As we all become more environmentally aware, and at the same time facing more and more economic challenges, the desire to reduce our carbon footprint and ever-increasing bills by reusing and recycling becomes higher on the agenda for most companies and individuals.

Just as shoppers are now advised to reuse their ‘bags for life’ when they visit the supermarket or high street store, so companies are being urged to do everything they can to reuse or recycle the materials and packaging they use.

One excellent and easy way to do this is through the reuse of industrial packaging, such as bulk bags.

Signing up to a reuse programme with a reputable bag refurbishing firm will not only allow your company to save money and do its bit for the planet but will also bring added benefits including the elimination of certain supply chain risks, such as price, design, production and availability.

The creation of a so-called closed loop programme of industrial packaging starts with an inventory of your existing bulk bags, or, more usually, the purchase of new ones from your chosen reuse partner.

It is essential to ensure that your reuse partner has a process in place to guarantee that any new bulk bags are made to your required standards and specifications so that the quality and effectiveness of your products are not compromised.

Your new bulk bags will be filled and sent to customers as required, but instead of then being consigned to landfill, they will subsequently be collected, shipped, cleaned and inspected by your reuse partner, before being reused.

Note that it should be the responsibility of your reuse partner to arrange the pick-up, labelling and shipping of your used bulk bags, at their expense. This will minimise administration at your end of the business, enabling your company to save time and money.

Once the bulk bags have arrived back at the reuse partner’s premises, they will be thoroughly cleaned, to make sure all trace of the previous material is removed from the bag before it is reused. This is, of course, an essential part of the process, enabling your firm to maintain a constant supply of clean, fit-for-use bags which are ready for use at all times.

Knowing where your bags are at any given time is also important, and again it will be the responsibility of your reuse partner to label and keep track of your bags at every stage of their use.

This kind of arrangement not only means you no longer have to order bags, with the associated possible waiting times and potential of the wrong bag being delivered, but it also enables you to set a fixed price for each use of the bag, saving you money as well as time and effort.

In effect, a closed loop system of reusing bulk bags lets your company lessen its environmental impact at the same time as ensuring a better service to customers, saving cash and reducing the possibility of several risks in the supply chain. That brings benefits to everyone.

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