The True Benefits of Reusable Packaging

The benefits of reusable packaging are tremendous. They can directly affect your costs and of course reduce the effect that your organization is having on the environment.

Most people do not really move through the work day and think about the bigger impact that their organization has on the environment, although the number of people that are thinking in those terms is growing.

Reusable packaging is actually a win-win situation for both your organization and the greater good.

We are going to take a look at how packaging affects the environment and how it affects your groups bottom line. You may be quite surprised to learn the truth about the benefits of reusable packaging.

First let’s look at how it benefits your organization and just leave the environment out of it.

Public Perception

How does the public view your business? While many businesses have not quite turned their focus 100% toward environmental issues, many consumers have. The way the public views your business is really the deciding factor as to how well your business will do.

More and more consumers are looking further down the supply chain to take a look at not only what the end product distributor is doing but what every company along the supply chain is doing. The pressure to move forward with improved practices is tremendous.

Improving public perception of your business can be as simple as using reusable packaging for your products. Showing consumers that you care about the environment just like they do will increase consumer loyalty.

If you are part of a supply chain the company that creates the end product will benefit from this simple step and of course increase their loyalty to you. It is a simply step to take to improve your relationships.

Effective Marketing Strategy

Changing public perception by switching your packaging to a reusable packaging is a great FREE marketing strategy. Both consumers and other businesses like the idea of being affiliated with a company that works hard to protect the environment. 

All the biggest corporations are taking advantage of this free marketing strategy. It is a really simple way to get some positive attention for your group.

Cost Effectiveness

Reusable packaging is cost effective. Is there are bigger benefit than saving money? When you reuse you reduce the need to spend on “one and go” packaging. You see a larger return on your investment but the cost effectiveness does not end there.

When you consider that traditional packaging options that have to be discarded requires manpower to manage you can see that cost effectiveness does not only come in the form of buying less.

It also comes from having to waste less manpower managing the destruction or disposal along the supply chain of this type of packaging. There is also a charge for hauling packaging off to the landfill.

The litany of savings is actually quite impressive. Every time you can save on any supply chain activity you should take the opportunity because the savings can really add up.

Lower functioning packaging is also less durable than reusable packaging. Reusable packaging is made to withstand multiple use while traditional one and go packaging is made for one time use which makes it less durable. The cost effectiveness can be extended to the reduced risk of damage to your goods.

Cost savings using reusable packaging is relevant to all of these activities:

  • Purchase less supplies
  • Reduce the cost of FUTURE waste liabilities
  • Reduce current costs of waste activities

It is estimated that a mid-sized company can save a lot of money when they choose reusable packaging. A good example of one company that reaped the benefits is Finelite Finelite is a global lighting company that is based in California US and has partners in China (that follow their lead on reusable packaging). 

Recently at the Pack Expo in Las Vegas US the company received an award in recognition of their superior packing uses from the Reusable Packaging Association (RPA). During the ceremony the following was revealed about the savings that this company was able to realize by using reusable packaging:

  • 53% ($9,100) cost savings by replacing shrink-wrap with reusable tarps
  • 40% ($8,400) material cost savings and 130 hr. of labor by replacing corrugated boxes with reusable/collapsible bulk containers and straight-wall crates
  • $10,800 cost savings in LED packaging material (bubble wrap and anti-static wrap) and 350 hr. of labor saved by eliminating unwrapping the packaging material

Annual environmental savings:

  • Eliminated 436 miles/6,000 lb. of plastic shrink wrap
  • Eliminated 14,700 lb. of corrugated cartons
  • Eliminated 4,200 lb. of bubble wrap

That is tremendous savings that can clearly save any business a lot of money. Keep in mind that this is considered a rather small business, a larger business would realize savings on a much larger scale.

It’s the Right Thing to Do

Next up we are going to go over some facts and figures about packaging and pollution.  It is no longer somebody else’s problem. It is everybody’s problem and governments around the globe are stepping in and passing regulations that will eventually force every corporate entity in manufacturing, no matter what type of manufacturing to use reusable packaging because it is the right thing to do.

Now the Environment

We are going to bore you with some sobering statistics just to bring the point home about exactly what it is that is stressing the plane out.

UNESCO keeps an eye on global environmental issues and they have recently released the following information:

On the ocean “There are now close to 500 dead zones covering more than 245,000 km² globally, equivalent to the surface of the United Kingdom Over 220 million tons of plastic are produced each year. The North Pacific Gyre, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, occupies a relatively stationary area that is twice the size of Texas. Waste material from across the North Pacific Ocean, including coastal waters off North America and Japan, are drawn together.”

Other facts include:

  • 80% of ocean pollution comes from packaging
  • 2/3 of landfill waste comes from packaging

There is a long list of all the pollution that traditional packaging causes, like a great carbon effect because it is discarded meaning more and more has to be produced. In other words, the more your company grows and uses one and go packaging the greater the demand is on the environment.

recycleSome of the predictions that are made by the experts are very dire indeed. There are warnings about climate change, food insecurity issues, asthma and other breathing disorders on the rise and a slew of other very dire consequences if we as a planet do not make some very necessary changes.

The environmental impact of using one and go packaging is not just about the waste. It is about the production and the effect that it has on the environment as well.

There is a long chain of problems that are associated with using one and go packaging that can all be avoided by switching to reusable packaging.

People are paying attention. Consumers, end users and even the government are all taking a much closer look at industry and the role it is playing in causing pollution and causing damage to the environment.

This is everyone’s problem. Some countries in the EU and other areas of the world have already took the bull by the horns in recognition of the serious nature of this problem and have passed very stringent regulations about packaging and handling.

It is only a matter of time before every other country follows suit and makes reusable packaging not an option but mandatory.

It’s Time to Change

All of this information is quite impressive and it all points to the benefits of reusable packaging so the question begs to be asked “why are you not using it?” Moving away from the one and go model to a more sustainable packaging option is good for business. It is good for the environment and it is good for your bottom line.

The problems are clear and what is even clearer is that the benefits of reusable packaging are the solution for a big part of the problems. We have the answer and now all we have to do is apply it.

You can make the choice now and get ahead of the regulations so that your organization is compliant long before it is mandatory to be compliant or you can wait and see what happens but if you do you will be way behind the power curve.

More and more companies are making the choice to save money and do their part for the environment.

If each industry did their part to reduce, reuse and recycle the pollution problem could end in a short period of time and the planet could start to heal.

Even if you removed the effect on the environment and looked closely at your bottom line that should be enough to produce change because you will see the savings. Every company has a moral responsibility to do their part. Are you doing yours?


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