Smart Tips for Eco-friendly, Cost-effective Shipping
Shipping is the lifeblood of the modern economy, vital for businesses to stay active and meet the demands of their clients. Often, in the rush to get products out, shippers will overlook practices which may be considered greener, for shipping practices that are easier because “it’s the way it has always been done.” In a world of limited resources, this is an attitude that businesses will have to get away from. It will become ever more important to choose environmentally-friendly shipping practices while also keeping costs down. Here are a few tips in the right direction.
Choose the right size shipping container
Sometimes, shippers find themselves limited by the size of boxes they can use to ship their products. For example, they can have a product that is about 2 cubic inches, but their smallest box is a cubic foot. This equates to 1,726 cubic inches of wasted space. It also equates to a lot of extra cardboard as well as extra packaging material inside to keep the nut, or bolt, or whatever it is from bouncing around. The importance of having the right size shipping containers in stock is crucial for preserving resources and cutting costs.
Choose sustainable packaging materials
Recycled cardboard and paper for shipping are available for the same price as brand new materials. Available recycled materials include corrugated boxes, paper & plastic mailers, packaging papers and cushioning, and padded mailers.
There are no laws in the United States mandating the use of such materials. However, the European Union has passed a measure in 1994 known as the Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste (94/62/EC). This directive harmonized actions taken by EU nations to promote reuse and recycling and to manage packaging and packaging wastes. Packaging waste represents 17% of Europe’s municipal waste stream, but this number had previously been much higher. Similar numbers are likely in the US. As in Europe, the percent of packaging going to landfills in the US can be significantly cut with the adoption of sustainable materials and remembering to recycle.
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by David Gabel