What is the most effective way to reduce packaging wastage?
Packaging waste is one of the greatest problems that are faced by this century. If we look at the numbers, we will find out that the weight of plastic waste is around 160 million tonnes and almost all of it is from single-use plastic in packaging.
Not just that when we talk about the driving force behind all this packaging waste then the biggest source of this is E-commerce websites. This is a serious problem when we talk about the long-lasting effects that it has on the Earth’s environment as well as biodiversity.
In this article, we will talk about the prime factors which are behind packaging waste then we will discuss the options through which can tackle this problem.
What are the prime factors behind packaging waste?
In this section, We will talk about the main reasons behind this packaging waste. There could be many reasons for this to happen at such a large scale. The consumption of plastic packaging is taking a toll on resources. Let's look at the numbers to get a better idea of how deep this problem is.
8% to 10% of the total fossil fuel that is produced in this world is used in the making of plastic products, that’s 12 million barrels of oil. Looking at it in litres then it will be 4542494.141 litres of oil that are used up every year to make plastics that stay for more than 500 years but it used for less than an hour.
Overpacking is not only a waste of time, money and resources but also stains the customer experience. All these things have negative effects on the buyers, sellers, owners as well as Earth.
Bracketing is usually seen in shopping for clothes online. So what happens in bracketing is that people order multiple sizes and colours of the same cloth or dress. Then return the rest.
This might make sense from the customer’s perspective. But if we look at this from the packaging and the side of waste management then this would not make any sense as the amount of packaging waste is staggering.
3. Lack of logistics
Logistics, here, means a lack of skilled labour. When we do not train people to work efficiently, there are high chances for losses to happen. We can see this problem in real life when we get a big box with a lot of fillers and a small item which could have been sent in a significantly small box.
4. Separate packages
This is also a common thing that happens in the e-commerce industry. Have you ever got your order in two separate boxes for a single order? If yes, then this is what we call the splitting of packages.
This is done when the warehouse does not have all the products in the same place but then this is causing an unwanted waste of packages that will eventually reach the same destination.
How can we reduce packaging waste?
In this section, we will talk about the effective ways through which we can reduce packaging waste. In the above part, we have talked about a few reasons for where packaging waste is coming from.
Here, we have written a few ways to reduce packaging waste down below :
1. Avoid excessive packaging
If we look at the social media platforms with #packagingfails. We can find numerous examples of excessive packaging. This is not how you would like your website, company or brand to trend on the internet.
We can easily avoid overpackaging by using the right logistics and the right size of box or bag for the product.
For example, you can use a tamper-proof courier bag for clothes instead of a corrugated box.
2. Use custom boxes
Custom packaging boxes are a good tool to make your product packaging look good for the first impression. Custom boxes are made to fit according to your product. When you use custom packages then we do not need to worry about using fillers like packaging peanuts or bubble wrap.
This eliminates the risk of over-packaging and damaging your products. Not only that but when we talk about customer experience then having a box that represents your brands will prove to be an example.
3. Use an alternative to plastic
When we talk about the pandemic of waste management. Then the first thing that crosses everyone’s mind is Plastic waste. We have reached the point where we can not ignore this problem anymore. What are the things that we can do to solve this problem?
We can not deny the importance of plastic in our life, there are a few things that we can do to reduce our dependency on plastic. Or we can change this non-biodegradable plastic with something biodegradable like Bioplastic.
It is nearly impossible to make people reduce their plastic usage all at once, while they are working on their plastic habits. There are a lot of different options which are available in the market. Bioplastic is made with bamboo, sugarcane waste, corn etc, all these things will not only help with biodegradable waste as well as non-biodegradable.
4. Using sustainable material
Sustainability is trending on social media these days. When we talk about sustainability, we refer to responsibly sourced raw materials that will not affect future generations. Using Sustainable materials is a great way to make sure that your carbon footprint is as well as helps to reduce your packaging waste in the long run.
Using sustainable materials like bamboo, hemp or jute could help with tackling the problem of single-use plastic. As the packaging material could be used designed to use multiple times.
5. The right amount of fillers
When we talk about ways to keep fragile and high-value items safe, then use fillers to keep them from damage. There are many options that are kept as fillers like bubble pouches, bubble wrap, bubble rolls, packaging peanuts and other things like that.
It is very important to fill just the right amount of filler so that it does not damage the product or the environment.
To wrap it up
This was our article about the most effective ways to reduce packaging waste. Here, we have talked about the main reasons behind this global problem of waste management. Then we talked about the different ways to reduce packaging wastage.
We hope that you were able to get all the information that you were looking for.
Suman Mandal has been in the packaging industry for a long time. She is passionate about the innovative ways this industry comes up with. Currently, she is writing for To The Packaging about various packaging solutions.