Reusable packaging is designed to be put back into the supply chain to lower total material costs and improve a company’s environmental impact. This type of packaging is extra durable so it can experience the same challenging conditions time and time again without failure. Reusable packaging offers some incredible benefits, but those benefits don’t come without a few challenges. If you’re considering a switch to reusable packaging, whether at the primary or tertiary level of packaging, here’s what you need to know before you start making any changes.

Reusable packaging can be primary consumer containers that are received by the customer, or it can be designed for the industrial level of packaging that’s required for transport and storage. Either way, reusable packaging offers some key benefits for any company that knows how to implement it effectively. Here are some of those benefits, and some of the challenges that go along with them.

Reusable Packaging is Environmentally Friendly

It’s well known that around one third of an average dump will be filled with packaging material. This industry has been and continues to be one of the most wasteful in terms of material usage. Reusable packaging can affect a company’s impact on the environment by decreasing the amount of waste created.

Designing your packaging to be reused means you’ll be ordering less supplies to complete the same tasks. This allows manufactures to cut back on their energy and water usage, especially for paper goods.

Reusable Packaging Might Cause Logistical Trouble

Reusable packaging has to be returned in good condition in order to be put back into the system. This means companies will have to create a plan for collecting and inspecting packaging that has been sent out. Whether you’re hoping to see boxes or pallets returned, the process for getting these items back can cost you quiet a lot in shipping and labor costs. This is a major challenge that should be heavily considered when deciding whether to implement reusable packaging for your application.

Reusable Packaging Protects Better

Because reusable packaging is designed to be more durable, it often provides much higher protection for your products. This means you’ll reduce the amount of damage that happens in storage and shipping environments. This type of packaging is also more efficient or transport because it can withstand harsh conditions with ease, so the entire process is improved.

Reusable Packaging Provides Costs Savings

Those who switch to reusable packaging can see great cost savings. Initially, you’ll see a big drop off in your spending for new materials as you begin collecting used packaging and putting it back into your supply chain. You may pay more up front to get the level of durability you need, but once you purchase those supplies you can use them again and again, getting more value for your purchase.

Reusable packaging can also affect your waste management costs. You won’t have to dispose of as many materials, and you’ll pay less for labor involved with waste management. This provides extra cost savings on top of what you save in reduced material costs.

Another benefit of reusable packaging iis reduced storage space required to hold packaging supplies. The products you use for packaging are always cycling through, so you don’t need a huge stockpile of new materials taking up space in your warehouse. This can help you avoid paying higher costs for more square footage, and it can free up space for new equipment and machinery to increase your productivity.

Unfortunately, there could be increased logistical costs required to ensure your reusable packaging makes it back to you as intended. You’ll want to make sure your cost savings in other areas are greater than the additional costs you’ll need to handle the logistics of your reusable packaging strategy.

Reusable packaging is a new innovation that has slowly been gaining attention in the packaging industry. Because of the possible cost savings and improve environmental impact, reusable packaging is sure to become more popular in certain industries. There are many benefits reusable packaging can bring to the table, but companies must research and see the actual results they should expect when used for their specific application.