Discovering Sustainable and Practical Tool Hire and Plant Hire Opportunities

Going boxless

19 January 2022

Going boxless

It’s admittedly not the most exciting activity but when buying toothpaste in the supermarket the other day I faced a choice: I could buy a tube of the same size and brand with or without a box, same price.  

A sign on the shelf explained that going boxless would reduce the carbon footprint of the customer, the retailer and the supplier. 

It’s been estimated that the UK squeezes its way through 300 million toothpaste tubes a year. Retailers have traditionally maintained that supplying them in boxes reduces risk of loss or damage in transit and that they look better. 

However, net zero considerations are making organisations look at their supply chains in a new light. And we are seeing this in the hire industry, too. 

The Site-Eco blog has already reported how hirers like Speedy are looking closely at how they buy items it in terms of raw materials, packaging and distribution to see if sustainable improvements can be made. 

Some hirers tell me they are asking suppliers to deliver bulk quantities of fast moving products unboxed and secured safely on a pallet. Multi-depot hirers can have many items sent to one central location and then distribute them to individual locations as necessary with other equipment, instead of requiring many shipments and vehicle movements. 

Working together in such ways, hirers and suppliers can find solutions that bring mutual sustainable benefits. 

Mind you, the route to net zero requires many elements to be considered. When I opened my new boxless toothpaste tube, I noticed that the contents had been produced in: China. That’s some carbon footprint in terms of transport to the UK.

Perhaps the supermarket needs to brush up its act a bit more but ditching the box is a start. And more positively it shows that there are many ways in which a business can increase sustainability. 

● For more of the latest Site-Eco stories click here


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