Packaging Machinery

The role of packaging machinery in sustainability and waste reduction

4 mins

For businesses across all sectors, sustainability is no longer an afterthought or ‘nice-to-have’. As a result of fast-evolving consumers behaviours (and changes in government legislations) sustainability has become a crucial business quality that shapes credibility, brand image, and even commercial capabilities.

Businesses that take sustainability seriously not only benefit the environment, but benefit their bottom line too. That’s why it’s a key strategy in many business growth plans.

In this article, we explore the role of packaging machinery and how it can help your business become more sustainable.

1. Reduced material usage

One of the biggest environmental issues worldwide comes from packaging waste that ends up in landfills. In fact, the EU reported almost 80 million tonnes of it in 2019 alone. There’s no denying that packaging waste has a massive impact on our environment.

The good news is, though, more and more consumers are becoming aware of the environmental impact of packaging and are actively seeking out sustainable products, as well as brands to purchase from. A major study that involved more than 11,700 people across 19 countries shows that nearly 90% of global consumers are seeking out more sustainable options.

So, how does packaging machinery come into this?

Quite simply, packaging machinery can help reduce the amount of material used in your packaging operation, which results in a more sustainable approach. Here’s an example.

The manual wrapping of a pallet with stretch wrap can be inefficient and wasteful. No matter how experienced the warehouse operative may be, it’s impossible to match the performance of an automated stretch wrap machine. Providing a tighter, more consistent wrap, not only can a stretch wrap machine reduce waste, but maximises the load security of your pallets as well.

Stretch wrap machine can pull your plastic stretch wrap to between 200% and 300% of its original size. This means that a stretch wrap machine can be up to 3x more efficient with materials than wrapping by hand.

2. Increased productivity

Closely linked to the point above, the use of packaging machinery can also significantly increase the speed and efficiency of your packaging process. With an investment in automated machinery, operations can take place at a faster and more consistent rate. But how does this effect the sustainability of your business?

When using automated machinery, some may benefit from sensors and other technologies that reduce the amount of energy used during the packaging process.

The increase in productivity also frees up time for employees. Time can then be allocated to other areas of the business to further support sustainability initiatives.

3. Optimised pallet loads for shipment

Since 1970, CO2 emissions have increased by about 90%. A large contributor to this is transportation, which equated to a total of 24% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions reported in 2020.

And did you know? The UK sees an average of 11,427,397 parcels delivered per day. That’s 476,141 per hour, 7,936 per minute, and 132 parcels every second!

Deliveries are a major part in the transportation sector, and the optimisation of pallet loads can play a significant role in reducing emissions. By maximising the utilisation of each shipment, trips can be cut down for a reduction in your business’ carbon footprint. But where does packaging machinery come into this?

Strapping and stretch wrap machines can be used to optimise the load of your pallets efficiently. This means greater load containment and stability on all pallets and deliveries, reducing the likelihood of damage to products during transit.

As a result, fewer damaged returns from customers and therefore fewer trips that need to be made - A win-win situation!

Packaging machinery from Swiftpak

At Swiftpak, we have a large range of cost-effective packaging machinery aimed to increase productivity, packing quality, and the sustainability of your operation. These include machines for pallet wrapping, strapping, taping, airbag, void fill and shredders.

For more information on our packaging machinery, speak to one of our experts today, we’d love to let you know how your business could benefit from one of our solutions.