- Albertsons Companies pharmacies expects to save "75,000 pounds of packaging from the landfill every year," by changing the packaging they use for shipments according to a company press release.
- The company is replacing Styrofoam coolers with an insulator called ClimaCell made by TemperPack, making the company's shipment packaging completely recyclable.
- The packaging will be used for shipments to almost 50,000 specialty care patients, physician offices and other clients beginning this month. A more expansive rollout is planned "over the next year," the company said.
Packaging is the last thing the supplier sees and the first thing the customer sees, but it is often an afterthought.
Too many products come across the receiving dock poorly packaged. They show up in corrugated boxes that are incorrectly sized in dimension or thickness. Internal packing material like Styrofoam peanuts, shredded newspapers, bubble pack and sawdust can cause quite a mess during the unpacking process. It is also a challenge to dispose of or recycle these materials.
With the increase in online shopping, consumers are now fully experiencing an onslaught of corrugated boxes, padded envelopes, and disparate packaging products. They are experiencing the challenges faced by business: How do I get rid of this packaging material?
Reducing or eliminating the need for packaging is one area for improvement. Companies with regular deliveries of products often work with their suppliers to ship in reusable containers, eliminating the need for disposable packaging. Some companies have specific packaging requirements that address product safety, cleanliness and ultimately the ability to recycle the materials. Still, others request their suppliers to take their packaging with them.
It is harder for consumers to manage the disposal of packaging due to strict community recycling and disposal regulations. Some companies have tried to incorporate recyclable materials into their packaging. Others have tried to reduce the use of corrugated cardboard with shipping bags and envelopes, but those cannot be recycled. Others have adjusted their internal packaging to eliminate 'store shelf' packaging but plastic clamshell packaging is still ubiquitous, no matter if the destination is the shelf hanger at the mega-mart or the mailbox.
Far from just addressing green initiatives, packaging that is cost-effective properly protects its contents, and is easily recyclable is a differentiator that will draw the interest of business and consumers alike.