How plastic packaging can be good for both the environment and a company’s bottom line

Light bulb on grass lit upEnvironmental impact is a key concern for companies with regards to their social responsibility as well as their accreditations, and is a hot topic particularly for those who require packaging within their business or as part of their order fulfilment.

Many logistics managers or buyers will dread selecting a packaging solution, and with so many options it can be daunting.

Businesses have a myriad of pressures regarding environmental issues. With the pressure of adhering to UK regulations, managing their carbon footprint and maintaining a comprehensive CSR policy, many companies have steered away from plastic, which they perceive to be more environmentally unfriendly and with a higher carbon footprint.

Automated Packaging Systems highlights the three main considerations for those selecting a packaging system below:

Key considerations:

1. MaterialGeoTech AirPillows by AirPouch
Often plastic is presumed to be the least environmentally friendly, but research from the University of Oregon showed that it actually had a lower carbon footprint than cotton or paper bags due to the minimal waste produced in the petrochemical process.


2. Performance
Businesses perhaps view reprocessed material as sub-standard, however this is certainly not the case. In addition, over-specifying – such as a high gauge, virgin plastic for a low value commodity item – is a waste of both product and cost for businesses who need to ensure that whilst the solution is fit-for-purpose, it is not wasteful.


AirPouch Overhead Hopper System3. Cost
A change in packaging can reduce cost for a business in several ways. The packaging solution itself can be a more cost-effective solution, but businesses can benefit in several ways. Potentially less material will be needed for the same job – such as fewer air pillows compared to paper void fill. Storage and shipping costs can also be reduced by selecting a lighter weight and more compact solution.

Automated Packaging Systems’ customer Cengage found that the benefits of moving to GeoTech air pillows included a 46% reduction on packaging material costs, and a 5-10% reduction in international shipping costs as the plastic air pillows are lighter than the original paper packing.

To find out more about the GeoTech solution or how Automated Packaging Systems can help you specify a packaging system, please visit

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