Communicating with your suppliers is key to reducing packaging on your construction site. If you can get suppliers to remove as much packaging material as possible from the products you buy before they reach your site, each party should be able to make significant cost savings.
Suppliers may be able to improve packaging by:
- reducing losses during packaging production - eg using larger pack sizes to reduce the amount of packaging per unit
- reducing void space and fillers - eg designing products so that they don't require fillers, using air as a filler to protect fragile products such as fasteners or electrical components, removing the air from packaging to increase its overall rigidity and using cardboard wrapping for complex-shaped items instead of bubble-wrap
- lightweighting and downsizing - eg eliminating one or more layers, replacing large blister packs with smaller cardboard packs, eliminating any plastic film windows in packaging, not using hollow or double-walled containers such as plastic tubes unless absolutely necessary and strengthening materials overall to enable a reduction on the materials consumed
- reducing environmental impact - eg using reusable packaging, recycled materials, non-synthetic adhesives, timber, paper and cardboard materials that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and considering the use of waterborne pressure-sensitive adhesives as they are easier to recycle
- improving transport efficiency - eg choosing packaging shapes and sizes that can maximise the use of pallets, supplying products that are available in concentrated forms to reduce weight and providing products that can be delivered in returnable boxes or pallets
For more information on working with your suppliers, see supply chain efficiency and environmental impact.