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Component reduction

Minimizes the number of components produced.

Definition


Reducing the amount of packaging is the most impactful change you can make to improve the sustainability of your packaging. Reducing components means less material used, less energy, less production waste, less fuel burned in transit, less space in storage, and less packaging that needs to be recycled or disposed.

Component reduction is also a key driver in reducing packaging costs. As consumers become more aware of their own environmental impact, they are becoming more critical of the amount of waste they’re discarding from wasteful or unnecessary packaging1. This presents opportunities for companies to creatively find the minimal amount of packaging necessary.

Cr
Design

At the earliest stages of conception, design decisions influence the entire lifecycle of a product.

Why choose it


Material usage directly correlates to carbon footprint1. Materials are also the primary driver of cost. Using fewer components, can also lead to weight reduction which reduces transit emissions and costs.

If you’re shipping a box with a cotton bag and a piece of a flyer inside, cutting out the fabric bag can cut down your carbon footprint of that package by 87%.

Another advantage of reducing components is cutting down on overall transit. Each component likely has its own manufacturer, which is shipping from their factory to your warehouse. Using fewer factories equates to less emissions from transit. In 2016, transportation produced more carbon dioxide emissions in the US than power plants3.

Component reduction also eases the disposal burden for customers. When packages ship to customers, the waste becomes their responsibility. The less they have to dispose of, the smaller their personal footprint. 

Why not choose it


Companies that provide high-end or luxury products are often associated with more elaborate packaging that can involve more components. By reducing the amount of components, you may be creating a less compelling user experience for certain types of customers.

For fragile or complex products, reducing the number of components may compromise the structural integrity of the package.

Some products such as medications legally require collateral and ancillary items that contribute to the overall number of components.

Frequently asked questions

We consider the container you’re shipping in (box or mailer) and the tape to seal it (if needed) to be essential. Of course, your products may need additional packaging to protect against damage.

This protective packaging is essential too, but it varies based on the product. Cold chain products may need insulation, breakable products may need padding, and water sensitive products may need plastic.

Try to keep protection as minimal as possible! If you can lose 50% of your protective packaging and your damage rate only increases by a couple percentage points, the environmental and cost savings could be well worth it.