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Waging war on packaging waste

2016-08-04 | Rebecca Tunstall

Tons of packaging is wasted every day. And companies such as Amazon have been under fire for using excessive packaging for the postage of their products. Not only is this frustrating their customers, but it’s a big environmental issue, too. Here’s how they plan on rectifying the situation.

You may have recently seen the third episode of Hugh’s War on Waste on BBC One. In it, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall visits Amazon to talk about the abundance of complaints they receive about their packaging waste, in the form of boxes that are unnecessarily big for their contents.

Spoilers aside, during this episode of Hugh’s War on Waste, Amazon’s current Cubi Scan technology system is shown picking a large box for a small white tub. However, as pointed out by Hugh, it’s clearly able to fit into a much smaller box. Their regional operations director, Nicola, argues that the item is ’at risk of getting damaged’ if the packaging is ‘too flush’. Amazon’s global head of sustainability adds ‘in the majority of cases we are getting it right.’

But the amount of Twitter complaints and videos circling the internet suggests that they are likely to admit it’s something they – and a lot of other companies – need to get better at.

Weight, volume, and the ability to recover or reuse are all key factors in reducing packaging usage. The reduction of packaging waste is crucial for the survival of our planet. It also makes your customers happy. But making sure boxes are highly configurable or customisable can be a huge challenge. So what’s the solution?

Companies typically save up to 80% when utilising a box on demand or box resizing system, and with the 2015 dimensional weight pricing changes, can save even more on shipping costs by using the right sized box for every shipment.

Designed to ease the headache, Box On Demand reduces pack sizes to the specific dimensions of each product, which means less wasted cardboard and fewer vehicles needed to make deliveries. The creators claim it’s the quick, cost-effective way to produce custom corrugated packaging in your own facility. Because you’re able to order raw, un-converted corrugated, your packaging costs are consistent across configuration, quantity, or design. Using the right-sized box for your orders improves product protection and reduces the need for expensive void fill, which can take up valuable space. All this, while reducing packaging waste.

Something like an automated void reduction system such as BoxSizer or the B+ machine also lets you reduce the range of cartons you need to keep stock, as well as reducing the need for void fill.

Here’s an overview of the top 10 benefits of this multi-award winning BoxSizer machine:

  1. Reduces the volume of random packaged goods and excess packaging material for exceptional cost savings
  2. Uses and reduces standard RSC/HSC or FEFCO 0200/0201 boxes
  3. Improves package presentation through automation
  4. No need to rationalise your current box selection – use your existing standard boxes
  5. Allows you to maximise your labour usage
  6. Data to monitor and improve performance – the system will integrate into your warehouse management system
  7. Improve space utilisation – more boxes per pallet and per lorry
  8. Overall increase in efficiency
  9. Reduces carbon emissions
  10. With the added checkweigher, the BoxSizer can automatically determine to ship via weight or volume.

For more information on specific products, view our brochure here

Want to learn more about how to reduce your packaging waste and save on warehouse space? Download this free warehouse space optimisation infographic.


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