The packaging industry footprint is shrinking. Responsible for its fair share of plastic use, the world of packaging is taking steps to reduce its footprint. 

Packaging Industry Footprint

As we discussed in Packaging Sustainability in the 21st Century, the packaging industry is a leader in plastic waste. Moreover, nearly 40% of professionals identified sustainability as a top challenge facing the industry. That being said, there are efforts well underway to address these pressing issues. 

Organizations such as the Sustainable Packaging Coalition are leading the charge to remove or reuse as much plastic as possible in the packing (and shipping) environments. Specific initiatives in place include: 

Packaging Industry Footprint: Mining for Reuse

Appealing to end-user organizations, SPC makes it easier for buyers to purchase and organize polymers for reuse. In doing so, they not only focus efforts on creating new demand but invest in technology for selling a better product. This includes better sorting technology, reprocessing technology, filtration equipment and developing recycled plastics to serve in the same capacity as virgin plastics. 

Sustainable Cold Packaging

We’ve all sent or received cold packaging, complete with the ice-filled plastic. Well as you’ve likely gathered, this isn’t the most eco-friendly option for cold packaging. And with the booming pharmaceuticals and meal kits fields, demand for cold packaging is skyrocketing. Making sure there’s an eco-friendly option is subsequently more important than ever. 

With its Cold Chain Packaging Working Group, the SPC is providing guidance for sustainable cold chain packaging. This guidance is focused on innovative opportunities valuing a material neutral, science-based, pragmatic, objective approach. This is an evolving dialogue on how sustainability and innovation in cold chain packaging should look. 

Initial Legislation Steps 

Supplementing these efforts is national and state legislation recently introduced for eliminating plastics. For example, Canada will completely ban single-use plastic bags by 2021. Additionally, California has become the first in the United States to ban plastic straws in restaurants. 

Contributing to clean efforts, the writing on the wall clearly reads “sustainability is our future” and the subheading indicates “plastics’ days are numbered.” If you’re a retailer and concerned with how you can help, eliminating your plastic use is a start. There are plenty of options, such as biodegradable cornstarch loose fill, wood pulp cellophane and simply using brown bag scrap paper. And many of the ecological options are the more economical options. 

Speaking of economical options, companies such as ShipTime aggregate data to find you the best shipping rates available. Working with the most accredited shipping providers, they also help you take the hassle out of your shipment operations with customer-centric services. 

Sourcing the best possible shipping rates, ShipTime provides all relevant shipping information on one screen. The ShipTime dashboard speeds your shipping quote with predefined box sizes. 

The ShipTime dashboard solution also provides predefined incentive rewards and the “My Pickups” functionality, allowing you to see scheduled pickups and times. They cover all your bases when it comes to efficient tracking and delivery.  

Learn more here.