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The Rise of Sustainable Packaging

THE RISE OF

SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING

IS IT TIME FOR YOUR COMPANY TO GET ON BOARD?

By now, it’s virtually impossible not to know the state of affairs when it comes to our planet’s sustainability problem. Overpopulation is contributing drastically to issues like carbon emissions, excessive deforestation, and global warming. There’s an unnatural demand being placed on irreplaceable natural resources, as well.
Worst of all, the consequences of living this way for so long are beginning to manifest to a greater degree every year. This is especially the case when it comes to the depletion of natural resources. Recycling, reducing, reusing, and repurposing have become the order of the day for absolutely everyone as everyday households have grown more eco-conscious. However, these are especially important concepts for businesses of all types and sizes.
Here we’ll take a closer look at reusable, sustainable packaging options as they relate to major companies today, as well as explore how making them a part of your own business model can benefit your company.

WHEN DID THINGS GET SO OUT OF HAND?

Although no one truly knows exactly when the current problems with sustainability really started, many experts theorize that it was at some point during the 1970s. That was the point at which human consumption of natural resources really began to exceed the planet’s ability to sustain it. The problem has gradually continued to worsen ever since, which brings us to where we currently are.
We are now in a deficit, as far as how much resource consumption the planet can realistically support. However, humans aren’t doing enough to get things back to where they need to be. Unless some serious changes are made, and made now, the future doesn’t look terribly bright for humanity as a whole. Making better, more environmentally conscious choices when it comes to packaging is an excellent place to start.
HOW CAN REUSABLE PACKAGING HELP?

Although no one truly knows exactly when the current problems with sustainability really started, many experts theorize that it was at some point during the 1970s. That was the point at which human consumption of natural resources really began to exceed the planet’s ability to sustain it. The problem has gradually continued to worsen ever since, which brings us to where we currently are.
Packaging is a lot more than a mere vehicle for your items, though. The right packaging protects goods of all kinds – especially delicate ones like glassware or electronics – from damage during transit. It ensures that products can be stored safely for as long as they need to be before distribution. When it comes to the food industry, packaging is even a huge part of preserving freshness and preventing spoilage. As you can imagine, that adds up to a lot of packaging being manufactured, used, and ultimately disposed of.
Right now, the vast majority of our packaging models are still based on disposable single-use options that are either thrown away or recycled after they’ve served their purpose. While recycling packaging waste most certainly is a step in the right direction, reusable options take things one step further. Reusable packaging is meant to be used multiple times over the course of many months or years. When it is no longer needed or wanted, it can be resold to other facilities or to suppliers that specialize in refurbishing and reselling sturdy, high quality packaging.
WHAT COUNTS AS “SUSTAINABLE PACKING”?
The term “sustainable” isn’t just an arbitrary one. There are certain criteria that packaging needs to meet before it can rightfully be considered sustainable. According to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), they are as follows:

  • The packaging in question must meet market criteria when it comes to both per formance and cost.
  • It must be deemed beneficial and safe for both communities and individuals over the entire course of its life cycle.
  • It must make use of only renewable energy when it comes to manufacturing, transportation, recycling, and so forth.
  • It must fully maximize the use of only recycled or otherwise renewable materials.
  • It may not be made or transported using technology not deemed clean and ethi cal.
  • It must be designed in such a way that it optimizes both material and energy.

Sustainable packaging options can also be ranked and compared to one another according to a number of criteria. These include, but are not necessarily limited to, cost-effectiveness, ability to fulfill specific mechanical requirements, and overall functionality.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF REUSABLE CONTAINERS FOR YOUR COMPANY?

If you’re unfamiliar with the types of reusable packaging in use today, then it’s understandable if you have a hard time picturing them. Many people automatically think of the large cargo containers found on freight ships and trains. While there certainly are freight-appropriate options available to today’s eco-conscious businesses, it’s important to understand that reusable packaging covers a lot more ground than that.
In short, there are as many different containment options out there as there are types of businesses out there. Whatever your product, there’s an option out there that’s right for your exact needs. Going reusable isn’t just great for the environment, either. It’s also fantastic for your bottom line.

1. SAVE MONEY ON PACKAGING COSTS

While it’s true that the up-front costs of reusable packaging options are probably going to be much higher than those attached to corrugated cardboard boxes and other common options, it’s important to consider the long term.
Reusable packaging doesn’t come attached to a recurring cost the way disposable options do, so they quickly pay for themselves. Plus, if you ever want to change things up when it comes to the packaging your company relies on, you can recoup some of the costs of your original materials by selling them back to a container re-seller and reinvesting your savings in your next set of options.

