6 Tips to Choosing Packaging Materials for a Green Supply Chain

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A whopping 70% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable goods. It’s no wonder that so many retailers and manufacturers are trying to reduce their impact on the environment. If your company is looking to reduce waste and be a part of what’s known as the green supply chain, you need to limit your use of disposable packaging materials like plastic wrap, packing peanuts and cardboard boxes.

Learn how to choose packaging materials for a greener supply chain.

1. Store Liquid and Dry Materials in IBC Totes

If your facility uses large quantities of liquid to manufacture your products, store these materials in IBC totes instead of gallon containers and bottles. IBCs come with a metal coating that protects the container from damage. This reduces the chances of spills and leaks. They also have built-in sprouts, so you can take as much or as little as you need without wasting precious resources. 

Shop New and Used IBC Totes

2. Find IBC Totes Online to Reduce Waste

row of ibc tanks half filled

3. Ship and Store Your Goods in Bulk

Loading and unloading your packages is so much easier when your workers can move goods in bulk. You can store dozens of smaller packages and containers inside a large one that can be moved using a lift truck. Your team can move hundreds of pounds of cargo in just a few minutes. 

Find collapsible containers that fit onto a pallet for more peace of mind on the road. Your team can quickly attach and secure the container to a pallet using ratchet straps instead of trying to shrink wrap packages together. 

These containers are designed to help you save space in your warehouse or on the delivery vehicle. Your workers can quickly fold them up when they aren’t in use or deploy them when new orders arrive. This makes it easy to keep track of which items have been delivered.

4. Utilize Reusable Plastic Pallets 

Wooden pallets use precious natural resources. Trees are our best defense against climate change, so do your best to avoid products made with wood. Wood pallets are reusable, but they tend to break apart over time. They can also spread debris in the workplace, while reducing air quality.

Plastic pallets are designed to last a lifetime. The pallet won’t lose its shape over time or spread debris for a cleaner workplace. Use plastic pallets to keep your goods secure on the road. 

You can also find used pallets for sale online if you are looking to save as much money as possible. These pallets tend to be much less expensive than new pallets. Just wash them off and they will be good to go.

consumer recycling goods in bins

5. Find Materials That Can Be Upcycled

Everything that your warehouse produces should be completely recyclable, including your packages, but your customers may also be interested in upcycling these goods as well. Chances are they can use your containers for other purposes, such as storing personal items or saving leftover food. Find packaging materials that have a life beyond their initial use to add value to your products. Encourage your customers to reuse these items in unique ways. 

6. Create a Container Return Program

Reusable containers can help you improve efficiency, reduce waste and lower the cost of shipping. You won’t have to worry about ordering more shipping supplies every time you need to send out an order. But that’s only if you get your old containers back.

If you plan on reusing your containers more than once, set up a container return program. Create incentives for your customers to return the empty containers. For example, they might get a discount or free refill by bringing the container back. All you have to do is refill the container and send it back out for delivery. In other cases, the delivery driver can pick up the empty container when they deliver another item, but this will only work for repeat customers. Set up a loyalty program to encourage your customers to keep coming back for more.

The supply chain is going green. If you are still using disposable packaging, it’s time to start storing your goods in reusable containers. Use these tips to find the right materials for your products.


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