The construction industry uses a huge amount of packaging, which is often non-standard packaging. Can it be recycled and reused? It turns out that proper analysis and planning will make it easier to implement a sustainable packaging cycle, which can bring with it colossal gains and a reduced carbon footprint.
Optimised packaging logistics in the construction industry contributes to the sustainable use of natural resources. With economic development and an increasing world population, our environmental footprint grows. It applies, for example, to the amount of wood used to manufacture pallets.
Five billion trees are planted every year, but 15 billion are cut down. It means that more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere than is captured. And this further accelerates the process of global warming. For example, a company with 200,000 pallets in circulation releases over 6,600.00 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. Given this massive scale of demand for raw materials, it is essential to reuse them, reducing the use of new wood. How can these solutions be applied to the construction industry?
Supply chains in the construction industry
Today, the construction industry is the world's largest consumer of building materials. This vast share requires taking responsibility for the environmental impacts of packaging by adopting a sustainable sourcing strategy.
It requires a change in the purchasing approach, as current material sourcing practices are based on economic aspects, neglecting environmental aspects. More often than not, material supply decisions are traditionally made and, unfortunately, overlook the opportunities that sustainable logistics offers.
This approach to pallets results in packaging getting "lost" instead of being recycled, left in the distributor's warehouse or the yard waste bin. A better solution would be proper planning to reuse packaging as often as possible.
Therefore, packaging recovery and conscious management of returnable packaging are crucial aspects of sustainable logistics.
What is packaging recovery, and how does it work?
Packaging recovery is a model for reusing packaging based on the principles of a circular economy. It means that you recycle your packaging and reuse it for subsequent deliveries. In this way, single-use packaging becomes returnable packaging.
Packaging recovery is not straight forward because pallets are distributed to many locations after use. When their construction is non-standard, they are often disposed of with other materials. Due to their non-standard specification, they can be a problem for the recipient of the goods, a sort of extra cost since they cannot be reused. Fortunately, this situation not only can, but actually should be changed.
Even those unusual packages, e.g, wooden pallets, can be collected from the place where they are finished being used. It could be the warehouse of a building materials distributor or even the construction site itself. Then the carriers transport the pallets to the warehouse of the operator of this process, where they are checked and repaired (if necessary). Good quality pallets are returned to the manufacturer's warehouse to be reused. When you recover more packaging, then don't need to order new packaging. It is estimated that a business can save up to 50% of costs on packaging alone!
Why use returnable packaging?
Saving raw materials and reducing CO2 emissions
Why buy new packaging if your current packaging can still perform its function? Every recycled package that can be reused reduces the number of natural resources needed to produce new packaging. In this way, you can reduce your carbon footprint and CO2 emissions by up to 70%!
It also turns out that regular maintenance and repair of packaging significantly increases the service life of pallets. And at the end of their useful life, wooden parts can be used as raw material to repair other pallets. In this way, we respect the materials by using them sparingly.
Rising inflation and energy prices for packaging are causing colossal price increases. Add to that recurring availability problems. By implementing packaging recovery, you become more independent of these adverse economic conditions and achieve up to a 50% reduction in packaging expenses. This value depends on several factors, but the more pallets you can recover, you will make more profit.
You can follow the exact calculations based on concrete examples from the construction industry in the latest issue of White Papers.
How to implement packaging recovery?
It is not that difficult at all. Here are the different steps of its implementation.
1. Our specialists will take a close look at your supply chain. We'll examine what packaging you use, how far it's transported, and in what condition it reaches your customers. We will suggest modifications to your existing packaging to accommodate the new packaging cycle, if necessary.
2. Furthermore, we will analyse the grid of your deliveries, their regularity, frequency, and percentage distribution. It will give us data on the cost of recovering them from your customers.
3. We will develop the best model for the recovery of your packaging, considering the financial and CO2 savings that can be achieved.
4. We can also implement packaging recovery from some of your customers, so you can see if this sustainable packaging cycle meets your expectations.
You don't have to worry about anything else. As a certified partner, we collect the packaging from your customer. They will be delivered to one of our service warehouses, where they will be inspected and, if necessary, repaired. If you need more packaging, meanwhile, you can buy it from your current supplier or place an order with us. The more packaging you recover, the less new packaging you will need to buy.
Reusable packaging's contribution to industry sustainability
Returnable packaging is an effective way to reduce waste from the manufacturing process. It eliminates the need to throw away unused material or product after its first use.
We have worked with hundreds of companies across Europe for years, streamlining their supply chains. You eliminate unnecessary processes like repackaging or waste disposal when you work with us. You receive your media ready for use when and where you require it - and we take care of cleaning, maintenance, repair, delivery, and collection, allowing you to concentrate on your core business.
If you want to see what savings are possible in your supply chain, don't hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to analyze and provide you with our findings free of charge to implement this sustainable solution in your company immediately.
Other blog articles related to packaging recovery:
- 5 steps to build a sustainable supply chain
- Green logistics - keep your packaging working for as long as possible
- Make a financial profit with returnable packaging
- Returnable packaging is the future of supply chains