DS Smith Tailor-Makes Boxes To Reduce Packaging Waste
Packaging and recycling company DS Smith will be trialling a machine that can create boxes to fit the specific dimensions of particular products, following an industry-wide trend of eliminating unnecessary packaging, The Financial Times reported on Monday.
Its machine is less wasteful, able to tailor-make packaging, and could cut shipping costs for retailers by half. It can produce 1,000 bespoke boxes per hour – about a tenth of the speed of a traditional box-making machine.
Excessive packaging is an environmental and logistical problem for many retailers. Online retailers, such as Amazon, often get criticised for sending small items in swathes of bubble wrap and oversized boxes.
“For an e-retailer with a reasonable range of products to sell, it is very difficult to stock enough different sizes of standard cartons to cover all the possibilities without having some wasted space at least some of the time,” the publication quoted DS Smith chief Miles Roberts as saying.
Empty space in packaging takes up extra room on transport trucks, costing retailers more to ship, as pricing is based on volume, rather than weight.
If the technology is successful, such machines could become more mainstream, as the online shopping industry tries to reduce its environmental impact.
One packaging initiative that has been previously successful in diminishing waste has been returnable plastic transit packaging, which consists of reusable containers that are shipped, sent back to suppliers to be cleaned, and then reused.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Karen Henderson. Click subscribe to sign up for ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.