There is a big difference between over packaging and under packaging products, and somewhere in the middle is the perfect balance with an optimized packaged item. Depending on who you talk to, about half of consumers consider that the packages they receive are overpackaged. This happens when a small item is placed in a box much larger than needed and stuffed with various types of dunnage like bubble wrap or wadded up paper in an attempt to protect the item from damage and from moving around during shipping.

In spite of this, still a large number of consumers receive products that are damaged which suggests that they were not packaged adequately for protection during transportation. This is a big problem in the packaging industry and continues to gain more attention as more focus is placed on eco-friendly &  sustainable packaging practices.

The Disadvantages of Overpackaging 

There are many disadvantages of overpackaging products that affect a company’s costs, customer satisfaction, and impact to the environment.

Added costs – shipping products with more packaging than needed adds up to a significant waste of money in terms of oversized corrugated boxes, plastic containers or dunnage to protect products. This costs the shipping company more money to purchase and store packaging items and it costs more money to ship oversized packages.

Damaged items –  when products are not properly secured in a right-sized fitting container, they are more prone to damage during shipping. This greatly impacts customer satisfaction and can affect future potential sales.

Impact the environment – all that extra packaging uses greenhouse gases to produce, fuel to ship, and takes up space when wasted in landfills.

Overpackaged products are far from eco-friendly and are not always the best choice to safely deliver products without damage.

The Disadvantages of Under Packaging 

Under packaging results when products are received in a container that either crams them too tight without enough space and dunnage surrounding the item for protection and shock absorption.

Unsatisfied customers – No one likes to receive broken and damaged items and most consumers would not buy from the same company again.

Additional expenses – when customers return broken items, companies must repair or discard the product and ship a replacement free of charge, costing money and additional shipping and packaging expenses.

Repeating the process impacts the environment the same way all over again with more packaging, more transportation and fuel expenses.

Overpackaging and the Impact to the Environment

As stated earlier, overpackaging negatively affects the environment in many ways and as reported by Climate Collaborative, packaging makes up about 5% of the energy used in the average lifecycle of a food product.  Plastic waste alone used for packaging any type of product is one of the greatest sources of pollution with a great deal of this plastic waste ending up in landfills and natural environments. It is estimated that about 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean each year, according to Supply Chain Solution Center. 8 million tons of plastic waste polluting our oceans every year is nearly unfathomable.

Reducing or eliminating plastic from your packaging may or may not be the solution, as utilizing recyclable shipping products or methods may be your best option and necessary to protect your goods. Flexible packaging solutions are providing shippers with many innovative options to replace hard plastic containers with light weight flexible polymer bags. This greatly reduces package size, weight, shipping costs, and environmental impact.

If you have been overpackaging your products with oversized cartons or plastic containers because it’s “the way you’ve always done things”, it may be time to explore new eco-friendly and cost-efficient options. Speak to a contract packaging company with experience in flexible packaging services to see if you can reduce your overall packaging expenses, and your carbon footprint.

PPS Provides Flexible Packaging Solutions 

Peoria Production Solutions, PPS, has been providing packaging solutions to companies of all sizes for more than 80 years. We are experienced in all types of packaging materials and continually invest in new technologies to provide innovative packaging solutions. We offer flexible packaging solutions with automated equipment such as a heat tunnel, heat sealer, band sealers and hot stamp printers to provide custom flex packaging solutions.

We partner with companies to provide contract packaging that meets their specifications with custom label or tag insertions, kitting, assembly, or other secondary packaging needs. 

PPS is a leading contract packaging company experienced in packaging all types of goods and items in a proper fitting container with secure protection during shipping. We offer custom secondary packaging solutions to meet your needs whether filling corrugated boxes, plastic containers, or flexible packaging materials. Contact us to learn more about improving your packaging process for cost-efficient and eco-friendly solutions.

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