2. SAVE ON LABOR COSTS

Disposable packaging doesn’t just cost you more money in containment costs over time. You ultimately wind up paying more in labor costs, as well. Disposable containers ultimately need to be broken down and prepared for recycling by members of your workforce. Reusable containers help free your workers up for other tasks.
If you pay a disposal fee to a third party in order to have your broken down boxes taken away, you can save money there, as well. When you also consider the money you’ll save on the packaging, it’s not hard to see how reusable packaging can do a lot to improve your bottom line.

3. IMPROVE PRODUCT QUALITY

Traditional packaging options usually get the job done when it comes to getting merchandise to its destination in one piece. However, there are definite limits to how efficiently you can expect cardboard boxes to perform. There’s always the chance they’ll be dropped, mishandled, or exposed to moisture accidentally before they arrive.
Plastic totes, sturdy resin crates, and more are just as effective when it comes to containing your products. However, they’re a lot better equipped to stand up to potential abuse. Your customers are more likely to receive their shipments in pristine condition, allowing you to save even more money in product replacement costs. Your customers are sure to be impressed when they see you’ve gone the extra mile.

4.EXPAND ON HOW YOU DO BUSINESS

Reusable packaging is far from one-size-fits-all. As touched on above, there are near limitless options available to choose from. Safely transport just about any product with ease. Add to your catalog or your service repertoire with confidence, thanks to an expanded selection of containment options. You’re only limited by your own vision for your company’s future.

5.COMPLIANCE WITH WASTE REGULATIONS

There are many companies and businesses of all sizes that need to consider legal obligations when it comes to waste production and disposal. If this is a concern for your company, then it’s definitely in your best interests to consider adopting reusable packaging as an option. If it’s not yet a concern, then it’s nevertheless a great idea to think ahead and adopt clean, sustainable practices before it’s required of you, legally speaking.
Failure to fully comply with regulations isn’t just about facing legal penalties or steep fines. It’s also about your reputation. It’s never a good idea to let colleagues and customers think of your business as an entity that doesn’t care about the planet or about following the rules.

6.GAIN A NEW SELLING POINT

Regardless of the business you’re in, it’s simply not possible to underestimate how important environmentally safe business practices are to people today. Adoption of reusable packaging and sustainable business practices in general will allow you to portray your company as environmentally responsible to the general public.
People like to feel good about where and how they do business or spend their money. They want to associate with brands and products that are invested in making wise choices and doing the right thing. Why shouldn’t your company be the entity that gives people that feeling?

At the end of the day, you and your company only stand to benefit from making the switch to sustainable packaging. You’ll make more money, improve relations with your customers, and do your part to save the planet, all thanks to one simple decision.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING LOOK LIKE?

Environmental issues like climate change and depletion of the world’s natural resources are more than troubling these days. They’re very real concerns that need to be addressed right now. Modern businesses have an important part to play. They can either become a big part of the problem or a big part of the solution. Sustainable, reusable packaging is a wonderful way to be part of the solution.

Sustainable packaging is quickly becoming the new norm as a result. Within the last six years, the usage of sustainable packaging by businesses of all types has risen by more than 11%. These numbers are only expected to rise further as we move forward into a new future where environmental consciousness is more and more the norm, rather than the exception.

WHERE TO FIND THE BEST SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING OPTIONS

Realizing that it’s time to bring your company into the 21st century with reusable packaging options is a no-brainer. Figuring out where to get your supplies is another story altogether. Thankfully, the process has a lot in common with the process of choosing any other company with which to do business.

Start by choosing a company that’s been in business for a long time and which has a wonderful reputation to match. They should be experienced when it comes to offering solutions for businesses in your exact industry. They should have excellent ratings when it comes to organizations like the Better Business Bureau, as well.

You’ll also want to choose a retailer that buys packaging, as well as sells it, as this is the most environmentally responsible option of all. When you’re finished with your packaging or ready to make the switch to another option, you can sell it back to the same company you already know and trust. From there, it can be refurbished and resold to other companies that will make the same excellent use of it that you have.

Last, but definitely not least, look for an entity that really cares about their customers and which offers service to prove it – an entity like ContainerExchanger.com. ContainerExchanger.com offers an extensive variety of different containment options, and it caters to thousands of businesses across multiple industries. Whether you’re looking to outfit your office and stockroom or supply multiple shipping warehouses with exceptional packaging options, you’re sure to find the right solution for you. Explore the possibilities today!