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Saving space in the empty space economy

Sunday, 16 October, 2022

Reducing space in cartons - Sustainability at Gallagher
Gallagher Animal Management is committed to playing our part in creating a better tomorrow. Sustainability is one of the key pillars for our strategic focus, and something that partners and consumers ask for. We began our journey to reduce plastic packaging waste in 2019 when we embarked on a market research project to better understand how our packaging is being used. Last year we shared our progress and how we’re already saving 700kgs of plastic each year with our new packaging materials.

But we’re ready to take packaging waste to the next level and tackle what industry experts call the Empty Space Economy – a movement to reduce and economize on packaging space. According to research by DS Smith and Forbes Insights, many shipping containers are 24+ percent empty, equaling billions in wasted dollars each year globally, but more importantly for businesses who are looking for more sustainable alternatives to serve customers, millions of containers, and tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, are shipped unnecessarily.

The problem begins with the use of standard-sized boxes to ship goods (which are often oversized), that need to be filled with packaging materials (which often cannot be recycled) to keep products safe. To solve this issue, Gallagher Animal Management are exploring new ways to improve packaging by using less materials, choosing more eco-friendly options and reducing empty space in cartons.

We’ve already made a start with our new W-0 and W-1 Weigh Scale cartons which are in the process of being redesigned with our packaging supplier, Opal, to remove wasted space by reducing the carton size. Due to this reduction, we are also able to remove the plastic air pockets completely from the packaging as they are no longer required.

Redesigning cartons in this way not only saves material/empty space but reduces crushing issues during freight and helps with palletisation. It’s a great start, and just the first step in packaging changes that customers will see for many of our products over the coming months.

Marketing Coordinator, Kaylee Abel, is already looking at the next space-savers, starting with the product/carton combinations that use the most space fillers. She says, “The work we’ve already done towards our sustainability goals has been really rewarding, and Gallagher has received a lot of positive feedback from dealers and customers, who are also looking to reduce their environmental impacts.

“I love knowing that what we’re doing makes a difference for the environment, and just saving space in boxes – it's a no brainer and a win-win for us, our customers and the environment!”