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How Distribution Centers Can Reduce Waste

How Distribution Centers Can Reduce Waste

Distribution centers play an essential role in the process of getting goods from the manufacturer to the end user. Part of that process, however, entails the use of large volumes of cardboard and other packaging materials. It is estimated that only around half of all cardboard packaging is recycled, whether by industrial users, businesses or individuals. The team at Central Kentucky Fiber Resources would like to share the following information about how distribution centers can reduce their cardboard waste and run a tighter, less costly and more environmentally-friendly operation.

Make the Most of What You Have

During the packaging process, consider the best way to make the most out of existing packaging space. It may be faster to have employees package items in whatever size box is on hand, but that approach leads to a large volume of wasted cardboard. Train your team to evaluate every shipment to determine if it is packaged to maximize available space. Very often, there is a better way to package contents that will protect the items and reduce cardboard waste. 

Buy Green, Pack Green

Many distribution centers are turning to environmentally-friendly products to package and transport goods. Using recycled materials or those that are safer for wildlife or water quality is a great place to begin, but distribution center management can also help to create a greener operation by encouraging employees to use as little material as possible to get the job done. Choosing the right sized box is the first step; the second is using the right amount of filler or cushioning to pack that box. 

Train your team to evaluate every shipment to determine if it is packaged to maximize available space. Very often, there is a better way to package contents that will protect the items and reduce cardboard waste.

Implement Clear Training Programs

A great deal of warehouse waste comes from employees who simply are unaware of how they can do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. It is essential to create and implement a training program for all employees that addresses the need to curtail waste. When employees are properly trained and then empowered to make the best possible decisions, overall waste levels can drop. 

Create a Follow-Up System

Once you have trained your employees on how to package items in a way that uses the least amount of packaging material and also reduces waste, it is critical to have a system in place to measure the results of those efforts. If you are not already tracking the amount of packaging that your company uses and the level of recycling effort, start to do so immediately. Having these numbers allows management to share the progress that the business is making with employees. That can help motivate the entire team to improve their efforts or keep up the good work. 

At Central Kentucky Fiber Resources, we understand the importance of running a tight ship regarding cardboard packaging and waste. We hope that these tips are helpful and that you can configure your operation in a way that makes the most of your existing resources and leads to excellent results. For questions about your recycling efforts, contact us today.

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