Switching to sustainable practices has you thinking about reducing, reusing, and recycling. You want to change your packaging design to use as few materials as possible. If you can make do with sustainable raw materials ASAP, you’d do it.
The only problem is that it’s not practical. Rushing these changes is detrimental to your business, no matter how passionate you are about your newfound respect for the environment.
Transitions need to happen at a slow pace, and you have to begin with practical improvements.
Replace Old Machinery
It’s not enough that a machine gets the job done. It has to get the job done well.
One of the criteria for determining this is less waste. Cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverage industries know how much waste comes from spillage. If spills and drips have been an issue in your manufacturing floor for a while, it’s best to address those first with a new liquid-filling machine.
You reduce waste when you cut the time, effort, and possible product loss that comes with packaging. The same applies to your other machinery and to the areas where you’d do better to use machines.
Technology is your best solution to waste caused by human error. Upgrade your packaging process at a slow pace and ensure that your workforce is well-trained to use all your equipment. This is an excellent foundation for the sustainable practices you want to put in place in the future.
Maximize Stretch Wrappers
Waste doesn’t only occur during the packaging process. It’s a problem that incurs significant losses during shipment. When packages aren’t secured well, they’re at risk of damages in the course of getting to Point B. Extra shipping costs are the least of your worries. Damaged goods labeled unusable can end up community landfills. It’s the cheapest option available in dealing with these items, and it’s dangerous to the environment.
Landfills emit methane gas when the buried materials decompose. This gas traps heat and contributes to global warming.
While the problem is big, the solution is simple. Use stretch wrappers. Do away with the mountain of boxes you use to pack smaller boxes together. Stretch film does the job well while reducing the effort that goes into it. They’re also easier to store, and as in any warehouse, more space means more opportunities for profit.
Stick to a Preventive Maintenance Schedule
The most wasteful practice of all is neglect. Waiting until machines act up, equipment fails, or shelves break is a primary culprit in producing waste not only in materials but also in time and energy.
Prevention is key to any sustainable practice. Make it a part of your work culture to commit to the regular maintenance of every essential material on your manufacturing floor. While wear and tear are unavoidable, they’re easier to manage when you detect them early.
Assess what needs repair and what needs replacement. Dealing with this issue before it gets worse can mean the difference in your production and shipping costs in the future.
From here, you can work on applying further changes that will make your entire packaging more sustainable. It’s slow progress, from the basics to the more advanced, that helps your company adapt to this green decision.