions. We use 100% post-consumer waste to make our Hexabox and molded pulp shippers, and they provide superior protection for your products while reducing your carbon footprint. 

All shipper kits are easy-to-assemble and come in various sizes to help you ship faster and more efficiently. If you need more information about any of our products, contact us. Buy in bulk to save!