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Looking at the other benefits of reduced energy usage

30 September 2019

Every company in the food and drink industry wants to reduce its outgoings. When it comes to reducing energy usage, however, there is another huge benefit to be gained - by becoming more energy efficient, businesses can help combat global warming, says Martin Leeming

Although Britain recently went a week without burning coal for electricity for the first time since the 19th century and despite sustainable power generation proving increasingly effective and economically viable, power plants still generate the majority of electricity by burning fossil fuels. This means that, by reducing energy consumption, there is less work for power plants to do, which means fewer emissions, such as carbon dioxide, being released into the atmosphere.

So, the question is, how can the food and drink industry reduce its energy usage? While most areas within the industry are energy intensive, one stands out as being particularly energy inefficient. The food and drink packaging sector still relies heavily on the traditional method of shrink-wrapping collations of individual products in order to protect them for transit. However, in order to shrink wrap items, plastic film needs exposing to heat to make it shrink and this requires the use of heat tunnels. Due to the large amounts of heat the tunnels generate, they are extremely energy intensive and so are environmentally unfriendly.

The good news is that alternative packaging methods now exist that do away with the need to use heat tunnels. TrakRap, for example, has developed a secondary packaging solution which completely eliminates the use of heat from the packaging process. By using an orbital wrapping process to apply a specially designed, ultra-thin stretch film instead, users can reduce their energy consumption by as much as 90% (when compared to shrink wrapping).

Another benefit of reducing energy expenditure, in addition to lowering associated carbon emissions, is that it makes companies that are doing everything they can to enhance sustainability and protect the environment more attractive to consumers. 

Enhanced reputation
Consumers today are more environmentally aware than ever before, with significant numbers of them opting to deal exclusively with companies that are doing everything in their power to protect the natural environment. Consequently, by switching to a packaging solution that significantly reduces energy consumption and users’ carbon footprints, companies can enhance their reputation in the eyes of consumers and guarantee their long-term custom.

It is common knowledge that global warming is the biggest threat facing mankind. Although it may seem unusual to position the food and drink packaging industry at the forefront of the fight against it, the reality is that every company in every industry could be doing more to help protect the future of the planet.

The food and drink industry is notoriously conservative and risk adverse but that has to change and companies need to embrace new technologies and methodologies for the sake of the planet as soon as possible. Because climate change needs real action now, it has never been more important to operate a sustainable business and becoming more energy efficient is one way to do so.

Martin Leeming is CEO at TrakRap


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