A survey says that eCommerce plastic packaging will grow to an estimated 4.5 billion pounds by 2025.
With such growth, the impact on the earth's ecosystem will be tremendous.
If it is recycled, harmful gas released during the process will collapse the ecosystem. If left alone, it will occupy a large landfill or be washed away into the oceans and consumed by marine animals.
Now both consumers and businesses have become more aware of the trouble.
In fact, consumers prefer purchasing from brands that contribute to the wellness of the environment.
61% of online consumers consider the greenness of the brand's package design before making a purchase.
Plenty of businesses have started looking for an alternative to reduce packaging waste, ensuring the environment's safety.
If you're too looking for ways to reduce your packing waste, we have created this blog, listing the top 8 tips to reduce packaging waste and improve your business's efficiency.
Here are the top 8 tips to reduce packaging waste that will help you contribute to the environment and meet people's expectations:
An audit would help you assess where the wastage is high.
In that scenario, you can hire a consulting service to run a waste audit to determine the waste areas and look for improvement. This step will save you time and effort and give you complete data.
If you're a small retail store, hiring a consultant might look costly, so running the audit on your own eliminates that cost.
Here are the steps you need to follow to conduct an audit:
These steps will give you a keen insight into the materials that get wasted in high numbers and help you find a solution to reduce them.
Impeaching the concept of buying in bulk is a great way to improve revenue and profitability.
But, how can we reduce packaging waste using it?
When a customer purchases more than one product, you can pack all of them in one container and send it to them as one single package.
Well, most people might hesitate to purchase in bulk.
In such cases, you can approach the people - who buy from you regularly - with this concept. Since people, too, have the responsibility for environmental safety, they can understand and accept it.
If your customer is buying different products, you can request them to wait for all the purchases to arrive and send in one shipment. This can not only enable you to reduce packaging waste but also reduce people's shipment costs.
Selecting the right box is one of the best ways to reduce packaging waste.
There are occasions you might run out of the correct packing boxes. In such cases packing in a bigger package can lead to unnecessary emissions, extra weight, and cost to the merchant while shipping.
As you know, the shipping costs are based on the dimensional weight; extra size can cost you more.
This oversizing box can also lead to other trouble, product damage. Since the box size exceeds the product's, the chances of the product getting damaged during transit are high.
So, it is best to go for the correct size box.
Another negative factor is the box size variation can damage the brand value.
Make sure you have packing boxes ready for all your product sizes. Keep note of your packaging inventory and check it regularly to avoid such confusion.
Unlike plastics, biodegradable packages decompose and don't leave any toxins residuals behind.
These packaging materials are more eco-friendly and also seen as socially responsible in your customer's eyes.
Many fail to use it because of the cost of the material.
But, in the current scenario, the advancement and research development has paved the way for many cost-effective packaging products.
Some great biodegradable materials are corn starch, sugar cane, and mushroom insert.
Alternatively to plastic packaging and bubble wrap, you can use renewable alternatives like cardboard, paper bags, etc.
Implementing renewable and reusable materials to your business helps you reduce the usage of plastics that add to landfills.
Instead of using plastic bags, you can use cloth bags. Cloth bags can be costly, but you can request your customers to carry a bag to manage those costs, or you can charge them for it.
But, will cloth bags be suitable for the food industry?
How to reduce food packaging waste?
Many food delivery apps have started to encourage the use of paper bags as food packaging boxes for delivery. It sends a positive message to their customers about how much they care about environmental hazards.
Likewise, people selling clothes can use wooden, chrome, or paper hangers instead of plastic.
When using wooden, chrome, or paper hangers, even if it is damaged or broken, you can recycle and reuse them. But if a plastic hanger is broken, you can't do anything other than throwing it away.
Understandably, choosing reusable and biodegradable packaging alternatives can be costly.
However, the number of people purchasing products has also increased. To meet the demand and to ensure eco-friendliness, you have to come up with an idea.
So, the best way to make the packaging cost-effective is by encouraging the customer to reuse packaging.
People also wish to contribute to environmental safety and reduce environmental hazards. So, it is not an arduous task for you to educate or encourage them.
If you're packing with reusable bags and sending it to your customer, add a return label with the bag requesting the customer to resend the empty package once it arrives.
It might be challenging initially, but incentive programs like sending them promo code discounts after the arrival of the package will definitely encourage customers.
We are living in a social media age.
People instantly share things on social media, anything they find attractive and new.
This is an added advantage for your business.
Coming up with innovative packaging materials like biodegradable packaging alternatives or reusable material, and if you can show your creativity in it, people will love it and post it on their social media.
This improves brand awareness and conversion rate. Literally, it is a promotion to your business.
40% of online consumers say that branded packaging encourages them to share photos on social media and recommend products to friends.
Dell is a perfect example of creativity with materials.
They have reduced the box size by 15% to reduce excessive and non-recyclable boxes. A bamboo cushioned package design has been substituted for paper or bubble wrap to ensure the safety of their laptop.
Bamboo has great flexibility and enduring strength. Moreover, it is a renewable material that can eventually be translated into biodegradation. Using this type, they have reduced box size by 10%, saved 20 million pounds of packing, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 8%.
Surf online for the best packaging design to get an idea, or you can hire a creative agency to make it for you.
What most top retailers do is that when a product is slightly damaged, they tend to throw it away. This results in a massive amount of waste.
Unlike them, instead of throwing those materials away, you can use them to promote your business.
Either the product could be outdated or slightly damaged. You can sell them at a discounted price and market your brand. This could escalate your brand's image and even bring some revenue to your business.
Or else, you can offer it to charity. It will address your social cause. Now people expect brands to have some social responsibility to their name. This is a great social cause and will improve your brand value.
If not, you can offer it as a gift to your staff.
If this is not the right time, when will it be?
A product package is also marketing material. Starting from the outer look, your product should entice your customer.
Using the typical packaging or package design is not going to do the trick.
With your environmental well-being in mind, be creative and win your customer’s attention and heart.
Following the above given eight tips will ensure your longest brand value lifetime and profitability.
Reduce, reuse, and recycle.