Case Study

How We Cut Down on Packaging Waste by Reducing Our Use of Stretch Film

Problem

Shipping people have the tendency of wrapping as much stretch film as possible. It can help cover the mistakes of not palletizing the load correctly. Usually, 2 to three wraps is enough to stabilize a pallet load but we found often stretch film was used four or more times what was needed.

Solution

As a part of our efforts not waste disposable packaging materials and save on packaging as well as support our company’s green SOP initiatives, our shipping supervisor instituted and project to observe the packaging activities closely. For a period of 3 months the usage of stretch film was analyzed for some specific clients.

Sample usage before eliminating the extra use was recorded as:

Total palletized outgoing loads to recycling or selected customers in 3 mo. = 270 pallets
Total stretch film rolls used/3 months = 90 rolls
Unit price/roll of 18’’ Stretch Film = $ 8.375
Total cost/3 months of rolls = $753.75
Unit cost/pallet wrapped = $2.79

After controlling the use of Stretch Films, the recorded usage is:

Total palletized outgoing loads to recycling or selected customers in 3 mo. = 256 pallets
Total stretch film roll used/3 months = 34 rolls
Unit price/roll of 18’’ Stretch Film = $ 8.375
Total cost/3 months of rolls = $284.75
Unit cost/pallet wrapped = $1.11

Results

A small effort of controlling the stretch film decreased the costs by $1.68/pallet, (61% savings) or $469 (56 rolls) of stretch film that would have been landfilled after shipping.

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