2021 has been a difficult year for companies reliant on cardboard boxes. The price of new boxes has increased at least five times since the start of the year as manufacturers have struggled to obtain the material needed to generate new packaging supplies.
The increases have not been insignificant; typically at least 6 - 7% each time. On top of this, lead times have been longer and orders have frequently missed their target dates.
This has had a major impact on many businesses across the UK, providing a series of logistical challenges and increasing costs. The reasons have largely been attributed to Brexit and the Coronavirus crisis as reported widely by the major news outlets: the former causing paperwork and transport issues and the latter causing disruption to recycling and manufacturing due to staff shortages, closures and changes in consumer behaviour.
There is good news though; a solution that rises above all others when it comes to saving money – switching to used and redundant packaging. Sadlers is the UK’s leading supplier of used and surplus cardboard boxes and specialises in sourcing excellent quality second hand boxes to divert to the reuse market.
This circular approach has been particularly pertinent during the last year of cardboard shortages because it has kept material in the UK flowing from one user to another without the need for processing or remanufacturing.
In this picture Dylan Sadler (5th generation) demonstrates the difference in orders for the same cost: on the left is a pallet of new boxes and on the right is their equivalent in used or redundant boxes. The difference is stark, and to add more weight to the comparison the stack of brand new boxes on the left will diminish further as prices from manufacturers continue to rise throughout 2021. As companies scramble to find packaging supplies, used boxes have proven their worth in providing a low-cost and more reliable alternative during the crisis.
Mike Sadler, Managing Director of Sadlers, says:
‘The majority of our boxes are either once-used or redundant, which offers lower prices to customers while also being an eco-friendly option. The reason we are able to source such fantastic supplies is because we offer waste producers higher rebates than baled, as well as stable rates that are not subject to wild price fluctuations. In turn we can keep prices low for buyers too.’
Sadlers was recently recognised with a Zero Waste Award as well as winning at the Awards for Excellence in Recycling and Waste Management 2021.
Author: Lauren Sadler | MSc Sustainable Development
Bio: Lauren is passionate about the circular economy and enjoys writing about packaging, business and sustainability - particularly zero waste and reuse.