Reduce product packaging. Review all packaging specifications for redundancy and develop a policy that recommends or requires review of potential solid waste impacts of packaging requirements.
Use reusable packaging. Determine the cost-benefit of replacing single-use corrugated boxes in certain shipping operations with durable distribution packaging that can be reused hundreds of times. Several large manufacturers have established closed-loop distribution systems to reduce packaging, labor and waste disposal costs.
Reuse materials and packaging. Reuse pallets and other packaging materials, internally or donate these materials for reuse by others.
The decisions you make on packaging size and type, as well as shipping specifications, impact waste generation at wholesalers, retailers and consumers. Your customers also want to reduce waste disposal costs. Consider this when making packaging decisions.
Honeywell, which manufacturers gas control valves units at its Tijuana facility, ships parts and products to and from other Honeywell facilities in the U.S. in reusable plastic totes.
Corporation Asahi, which repairs and refurbishes telephone answering machines, secures products on pallets with reusable plastic straps and metal clips, thus reducing new plastic strapping and shrink-wrap purchases and cutting these wastes by 40%.
Modify supplier/vendor contracts by adding “affirmative procurement,” “packaging reduction,” “recycled content,” and “design for recycling” requirements.
Develop a facility-specific affirmative procurement program to increase purchasing of recycled-content products, such as cardboard and white paper. Buying recycled products (”closing the loop”) is the best way to expand markets for recycled materials and to reduce their costs.
Purchase less or non-toxic materials, such as non-lead solder and flux.
Order supplies by voice-mail or electronic-mail, and order in bulk and concentrated form to reduce excess packaging (e.g. janitorial supplies and cleaning materials).
Office Paper Use
Implement two-sided photocopying with copiers that have this capability.
Reuse one-sided copies by using the clean side for note pads, distribution lists, and fax cover sheets.
Maximize the use of electronic messages. Review and maintain documents on computer disks rather than printing out multiple hard copies.
Eliminate unnecessary forms. Redesign them to fit on a half sheet.
Reuse envelopes or use two-way envelopes.
Lambda, a Tijuana plant that manufacturers capacitors and other electronic components, has a recycled products purchasing program for paper and cardboard.
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