Reusable transit packaging

WRAP supported three projects to investigate the feasibility of replacing current single use packaging with bespoke reusable packaging. These projects involved trials with Argos (upholstered furniture) and B&Q (kitchen worktops) and a feasibility study with John Lewis and Electrolux for large kitchen appliances.

Thousands of tonnes of transit packaging are disposed of every year in the UK, so reusable systems offer significant business and environmental benefits compared with single-trip packaging. The success of such systems depends not only on fit-for-purpose packaging, but also on effective control and management of the closed loop system.

B&Q has subsequently taken the trial forward and has ordered over 5,000 bags - it is estimated that if each bag is used 15 times the system will save the retailer £300,000 per year in packaging costs alone.

B&Q is also investigating other opportunities for multi-trip packaging, particularly where there are high rates of product damage.  Kitchen panels and kick rails, white goods, doors and radiators are opportunities where using reusable packaging could result in cost savings and environmental benefits.

Benefits

  • Less packaging waste entering the domestic waste stream.
  • Reduced product damage and returns.
  • Increased customer satisfaction - no need to dispose of bulky waste.
  • Enhanced company image through improved customer service.