As we approach Earth Day (April 22), Avalon Integration continues in its dedication to efficiency, not only for today’s enterprises for tomorrow’s generations as well. That’s why we turn to minimize paper waste, which accounts for nearly 25% of the total generation of municipal solid waste, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Paper-based data entry systems, such as the ones still prevalent in many warehouses and distribution centers, alongside the rise of e-commerce, contribute to the dilemma.
Because American businesses can no longer rely on exporting waste to be recycled internationally, recycling costs have escalated. At the same time, e-commerce has increased the usage of cardboard boxes and packaging. To keep operational costs low while maintaining sustainability efforts, we’re bringing tips and hints to minimize packaging and paper waste while still meeting customer demands.
Unwrapping the Packaging Problem
It seems as if online shopping has disrupted every aspect of the global market, and recycling is no different. Reports from Fast Company estimate close to 165 billion packages are shipped around the US each year. In 2017 the EPA documented around 32 thousand tons of cardboard end up in landfills. One way to stop unrecyclable goods from reaching the landfill is by eliminating unnecessary paper during the order fulfillment process. Integrate sustainable practices in your operations by:
- Reducing “air” shipments when possible – To ensure shipped orders reach their destination in one piece, businesses resort to double-boxing and/or adding air pads to protect inventory. Most of the time, plastic air pads can’t be recycled along with boxes, further maximizing environmental impact. Moreover, this can increase shipping costs as businesses essentially “ship air” along with their inventory.
- Eliminating excessive manual data entry – In addition to increased error risks, manual data entry creates more paper waste over time. By digitizing your inventory management system, your operations benefit from more accuracy, simplicity, and accessibility since data can be transferred through a shared interface. Newer enterprise technology such as Zebra’s latest mobile computers go a step farther by streamlining data capture with connectivity through one rugged and ergonomic device of your choice. As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon helps you integrate digital processing through the GO Zebra Trade-In Program, where you can trade inadequate devices for newer technology and cash rebates.
- Selecting sustainable labels – Labels are crucial to your operations, but their liners can add up to your enterprise’s waste. To solve this issue, we recommend Zebra’s Liner-Less Label, which delivers quality barcodes without unrecyclable liner paper.
See what the liner-less label is all about in our video:
Wasted materials ultimately equals wasted money since resources must later be replaced. While larger sustainability practices might seem daunting, little changes to your supply chain are a perfect place to start. For more information about paperless sustainability, reach out to our warehousing specialists, and see how your operations can help the environment, one sheet of paper at a time.