Sustainable packaging is becoming an issue of interest not only for consumers, but for manufacturers as well.  There are now a number of industry working groups that are seeking more sustainable packaging options. 

By reducing packaging, more products can be packed into shipping cartons and more cartons onto pallets. This results in fewer truckloads and a corresponding reduction in the burning of fossil fuels as well as associated harmful emissions.

The reduction in material and energy costs can also result in a more cost effective purchase.

Large retailers, Walmart among them, are now setting packaging reduction goals and challenging their suppliers to meet them.  Large public procurements can do the same.

Things to look for:

  • Options to minimize packaging
  • Packaging made from recycled material
  • Packaging made from renewable material as opposed to petroleum based (i.e. straw as opposed to Styrofoam peanuts)
  • Reusable packaging
  • Vendor route optimization

Things to avoid:

  • Styrofoam
  • Clamshells
  • Plastics
  • Small, individually packaged items

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