Reducing Landfill Waste with Returnable Packaging

In today’s increasingly globalized and fiercely competitive world, the ultimate goal of businesses in all sectors is to maximize profits while reducing expenses in manufacturing and shipping their products. However, in recent years, an increasing number of enterprises in the United States have become aware of their corporate responsibilities in acting as models for environmental protection and energy conservation. They have recognized and are now actively promoting the benefits of using returnable packaging. Returnable packaging, utilizing materials such as metal, high-quality woods and plastic, can be reused repeatedly. These durable materials enable returnable packaging to last many years, so that it is not uncommon for one returnable container to replace up to 50 expendable packages. By avoiding the use of expendable packaging, businesses are able to save a considerable amount of money on purchasing new packages and disposing of old ones. In the United States, most expendable packages, such as corrugated boxes, paper and disposable wooden pallets, end up in the landfills. According to statistics provided by the Clean Air Council, a Philadelphia-based non-profit environmental organization, almost one third of the waste generated in this country is packaging. Although American businesses use approximately 21 million tons of paper each year, only one-tenth of all solid waste in the nation gets recycled. Worse, according to WorldChanging, American businesses send hundreds of millions of wooden pallets into landfills each year, spending approximately one billion dollars in the process. If reports by this Seattle-based non-profit media organization are accurate, then about 40 percent of all hardwood harvested in the United States is for pallets, about two-thirds of which are used only once before disposal. Up to 25 percent of all wood in landfills is from used pallets. Much of this waste of paper and wood can be avoided if returnable packaging is used. Because a package reused is one less package that will end up in the landfills, the general cost, time and manpower required for packaging material disposal can be greatly reduced. Using high-quality wooden returnable packaging further reduces impact on the environment, as it is highly sustainable. Businesses are able to reap the benefits of promoting their policies to protect and preserve the environment. Finally, although initial costs for switching to returnable packaging can be significant, the savings businesses are able to generate over time is more than sufficient to justify the expenses. Industry experts such as Container Exchanger have proved that pay-off time for investments on returnable packaging is generally less than one year. This means that companies large and small can easily rationalize their capital expense and receive a relatively short return-on-investment. Enterprises of all sectors and sizes are urged to use returnable packaging, not only to reduce their operational costs and create savings in time and labor, but also to act as industry leaders in protecting the environment. Professional dealers such as Container Exchanger can help businesses analyze their manufacturing and shipping processes and select the kind of returnable packaging that best suits their needs. If you’re ready to start reducing landfill waste by putting resuable packaging to work in your business, contact Container Exchanger, the only marketplace you’ll need for recycling and repurposing containers, baskets, bins, totes, and pallets.  

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