Environmental packaging solutions
By Conrad Dykstra, Managing Director, Packline Solutions
Tuesday, 22 October, 2019
The Amazon effect has caused an exponential rise in the use of packaging and freight, and as a result, there is a need for environmental packaging solutions.
There are no hard statistics on how much of its waste Australia recycles, but it is estimated that we generate 50 million tonnes of waste per year and we recycle somewhere near 50 to 60% of this total. Packaging waste is a major contributor to landfill across the country, often straying into our waterways and oceans.
Australia has had to face the waste crisis head on after China announced that it will cease importing 1.3 million tonnes per annum of recycling material from Australia. Due to this crisis there has been a fundamental shift in thinking about rubbish as not a waste product, but a resource to be mined and absorbed into a circular economy, ie, recycled. The National Waste Policy 2018 was developed as a framework for action on recycling by all sectors of society.
With the rise and rise of e-commerce and the Amazon effect we have seen an exponential rise in the use of packaging and freight. The leftover waste from e-commerce transactions comes in the form of packaging waste. Most parcel material can be recycled but the negative environmental effect comes from using more packaging to return unwanted items and the CO2 emissions produced in transport of the returned goods.
Packaging, shipping and manufacturing industries produce a huge amount of waste. Pallets of goods are often prepared for transport wrapped in plastic and strapped down with either steel or synthetic strapping. The cost to companies in managing their waste is significant. If you could improve the amount of waste your company is generating you could claim significant savings, increase your eco-friendliness and boost your brand image favourably. Populations around the world are looking to their corporate citizens for environmental packaging solutions and action in the war on waste.
There have been some vital environmental packaging solutions in the packaging and shipping industries with minimisation of waste and improved recycling technology. Pre stretch pallet wrapping plastic such as Orbitwrap has been optimised to get more distance out of a roll especially if applied by a pallet wrapping machine, saving all that extra plastic. Pre stretch pallet wrapping, PET strapping and steel strapping are made from recycled materials.
Kraft Paper tapes such as BondTape are made from natural recycled material and are an environmental packaging solution to plastic tapes. BondTape can be recycled along with the carton, eliminating the need to remove tape for the waste bin, saving time and extra waste, and creating incentive to recycle.
Strapping including steel, PET, polypropylene and nylon strapping are fully recyclable and there are numerous companies who will happily collect these from your premises.
Corrugated cardboard pallets are strong and 100% recyclable and apart from being lightweight and affordable, reduce the cost of shipping compared to wooden pallets.
Durable plastic pallets that break less often than pine pallets can be re-used multiple times. Mono bubble wrap is designed to be recycled.
Biodegradable stretch wraps that break down to water and CO2 after 12 months are available on the market.
As well as reducing the impact on the environment, sustainable packaging can also boost a company’s bottom line by minimising the amount of waste sent to landfill, saving thousands of dollars per year.
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