5 Ways to Reduce Your Manufacturing Business’ Plastic Footprint

Manufacturing businesses are responsible for millions of tons of end waste every year. This is due to the manufacturing process, including the purchase and use of plastic products. Nowadays, there is much talk about plastic and the damage it does. You can’t escape it; it’s everywhere. But have you considered how your company may contribute to this problem? 

A greener future is upon us, and businesses who are aware of this are changing their behaviours to cut back on their usage of plastics. That’s because, at some point, a ban on plastic may be passed due to pollutants found in ocean life that people find daily. This article will help you find ways to reduce your manufacturing business’ plastic footprint and help us all save our planet from damaging ugly litter and pollution.


Invest in Greener Materials 

Product Redesign

If you’re a manufacturing business, you know firsthand how much plastic is used in your daily operations. Plastic has become the norm in many industries, from packaging to shipping materials.

The first step is to identify where you stand regarding your plastic use. If you have not done yet, look at your supply chain and see how much plastic is used. Then, identify where you can reduce your dependence on this material — starting with the most significant areas and working from there.

For example, if you manufacture automotive parts, you might consider buying more sustainable materials for these parts instead of using plastics. For example, many cars are made with carbon fiber parts instead of metal or plastic ones. These materials are more expensive than their less durable counterparts but will last longer and require fewer replacements over time.

An excellent way to find out if there are greener alternatives for your products is by conducting research for companies specializing in these materials. You can also communicate with your suppliers about their experiences with different materials and ask them what their customers prefer regarding sustainability issues like this.


Product Redesign

If you’re manufacturing products that use much plastic, consider redesigning them to use less plastic. This could mean changing their shape, materials, or even their packaging. Consider using recycled plastic or biodegradable alternatives such as starch-based plastics that can be composted at the end of their useful life.

When redesigning a product, it’s essential to look at material and production methods. It will also help if you identify whether your product needs packaging. If so, what kind of packaging will work best for your product? Will it be sustainable? If not, how can you make it more sustainable?

For example, if you make soap, it might be better for the environment if you switched from using plastic bottles to using cardboard boxes. This would eliminate the need for extra packaging and allow customers to recycle their soap containers when they’re done.


Reuse and Recycle 

Reuse and Recycle

The plastic pollution crisis is hitting businesses hard. Plastic has become the most common form of debris in the world’s oceans in the past decade. Plastic straws, bags, and bottles are just a few of the nearly 380 million tons of plastic waste produced yearly. This plastic ends up in our landfills and waterways, polluting our air and water.

To reduce our dependence on plastic, it has become necessary for businesses to take action against this issue. Plastic should be reused and recycled whenever possible so that it can be reused in other ways or recycled into something new.

Reusing materials rather than tossing them away after use is one technique to reduce plastic consumption. For example, if you have a box that needs to be shipped from one location to another but there is no need for it once it arrives at its destination, try using a different type of packaging instead of throwing it away after one use. You can reuse other containers like jars or cans if they’re still in good condition after being used once or twice!


Related:  How Can AI Help Clean up Plastics From Our Oceans and Waterways?


Reduce Plastic Uses

Reduce Plastic

Many companies are starting to think about reducing their plastic usage. The reason for this is because of the negative impacts that plastic has on the environment. While it might seem counterintuitive, using so much packaging material is not always necessary. Reducing the amount of packaging you use can significantly impact your bottom line and the environment. Use less and ask for less if possible. 


Educate Employees and Customers About Reducing Plastic Use

Plastic Education

The final step in reducing your manufacturing business’ plastic footprint is to educate everyone involved in your manufacturing business about the problem. You can share articles and studies about plastic pollution and show employees videos of ocean-based gyres filled with plastic.

Once you’ve educated your employees and customers, you can get them involved in reducing their plastic usage. One effective way to implement this is by offering recycling bins at work and at home. You don’t have to incentivize people to recycle — make it easy for them to do so. You might also consider offering biodegradable or compostable products as an alternative to disposable items like coffee cups and utensils.

If you want your stakeholders to be more conscious of their plastic usage, give them a reason to care about it by showing them how much money they could save by using fewer disposable items.


Related: How Can Businesses Address Non-Recyclable Plastic Pollution?



More often than not, business owners think reducing their manufacturing business’ plastic footprint to a bare minimum means inventing new types of recyclable packaging. While this is an essential step in the right direction, it’s only one of many things your company can do to reduce its waste. Reducing plastic usage is beneficial to the environment and your company. It was proven that there is a correlation between quality and business growth over the long run. Companies that have established a green culture generally have a consistent track record of growth, even during difficult economic times. 

Browse the I’m Plastic Free directory to discover plastic pollution solutions.


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