YES, paper packaging companies should take their waste disposal processes seriously.
Brands rely on you to package their products so that they arrive safely onto the market and represent their goods in a positive way. Yet as businesses continually evolve, so may their branding, product lines and how they manufacture their goods. As a paper packaging company, these changes may leave you holding on to outdated products or product packaging that must be disposed of.
Tossing packaging into the waste bin simply isn’t smart or safe. In fact, successful product packaging companies understand the importance of ensuring a company’s packaging doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. Especially, the dreaded Grey Market!
Here’s why packaging companies must worry about disposal and what the answer is to ensuring your reputation and your clients’ reputations stay intact.
What Is The Grey Market?
The grey market is a marketplace for sales not authorized by the manufacturer of a product. When buyers purchase products through the grey market, they are buying what appears to be branded products … either by what appears on the product itself or its outer plastic or paper-based packaging.
Often, you may see some of these items online on sites like Amazon and eBay. Consumers also often think they’re getting a good deal. They aren’t.
In reality, buyers may be purchasing knock-offs, recalled items or non-functional returns. They are left disappointed with what they have purchased, or worse, endangered if the products have been recalled due to safety concerns.
Because consumers believe the product is from a particular brand, they now think poorly of that brand and may even share their opinions with people in their circle or beyond their circle on the internet via social media. And we all know what can happen if something goes viral!
How Do Products End Up On The Grey Market?
How products are sold on the grey market can happen any number of ways.
Disgruntled employees, dumpster diving, non-secure transport and simply an opportunistic person who is at the right place at the right time can lead to paper packaging thefts.
Any packaging … whether it’s on the inside of the boxes to safely guard a product for transport or the packaging that holds the product … can end up in the wrong hands. If that packaging is branded in anyway, your customers are at risk.
It’s not unusual for companies to brand all aspects of their packaging, including on:
- Corrugated boxes
- Custom packaging solutions
- Mailer boxes
- Tissue paper
- Larger shipping boxes made with paperboard packaging that hold multiple products
As a company in the packaging industry, you’ve likely dealt with last-minute changes, misprints, recalls and other events that warrant discarding packaging. You may have even been responsible for discarding products that have expired, been recalled or simply discontinued.
That’s when unscrupulous invidiviuals swoop in, and suddenly, you have a problem.
The good news is that many online marketplaces have taken steps to remove counterfeit products. In the year 2020, Amazon destroyed more than 2 million counterfeit products in its possession.
Yet in today’s sophisticated and complex retail environment, these steps often aren’t enough. Fighting the grey market is an uphill battle for manufacturers, and as a paper packaging company, it’s critical that you have the right procedures in place to do your part. These procedures include how you dispose of paper products that no longer can be used to package goods.
How A Product Disposal Company Can Help
Certified product destruction should be a standard part of any operation for a paper packaging company. However, certified product disposal is NOT the same as waste removal.
A certified product disposal company ensures that any goods or packaging that can no longer be sold on the market are disposed of properly. A certified product disposal company will:
- Develop a specific plan for the items you with to dispose of or destroy
- Provide necessary information like photographic and video evidence of destruction
- Ensure 24/7 surveillance at any storage yard facilities where your product is awaiting destruction
- Complete all appropriate paperwork and permits, especially if products are deemed hazardous
- Provide you with a Certificate of Destruction form for your records and your client’s records
Depending on the type of packaging and products you need disposed of, a certified product disposal company will transfer the items to a facility that will use one or more of these technologies:
- Non-hazardous incineration
- Aerosol recycling
- Ingredient capture for reuse in other processes
- Off-site wastewater treatment
It’s important to note that any certified product disposal company you work with should always maintain the tracking and security of the products throughout the entire disposal process.
Why A Paper Packaging Company Needs Certified Disposal
Improper disposal can cost your paper packaging company. If the products or packaging in your possession have been ordered destroyed by a court, your packaging business could face substantial fines and penalties if these goods are not destroyed.
You could also significantly damage your company’s reputation and business partnerships if your packaging company is considered no longer trustworthy.
Specific circumstances may warrant hiring a certified disposal company, such as:
- Products that have expired in your possession
- Goods or packaging have been updated or redesigned
- Products have been confiscated or recalled for legal or safety reasons
- Products have been discovered to have defective parts
While many of these scenarios may illustrate scenarios that warrant proof of destruction, it’s a good idea to play it safe anytime a branded product or its packaging must be disposed of. In no circumstances is it safe for any branded product to be disposed of in the same receptacle as other facility waste. You’re simply asking for a disaster to unfold … and it’s a situation you can help prevent through certified product disposal.