Is sustainable packaging suitable for industrial sectors?

One of the rising trends in recent years is the use of sustainable packaging in consumer sectors such as e-commerce and the Horeca channel. This is because new generations of consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of packaging and are willing to support brands and companies that show such commitment to the planet.

However, how is this trend affected in the B2B and industrial sectors? Is it necessary to make many changes in operations to adapt to a different packaging than the traditional one?

If you want to know the key points of sustainable packaging within the B2B industry, take a look!

Overpacking or underpacking of products

When product or e-commerce distribution routes are not well defined, there is a risk of over-packing or under-packing orders. On the one hand, you are not promoting sustainability, wasting more material than necessary and, on the other hand, you would be leaving items too unprotected with the risk of being damaged.

However, there are products that must comply with current regulations that require overpacking, such as dangerous goods. For this reason, in operations involving packaging, picking and route planning, it is advisable to apply new measures to use the required amount of material, paying attention to the routes planned by a route optimizer.

One example that helps to avoid overpacking is cardboard boxes of various heights with adjustable volume to optimize space and material used.

Sustainable materials

It is already known that cardboard boxes are one of the most popular options for packaging orders, especially in e-commerce, in addition to the fact that this type of material is recyclable. But, within the more industrial sectors, what options are there to replace, for example, the plastic boxes in which food is loaded?

To this end, recyclable plastics made from recycled plastic or vegetable biomass have been developed with efficient designs that are resistant, light and space efficient. In addition, the Waste and Contaminated Soil Law has been updated to promote the circularity of materials.

póster isométrico de la línea de producción de la fábrica automatizada. packaging sostenible

Sustainability in the supply chain

While it is true that sustainable packaging is based on the packaging itself having the lowest possible environmental impact, either by applying the three Rs and being biodegradable, this commitment would be in vain if fossil fuels continue to be used to operate manufacturing, storage and transportation.

For this reason, the carbon footprint generated by the electricity used and the amount of such energy used must be observed. One example is to switch to the use of renewable energies, particularly those that allow the company to be autonomous, such as photovoltaic energy.

Another example is based on the reduction of resources and emissions such as the installation of LED lights in warehouses and switching from air transport to land transport due to its high CO₂ emissions.

Improving the life cycle of pallets

Pallets play a very important role in the storage and transportation of goods, mainly for their use in safely stacking inventory. While some companies give them a second life by repairing the pallets and sending them to appropriate recycling centers, there are others that are used on a "non-returnable" basis, i.e. they are single-use pallets that are kept by customers, who are responsible for their destination.

To do this, it is necessary to take into account the material of which the pallets are composed. Generally, the vast majority of them are made of 90-95% wood. However, it is necessary to take a look at the wood type used because each of them has certain characteristics that make them single-use or have a very short useful life.

Plastic pallets also boost sustainability due to their manufacture from recycled plastic, their greater durability and, of course, their ability to be recyclable. They are also the most widely used in the industrial sector due to their lightness and strength.

Conclusion

Many actions are being taken within many logistics sectors to maintain their commitment to the environment and advances are being made in eco-design to make this a reality. So, yes, sustainable packaging is also applicable for industrial and B2B sectors and more and more research is being done to ensure good service and respect for the planet.

At Hedyla, we are committed to sustainability with the help of logistics solutions that can reduce up to 30% of CO₂ emissions in transportation.

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