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July 18, 2023

Three ways reusable packaging protects your bottom-line

Written by Rebecca Smith, Director of Growth Strategy at LimeLoop

Sustainability teams everywhere have two of the hardest challenges: challenging the status quo and changing consumer behavior.

Questions and comments like:

  • "Why change what already works?"
  • "Why change something if it isn't broken?"
  • "I have to take an extra step to be more sustainable?" "But, I'm already recycling, so I am protecting the environment…"

Naturally, many of us thrive in routines and are comfortable with what we know.

Adjusting to a more sustainable model to create a more circular economy challenges these beliefs and these norms.

Yet in today's world, sustainability is becoming increasingly important, and businesses are seeking innovative ways to reduce their environmental impact. The first question that arises in this process is, "How much is this going to cost us?" which should come as no surprise as we are all looking to keep our bottom line protected and thriving.

A (maybe) surprising solution…

One such solution to being more environmentally friendly and cost-effective is reusable packaging. Companies can achieve significant cost savings in multiple areas by shifting away from single-use packaging and embracing reusable alternatives.

I say this is "surprising" because the first inclination that I've heard time and time again from companies is that they aren't interested in it because it will cost more. That's a broad assumption that just isn't accurate. Reusable packaging can actually save you 35% or more in your supply chain costs. Want to explore your organization's cost savings, click here.

Let's dig into how reusable packaging is a win-win situation for both your business and the planet.

Protecting your bottom-line

Reusable packaging protects your bottom line by…

1. Saving you costs on raw materials

Manufacturing single-use packaging requires a continuous supply of raw materials, such as plastic, cardboard, or paper. However, by adopting reusable packaging, companies can significantly reduce their dependence on raw materials.

According to a study conducted by the EPA, the production of reusable packaging materials requires up to 30% less energy and generates up to 95% less waste compared to traditional single-use packaging materials. Considering how much is produced every single day, that's a huge saving and a win-win for Operations team's budgets and Sustainability teams' goals.

By eliminating the repeated need for manufacturing single-use packaging, your business can save on the costs associated with procuring raw materials, leading to improved profitability.

2. Increasing your energy efficiency

The production of single-use packaging consumes vast amounts of energy throughout the supply chain, from extraction and processing of raw materials to manufacturing and distribution. Businesses can reap substantial energy efficiency gains with reusable packaging.

According to the LCA in a report for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, purchasing a refill instead of a new product can save 70% CO2, 65% energy, and 45% water use. And reusable packaging eliminates the need to recycle or remanufacture single-use packaging, reducing CO2 (greenhouse gas) emissions by up to 60%.

This reduction in energy requirements translates directly into reduced operational costs. It's another win-win all around.

3. Saving on both labor and waste management

Shifting to reusable packaging also brings significant labor and waste management cost savings. With single-use packaging, companies bear the responsibility of disposal, which involves collection, transportation, and often, the cost of landfilling or recycling. On the other hand, reusable packaging transforms your operations into a closed-loop system, where containers or packaging are returned, cleaned, and reutilized, thus saving not only on the costs of new materials but also on time efficiency in your warehouse and stores. This significantly reduces the need for waste management and associated labor costs.

A case study conducted by the Reusable Packaging Association found that businesses adopting reusable packaging reduced their waste management costs by an average of 30%. By streamlining waste management processes and eliminating the need for frequent disposal, your business can enjoy substantial savings while minimizing its environmental footprint.

Your commitment

The adoption of reusable packaging is a smart move to protect your bottom line while demonstrating your commitment to sustainability. When you reduce the repeated need for manufacturing single-use packaging, you can save on raw material costs, achieve energy efficiency gains, and enjoy labor and waste management savings.

Not only does reusable packaging contribute to cost savings, but it also aligns with consumer demands for eco-friendly practices, which can both enhance your brand reputation and attract environmentally conscious customers.

Investing in reusable packaging is not only financially advantageous but also an investment in a greener future. Are you ready for reusable packaging?

Click here to find out what your specific cost savings could look like when switching to reusable packaging.

Rebecca Smith
Rebecca Smith
Director of Growth Marketing
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