Skids, Trays, and Packaging for Green Businesses

Jan 17, 2011 10:00 AM ET

Green Path Guide

As our landfills burst at the seams, there is no doubt that we have a unfortunate penchant for throwing things away.   Like throwing trash out of the window of the car, the trash becomes someone else’s problem.   Neither of this bad habits can be put in a positive light, even if we can get away with it.

Many companies receive supplies, products, and equipment wrapped, secured, and delivered on pallets, skids, trays, and boxes.

The Green Supply Chain concept stresses looking at the vulnerable elements of the goods that a company might require.  One of the popular issues is to reduce the amount of packaging, but that is not all there is to a serious program.

Look further to the extra materials used in delivering your supplies or products.  Skids, pallets, and trays of wood and plastic should not be single-use items.   If your company must dispose of these extra delivery items, there is additional cost and unnecessary waste in the process.

Also, trucks making these deliveries do not lack room having dropped off a good portion of their load at your door.   It seems a minor imposition to require your vendors and providers to provide a return cycle for these excess delivery sundries.  The waste that comes from single-use pallets, skids, and trays is nearly inexcusable in this time of environmental stress.

Such items are a part of the packaging process even if they are not typically viewed as such.  We encourage a review of this area of concern in the course of developing a more sustainable program.  These items need not be done all at once, but it would help to understand that a Green business takes at least three years to achieve a serious level of Green maturity.


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