The increasing problem with excess packaging

I have recently noticed through my own experience, (aswell as customers and friends pointing it out) that there seems to be a problem with packaging when businesses send out goods. There is just too much of it! Take one item I had delivered which was no bigger than half the size of a standard ruler – that came in a massive box, with enough packaging to suit that large item which should have been in the box! In this article we’ll take a look at how excess packaging affects the courier industry.

As same day couriers we will tell you clearly that packaging is a fine balance and a delicate question. Too much of it is excessive, wasteful, and not necessary. However, when it comes to sending or transporting items, too little packaging can be equally as bad, because it risks the items becoming damaged or broken. The ideal is to get a box just a little bigger than the actual item itself. This will allow packaging to fill the small empty space left and also act as cushioning for the items. Sometimes people send small items in massive boxes because they are running out, and these are the only ones they can find. However, with a bit of thought and planning, forward thinking when it comes to packaging can really help in multiple ways.

In 2016 it was estimated than nearly 11.5 tonnes of packaging material was wasted. The good news is that nearly three-quarters of this was recycled or reused, but that still leaves a big chunk that wasn’t. Imagine how much of this was unnecessary packaging like we have referred to in this posting. Addressing this could cut down the waste even further making a big difference. A further research study was done in 2019 which showed that over 80% of the 2,000 people interviewed thought that businesses use far too much packaging when it comes to sending items. What was interesting was that the same study found that over 30% of people would be discouraged from using an organisation again which uses a lot of packaging. This proves that the public and consumers do have these types of sustainability and environmental factors on their mind, so companies must hear what is being voiced.

The thing that a lot of people don’t realise is that more packaging and bigger boxes aren’t just a waste for the obvious points we have mentioned above. Bigger boxes which are unnecessarily so, take up a greater amount of space on courier vans. This means that there is less room available, meaning prices could be higher as there is a greater ‘supply and demand’. It also means that more fuel is used, having a greater impact on the environment. Bigger boxes with more packaging (and thus weight) can also attract higher prices in terms of delivery charges, so there is a definite money aspect to consider too.

What can be done?

  • Only use appropriate size boxes and packaging amounts. It is relatively simple, aswell as better for the business and customer.
  • Turn to more green and recyclable forms of packaging, which at least means that something positive can be done with them after you have finished using them.
  • Rather than throwing packaging away, consider storing some of it so you can reuse it later. You would be surprised where boxes and packaging could come in handy. This could also save you a few pounds too.

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