Environmentalists have been speaking of the destruction resulting from excess packaging waste for quite some time but not until of late has it been seen as a detriment to business as well. Using too much material has owned a spot on the back burner for many operations managers due to greater importance given to labor and production costs.

Packaging waste from business processes is quickly becoming a major cost to both the environment and overhead costs.

Moving in the direction of a lean and efficient budget will require inventory of each cost associated with the workflow. Packaging material costs can appear seemingly inexpensive when viewed individually, however their costs can add up quickly over a short period of time if not monitored. Such growing costs are leading companies to seek out alternatives, namely in automated packaging.

Packaging waste is costing billions

Protective packaging costs are accruing in the United Kingdom. Many people peruse the aisles of their local grocery store everyday to take care of their shopping needs, which is leading to expensive wasted materials, according to new findings from WRAP, a UK recycling organization.

Packaging News explains that findings from the organization reveal that an estimated £6.9 billion (or $10.8 billion) is lost in food and packaging waste in the country. This figure makes up about 7 percent of food and beverage sales in UK households.

While the consumer grocery market and other industries can certainly vary, the main conclusion is that a lot of money is unnecessarily spent on materials that does not have to be.

More than just a detriment to the environment, these costs are eating into operation budgets.

Packaging waste finds solutions

Packaging World explains that the needs of each industry are unique and complicated. It suggests that in finding the best solution, manufacturing operations might benefit from looking at how their sector compares to similar ones.

Though small electronics and porcelain tableware certainly differ in their production and function, similarities can be seen in their shipping requirements. Both carry the fragile characteristic and can be found within the smaller end of the packaging spectrum, thus mirroring each other's need for security. Although each product carries obvious similarities, to research one industry's packaging practices against the other and compare successes and may not fall within common practice.

The conclusion? one fact remains true. A packaging recommendation derived ten years ago may not still stand firm as the best fit for the application. Packaging innovation, just as is true within technological industries, continues to evolve through creative minds and ever-changing consumer demands. According to the Freedonia Group, global demand for automation - an advancement within the packaging industry enabling both labor and material conservation - is expected to grow to nearly $42 billion by 2017, moving at a rate of 4.6 percent each year.