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The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs estimated that the UK generated over 40 million tonnes of commercial and industrial waste in 2016 - most of which came from England. With figures like this, it can easily be seen that your business’ commercial waste is quickly becoming a leading cause of pollution and other environmental harm. With the government and consumers alike pressuring businesses to reform their wasteful ways, there has never been a more important time for companies to reduce their manufacturing waste. To support you in this, here’s a list of useful tips to help you reduce your manufacturing waste.

1. Strong Inventory Oversight

Having a strong inventory oversight is a major hack for dramatically reducing your manufacturing waste. In product-orientated businesses, the inventory is a key culprit for waste. In particular, it’s recommended that you control the amount of raw materials ordered and stored, ensuring that these meet demand and aren’t regularly wasted. This can be done by adapting orders to be more regular orders of smaller, more accurate quantities. Analysing sales and production data is often the best way to calculate where and when to cut down on your orders.

2. Reduce Packaging Waste

• Change To Recyclable and Recycled Materials: By changing your product packaging to be made from recycled materials you can make use of the cut offs and misfit materials that usually go to waste. Not only will this reduce the amount of manufacturing waste that ends up in a landfill, but it will also enable you to cut costs on sourcing your materials elsewhere.
• Resize or Reshape Packaging: By amending the size and shape of your product packaging, you might find that less material goes to waste with regard to cut offs.

Whilst this is a tedious task, the waste it will reduce and money it will save your organisation in the long term will prove very valuable and can even add value to your brand itself by presenting it as more sustainable!

3. More Efficient Quality Control

Quality control is vital to protecting an organisation’s reputation since the products they sell and produce are expected to meet certain legal standards and the individual standards of customers too. Customer dissatisfaction is voiced publicly in modern day, particularly on social media, so meeting these standards has never been more important.

However, it is also important to consider whether the quality control systems in your company are still efficient, or whether they result in far too much waste. Waste can be reduced easily by addressing the most common mistakes and defects caused in manufacturing and seeking to resolve these directly. Addressing these will provide a long term solution to a recurring problem which will not only save you time and money, but also cut down your waste production.

4. Create Partnerships

Finally, it might be a good idea to seek partnerships with other organisations that are willing to re-use or even pay for your waste! These partnerships often carry benefits for both your business and theirs as one might be wasting what another is in need of.