7 simple processes that minimise waste
The frenzy of holiday season buying and gifting has started. But this year, more than ever before, customers are aware of the environmental consequences of the products they purchase and the brands they choose to support.
Small businesses need to reimagine how they package and ship each order, ensuring that every component minimises waste to remain relevant and competitive in this evolving space.
There are several ways for businesses to champion this shift away from mindless consumerism and help their community migrate from single-use items to more circular and sustainable shopping habits.
- Reuse your supplier boxes
Adding theatre to the unboxing process has become a recent trend in product orders. While visually appealing, this practice is not good for the environment. Instead of manufacturing branded packaging specifically for customer orders, businesses can repurpose the boxes they receive from other shipments and suppliers. These may not look as pretty as purposefully created packaging, but eco-aware customers will appreciate the effort to reduce unnecessary waste.
- Review customer packaging
Often, there’s a needless amount of packaging passed on to customers over the counter at the time of purchase. Take stock of the boxes, tissue paper, and bags given to each customer with their purchase and assess if this is necessary or merely for show.
- Offer a refill policy
Depending on your business, it may be an option to package consumable products in refillable or recyclable containers. Offer customers a discount on their next order if they bring their empty containers back to be refilled or recycled. This approach can be a highly effective way to promote repeat business and customer loyalty.
- Make e-commerce eco-conscious
Offering a shipping option has become an essential part of running an online business, but product packaging significantly impacts the environment. There’s a massive amount of plastic waste that is sent out with each standard product order. Avoid excess packaging and keep boxes as light as possible by steering clear of extra bubble wrap or boxing. Whenever possible, send electronic receipts instead of a printed packing slip in the box.
- Compostable mailers
An effective way to minimise plastic is to ship items in compostable mailers. This packaging is made from plant-based materials and can be thrown into the compost after it has reached its destination. Because We Care’s Compostable Mailbags provide an easy like-for-like replacement for traditional courier bags. Made from corn starch, they have been certified for European (EN13432), North American (ASTM D6400) and Australian home (AS5810) and commercial (AS4736) composting. Using a compostable mail satchel is a giant step small businesses can take toward sustainability in product shipments.
- Ship in bulk
Bulk ordering presents better value for your customers, and it’s better for the environment too. Businesses can consider bundling individual items into larger quantity packs to encourage customers to plan for future use. They may even split the order with friends and family members to avoid the need for separate shipping.
- Reduce carbon emissions
Reduce the footprint associated with shipping by choosing a postage partner that offers carbon-neutral operations. Businesses can also activate their own carbon offset program by balancing activity with investments in environmental projects. This type of scheme gives customers the option to offset their emissions and help reduce the environmental effects of shipping.
There are many ways for busy businesses to reduce their impact, and every small action supports the global mission for change. So, whether you choose to implement one or more of these eco-friendly practices into your current shipping processes, you’ll be starting the journey toward a more sustainable business this festive season and beyond.