David Roberge

By: David Roberge on December 3rd, 2015

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Reducing Packaging Material For Savings And More

Packaging Materials | Environment | The Business of Packaging

The opportunities to reduce packaging costs and to reduce the number of packaging materials required for your products are ample, but sometimes you need to be a little (or a lot) creative. Reducing costs through smart packaging design provides several benefits not only for your brand but also for the environment and the consumer.

While your brand saves money and reduces its environmental impact, there is an opportunity to also reduce your in-store footprint, taking real advantage of the highly coveted and very limited shelf space. At a 10,000' level, here are some of the options you have for packaging material reduction:

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Material Changes

Have you looked at your packaging film? A change in the type of material, for example, can provide a reduction in material because polyolefin shrink films are more durable, and cross-linked film offers a larger yield per roll and a reduction in your overall packaging costs. Example: PVC to polyolefin.

A simple reduction in the film gauge you use, thanks to the newer, stronger, and thinner formulations available, can reduce material usage and reduce costs while still providing the product security required for your product. Check out our blog on the characteristics of shrink film for more information.

Similar benefits can be obtained by addressing other materials such as corrugated, stretch film, blister packaging, and more. 

Shelfspace - Footprint Reduction

Sometimes people use over-packaging for theft prevention. Sometimes over-packaging is used to get the customers' attention or to present the sales message accurately. Have you given thought to your use of more packaging than necessary for your product?

Sometimes simply reducing the size of the package can reduce your product footprint on the shelf. This creates a more desirable, place-able item for your retailers' already limited shelf space and reduces your cost of product placement while also giving the consumer a more environmentally and space-friendly package to bring home.

A QR code might provide the additional marketing space you need to get your message across or a change from additional labeling to a printed film that holds all of your required labeling and brand messages right on the film.

Radical Packaging Change

While many of these changes are not truly radical, they are truly significant. There is an opportunity for tremendous materials savings when corrugated is replaced by a plain or printed shrink film. Thanks to the durability of polyethylene films, they can handle a load of heavy products without the need for a corrugated tray.

One of our large consumer goods manufacturing customers was looking to reduce its own packaging material for increased efficiency, lower costs, and corporate responsibility. We were able to find drastic savings for them by looking at their use of corrugated and the capability of stronger polyethylene film to take its place.

By removing the corrugated tray from their packaging and simply using a strong printed shrink film, they significantly reduced their packaging costs with a huge reduction in corrugated spending, as well as their spending on added labeling, packaging machinery, and labor costs! If you are using corrugated trays, ask yourself if you really need the additional support, or work with a packaging professional to identify opportunities like the one mentioned above

Glass to Flexible Pouch

Another great example of radical packaging change reducing costs can be found with another customer of ours. A pickling company was working with large glass jars for their food product, and they were spending heavily on their freight costs. We worked with them to design an appealing pouch that not only saved them well over 40% in shipping costs but also reduced their product footprint and, in turn, allowed them even more shelf space. Not to mention the visual and consumer-friendly appeal, gaining a lot of added retail visibility.

In addition, the reduction in floorspace used between the glass jar packaging and the new pouch is awe-inspiring. If you want to work with an innovator in packaging, get in touch with our team.

Find the balance between cost reduction, package integrity, and customer acceptance when looking at reducing packaging material. We have lots of ways to help you do that. 

If you want to know more about how to save on your packaging costs, download our Shrink Wrap Cheat Sheet by clicking below:Industria

About David Roberge

I am grateful for my 9 years as part of the outstanding Industrial Packaging team. I was able to hang out with some of the most knowledgeable folks in the packaging industry. I feel even luckier that I was able to share that knowledge with you. I love learning, hiking, and growing people and teams both personally and professionally, and helping companies grow better.