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What is Source Reduction?

Source reduction means minimizing waste before it’s created. It means using less to make packaging and products. Right now, over 60% of all materials are landfilled or incinerated. Approaching this problem from a source reduction standpoint would ask companies to eliminate wasteful practices and invest in technologies that improve efficiency in packaging. This can take on a few forms:

  • Using fewer materials to create a product
  • Cutting the weight or volume of an item
  • Simplifying the supply stream or an item’s transportation needs
  • Bringing production in-house to avoid shipping overhead

Global Plastic Packaging Production, 1950-2050

Eliminating waste is fundamental to building a circular economy. Committing to source reduction isn’t a fixed set of principles, but rather an overall approach to how we pick, design, and transport materials. Some choices are more obvious than others: developing monomaterial films is a tangible step towards source reduction, while designing fitments that require no threading and use less plastic is an important, but perhaps less obvious step towards source reduction.

At Scholle IPN, source reduction is a key tenet to how we approach sustainability. Our flexible packaging has a higher product-to-package ratio, which means more of an item can be packaged with fewer materials. Our aseptic technology means we can eliminate refrigeration and cold storage throughout the supply stream. Source reduction happens at every step of the supply chain, and is one of the most impactful ways companies can build a more sustainable future.