Innovative Strategies to Reduce Packaging Size

Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to packaging. Since every square inch of packaging has a cost associated with it — financially and environmentally — reducing packaging size by 10 percent or more can send profits soaring and ease sustainability concerns. A number of companies are devoting resources to reduce their own packaging sizes, many with great success.

The Phoenix Atherectomy Catheter

This revolutionary catheter system caught the eye of the medical market with its ability to cut, capture, and clear plaque from arteries in the periphery. But this powerful medical tool was suffering from its original packaging, which was inefficient and even dangerous. The first round of products were placed in five-foot long boxes. Not only did these lengthy boxes leave the product inside vulnerable to damage, but they also took up so much room that storage and transportation became very expensive issues.

Volcano Corp., the company in charge, needed a new and better system for its packaging of the catheters, so they found experts in the field to help them minimize packaging waste, reduce material and shipping costs, and still protect the delicate medical device inside. In the end, each catheter was packaged in a Dispenser Integrated System Kit, which is a slim, symmetrical, and biocompatible packaging product with coiled tubing that holds the catheter.

Volcano Corp. was able to achieve its goal of reducing overall packaging size, mainly thanks to the smart packaging design that “places the catheter hoop on the back of the backer card and utilizes a pass-through feature, resulting in the ability to store the proximal user control on the front of the card. This cuts the overall size of the packaging in half!” according to R&D Engineer Torrey Smith.

Dell’s Green Packaging Innovation

Beginning in 2008, computer giant Dell has devoted a great deal of time and energy to reducing the packaging of their various products. According to their website, “Businesses placing large orders can find it difficult to manage the volume of boxes and packing materials, an obstacle to efficiently unpacking and setting up equipment, as well as a challenge to their recycling and waste management goals.”

Dell tackled this problem by reducing its packaging by 12.1 percent. The company streamlined its product cushioning, eliminated styrofoam, and now uses Multipack to combine multiple products in one box for large orders. This strategy saved the company a whopping $53.3 million and eliminated 31.3 million pounds of packaging from the environment!

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