Producing less waste is good for the environment, we all know that. At home we may express environmentally friendly behavior by putting a “no-no sticker” on our door, or taking a shopping bag to the store. But how can industries reduce packaging and transport and contribute to sustainability at the source? Here are 5 simple tips for sustainable product packaging, applying value and cost engineering simultaneously.
Levels of packaging
Packaging products has four different levels:
- Level 1 primary box to the product
- Level 2 export carton for transport
- Level 3 pallet
- Level 4 sea container
Tip 1: Make your products stackable
Design your product so that it is stackable.
This modification will have a major impact on the costs for all levels mentioned above. Packaging can be eliminated, or heavily reduced, leaving the product function intact. Modify and adjust to eliminate!
Tip 2: Recycle
Apply recycled packaging material and recycled paper. Not only a more environmentally friendly solution, but also a clear customer message that you are serious about sustainability. Recycle!
Tip 3: Re-useable pallets or slip sheets
Use or re-use pallets or replace them with a “slip sheet”.
“Slip sheets” are made from recycled material and take up less space so that more can be put in a sea container. Re-use or substitute!
Tip 4: Avoid plastics
We want to reduce our plastic soup mountain, so eliminate the plastic bags that are still often used for cables and products and often have no noticeable function. Eliminate!
Tip 5: Make a bulk package
If your products are produced and shipped in large quantities, discuss whether transport in bulk packaging is an option. This may lead to a win-win situation by saving packaging and saving unpacking. Combine!
Stephan van den Oever