Running a business that prides itself on being environmentally friendly can be a challenge, but when you are in the business of warehousing and shipping products in packages, your efforts can become even more of a trying thing. The fact is, there is a lot of waste in shipping processes because of the sheer amount of paper and packaging involved in daily operations. However, there are a few steps you can take to cut back on paper and packaging waste in your shipping facility that will not take a whole lot of extra effort.
Make the change to recyclable packaging and filler materials.
Instead of styrofoam packing peanuts to keep products protected, consider switching to paper filler or recyclable paper wrapping. Even some plastic filler material is recyclable, such as plastic wrap. Plus, you can switch to air-wrap packing, which involves filling recyclable plastic pockets with air to create a cushioned filler that provides incredible protection and rarely involves waste. Likewise, you should be using recyclable cardboard as shipping boxes. This way, whatever your customer receives can be recycled and whatever waste you have on a day-to-day basis can also be easily recycled instead of sent out with trash.
Make use of a wider range of shipping box sizes.
If all you have available for packaging outgoing products is a few box sizes to choose from, you will end up using far too much filler material to make the boxes better contain small or oddly shaped items. It is always best to go for a wide range of shipping box sizes so your employees will always have box on hand that is not too large or that does not leave a lot of empty space to be filled. This will prevent the need to use a lot of extra filler that will eventually just be tossed in the trash or recycled.
Invest in quality shipping materials.
From a business standpoint, it may seem logical to go with bulk quantities of paper and packaging materials for the lowest rate you can possibly find. However the lowest rate can also sometimes mean lower quality. In the end, you will be faced with much more waste with lower-quality materials because more of it could end up being of no use. For example, if you invest in the cheapest cardboard boxes you can find, you may see many of them damaged during handling and use, which will result in more waste everyday.