Did you know that of all of the solid waste that accumulates in municipal waste streams, packaging waste accounts for more than 40 percent!? As per the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), consumers, business owners, and industrial organizations (manufacturing, etc.) create about 75 million tons of packaging and container waste each year. However, only about half of that waste is recycled. That means that roughly 37 million tons of packaging waste will end up in landfills across the globe every year. Sadly, a lot of that waste sits there for decades, if not centuries. A majority of the materials that companies use to package products are not biodegradable; plastic wrap, Styrofoam, and packing peanuts, for example. How can companies eliminate or reduce their packaging waste as consumers choose to support more environmentally conscious brands?

How Can Packaging Materials Be Reduced?

Of all of the concerns that 21st-century business owners face, packaging waste sits high on the list of priorities. Fortunately, many companies are looking for creative ways to reduce the amount of packaging waste they generate. Instead, brands are choosing to promote sustainable, environmentally friendly packaging materials.

If you own and operate a business and you’re seeking ways that you can minimize the packaging waste that your operation generates, here is a look at some great suggestions that you can implement that will make a big difference.

Make use of recyclable and reusable materials

If you want to reduce the amount of packaging waste that ends up in landfills, ditch traditional materials, such as plastics and Styrofoam. Instead, use as many recyclable and reusable materials as possible. Cardboard and paper are two of the best examples, as they can be easily be repurposed for other uses. For example, you can use cardboard boxes to store office equipment or package and ship out customer orders. Using recyclable and reusable materials allows you to minimize the amount of packaging waste that you’re contributing to landfills.

Promote minimal amounts of packaging materials

Invest some of your operating budget to develop packaging solutions that do not utilize a lot of materials. More is not always better. Sometimes a simple solution is the best solution. When it comes to reducing packaging materials, that’s certainly true. By using minimal amounts of materials to ship out the products that you sell, or ship out, you’ll not only be helping the environment, but you’ll also be helping your pocket. Minimal materials mean fewer expenses.

Utilize sustainable raw materials

Source sustainable materials for your packaging needs. Find materials that originate from sustainable resources; bamboo, cotton, and hemp are excellent options. These materials are produced quickly and don’t require a lot of resources to produce. Best of all, they’re recyclable.

Look for biodegradable materials

Opt for packaging materials that are biodegradable. For example, corn-based plastics will biodegrade in composting facilities. Use packaging materials that will break down and nourish the environment so you don’t have to worry that the materials you are using will still be sitting in landfills generations from now.

Stretch wrapper for safety

If you move products around your business, use stretch film instead of packaging those items in multiple boxes. Not only will you save on packaging, but you’ll save energy as well.

Train your employees about recycling

Last but certainly not least, make sure that you take the time to train your staff on the importance of recycling. Develop a set of rules that you would like all to abide by. Teach your staff those rules so that they can help in your effort to reduce the amount of waste that your firm is producing.

Additional helpful reading: Why You Need to Offer Sustainable Packaging — and How to Do It Right

What can Fortress Nutrition LLC do for you?

Rest assured that you’re in good hands with Fortress Nutrition. To learn more about how we tailor our blending, ingredient sourcing, logistics, consumer packaging, and other services to meet customer needs, and find out how we can partner with you to ensure compliance with new GMO laws, contact us today.