Osborne Wood Products installed new equipment in mid-December that will ultimately have a positive ecological effect while saving money as well. Shipping supervisor, Tim Ramsey, conceived of the project in response to customer concerns regarding the use of foam “peanuts” in packing materials as well as observing a shift in packing materials his department has begun receiving on some inbound shipments.

“The number of customers requesting “no peanuts” has been steadily increasing,” Ramsey observes. “At the same time we’re spending at least $100 a week on formed paper for packing in addition to running through a lot of foam peanuts in packing. This new method will replace good deal of this.”

The new method involves recycling cardboard. Osborne gives away about 100 pounds of salvaged cardboard a week. By making a $5,000 investment in a shredder machine, the salvaged cardboard can be converted into packing material that will serve as an alternative to formed paper or foam peanuts in many cases. According to Ramsey, it will take one operator five minutes to generate the packing material required for a typical day in outbound shipping. Ramsey’s research revealed that the money saved from previously purchased packing material will mean that the new shredder will pay for itself in about a year – a fact that made the project a reality only six weeks after it was first proposed.

Although the new method of capturing internally generated materials for reuse as packing material will only represent a partial replacement of Osborne’s overall shipping material consumption, it is a substantial portion and, as Ramsey notes, every contribution makes a difference. In this instance the change will be both financially and ecologically positive in addition to allowing the company to comply with increasing client requests for more earth friendly packaging.

SOURCE: Osborne Wood Products

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