How to Use Less Plastic Packaging in Business

Has plastic become the enemy of society?

Plastic has been the go-to source for a myriad of products, whether it is for packaging products or storing food. However, our love affair with plastic has spawned numerous unintended consequences, mostly ones that are impacting the planet in various ways. The material is harmful for the world for various reasons:

  • 80% of plastic packaging is tossed in the trash after a single use.
  • Businesses use too much plastic packaging.

It is easy to say that businesses should stop utilising plastic for their packaging needs. But what is the practical alternative? Here are seven strategies on how to use less plastic packaging in the business world:

1. Invest in Sustainable Packaging

Businesses, both large and small, can invest in sustainable packaging options to transition away from plastic.

Here are a few considerations to make:

  • Paper
  • Beeswax-coated cloth
  • Seaweed
  • Mushrooms
  • Bamboo
  • Compostable

2. Buy Packaging in Bulk

Is it time to start buying in bulk? For the most part, bulk-orders require fewer amounts of packaging than if you purchased supplies in smaller quantities or individually. Moreover, buying in bulk can save you more money since vendors are willing to work with customers and come up with prices that benefit both sides.

So, there you have it: On one hand, you can cut down on plastic consumption. On the other, you can save some money by taking advantage of the bulk process.

3. Refrain from Over-Ordering Inventory

This is where you are stuck between being environmentally friendly and trying to grow your business: inventory management.

One of the best measures on how to reduce your plastic consumption is to refrain from over-ordering. This is beneficial because the less you order, the less packaging that is required to fulfill those orders.

Ultimately, avoiding over-ordering things you won’t ever use can help you cut back on your overall waste.

4. Sell Reusable Shopping Bags

A fantastic method of how to reduce plastic packaging is to sell reusable shopping bags, also known as canvas tote bags. This may come with some upfront costs, but you can recuperate the expense as you sell them in place of free plastic shopping bags.

Besides being environmentally friendly, another benefit of these tote bags is that they can promote your brand. Your business brand will be on display whenever customers bring the bags for their shopping trips or carry other items to their destinations.

5. Repair Things in Your Company

Let’s be honest: Too many things can break down in a business. You might feel compelled to replace whatever is broken down, since buying something new can often be the same price as repairing the item in question.

However, when you want to be more conscious of your impact on the planet, it is better to resolve the situation by remedying the issue. Whether it is with some good old-fashioned DIY mechanisms or hiring a professional repairman, this can cut down on waste, including plastic.

6. Reuse Your Shipping Materials

Do you ship items in your business? If so, perhaps you can reuse some of the shipping materials, especially from items you have bought from other sources. For example, when you get a box from Amazon, you will typically receive plastic bubble wrap. Why not reuse this material for your own shipments? This can not only save you money, but it will also allow you to repurpose the item without creating something new.

As we learn more about the harmful properties of plastics, society is trying to transition away from using this material in packaging. Whether plastic bag taxes or prohibitions on single-use plastic will have a discernable effect remains to be seen. That said, if there are reasonable and sustainable alternatives to plastic, even from a cost perspective, this could be a nudge in the right direction!