One of the biggest, long-term issues for large retailers, particularly those in the grocery sector, has been the problem with waste disposal. Huge cost implications and the demand it has on operations is just the tip of the iceberg for many retailers, who are regularly reviewing their waste disposal targets and re-thinking strategies on the subject. The food industry is one of the most fast-moving sectors in the UK market, and with several thousand deliveries of new product each year it is easy to see how the amount of cardboard, pallet wrap, strapping and other packaging waste materials can mount up. Not only is this becoming a problem in terms of disposal but more and more grocery businesses, such as supermarkets, are coming under scrutiny for how this waste is impacting on the environment and their sustainability credentials.
Reducing waste has always been a key focus of Kite Packaging, both for logistic and environmental reasons. It’s branch business services a number of food businesses, including one of the largest UK suppliers of packaged meat products, and offers a design service which allow packs to be taken straight from pallet to shelf to minimise handling and packaging waste during unloading. This is typically known as RDC to Shelf Logistics and has been a key aim for many grocery businesses in recent years. As well as this Kite’s branch business has previously worked with WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) on a number of design processes and client briefs, to create packs that will reduce on-site waste significantly for its customers.
The expertise and design knowledge of Kite’s packaging technologists, who regularly work on large accounts, has also transferred to the online business and its range of Enviro products. Using the suitable strapline ‘Packaging that doesn’t cost the Earth’, the range of environmentally friendly packaging is available on Kite Packaging’s website, which supplies stock product to businesses 24/7 and offers a next day delivery service. The range fulfils several key aims of its business customers – waste reduction, cost reduction and sustainability improvement.
The first product of this range, designed by Kite’s team and developed in conjunction with WRAP back in 2006, is the Enviro-box. Incredibly popular with Kite’s existing customers, the box is just as strong as a double-wall carton but manufactured using single-wall board that has been reinforced to provide that added strength. The materials used are 7% lighter which reduces delivery costs, and the manufacturing process involves 30% less CO2 emissions than regular boxes. Because the boxes are thinner there is also a saving on valuable warehouse space, so that the boxes take up less room before being packed and when they are disposed of, to save on disposal costs.
Kite’s Enviro-tape is another product from the range that aims to save material by offering more in one unit. In this case, Enviro-tape is 150m long (regular tape is around 66m) and on a smaller core to reduce cardboard waste by 63%, and means more tape per pack. This again utilises warehouse space in the packing operation as well as delivery costs and CO2 emissions. Because there is 56% more tape per roll customers do not need to order tape as regularly, and therefore packaging costs are also reduced. Envirotape is the cheapest packaging tape Kite sell, with its 66m equivalent from 32p – lower than even the own brand economy version. Kite also offer a Universal tape dispenser which allows for regular tape rolls as well as the smaller core Envirotape, it has a retractable safety blade for busy operations where safety is a key consideration.
Stretch film is a huge consumable for many operations, however the size of the product often means tons of cardboard is thrown away each year as the rolls of films are used. Enviro-stretch has been designed to tackle this issue, and is completely coreless so that cardboard waste is reduced entirely. The rolls can be used on a standard dispenser for ease of wrapping, and is 25% wider than standard pallet wrap, so that less wraps are needed to secure a pallet. As well as cost savings it is more efficient to use as the coreless design means a more lightweight product that is easier to manoeuvre.
Commenting on the developed range of environmentally friendly products a Kite spokesman said; “At Kite we have always listened to our customers’ needs and learnt about the way their businesses operate to develop products that address operational issues. Environmental awareness is becoming more and more important for retailers and our Enviro products help to add to these credentials, whilst saving on time, money and unnecessary waste.”
For more information about Kite Packaging’s range of environmentally friendly products, designed to reduce waste in the supply chain please visit www.kitepackaging.co.uk/enviro
Tel: 024 7642 0065