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B&Q cuts cardboard waste by over 400 tonnes per year through packaging innovation

May 12, 2011 2 Comments » Print Print

B&Q has replaced the cardboard packaging used to transport kitchen components to customers’ houses with a multi-trip packaging system called Longspacs, a move that slashes its annual cardboard packaging usage by 435 tonnes and cuts costs by around £80,000 a year

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The packaging, which has been developed over two years by B&Q and logistics specialist Ceva, is now being used to transport components such as plinths, pelmets and cornices from B&Q’s showroom fulfilment centre based in Branston, Staffordshire.

A Longspac is a 3m long polypropylene box which is covered in a woven polypropylene fabric and fitted with handles. It can be opened at both ends is rain proof, rugged and easy to handle.

Its development follows B&Q’s introduction in 2008 of the Carrierpac, a reusable cover used to transport B&Q’s kitchen worktops to customers. Both the Carrierpac and Longspac were developed by Ceva in consultation with environmental organisation WRAP, design consultants Outpace and flexible intermediate bulk container manufacturer Storesack.

‘Cost-effective’

Kevin Corby, Ceva’s business improvements manager and project manager for Carrierpacs and Longspacs, said: “We fully supported B&Q’s desire to replace single-use packaging with a greener, cost-effective and sustainable multi-use packaging format, and this has resulted in the recent move to Longspacs.”

“Anyone embarking on a major project like this needs to show they have the determination and can think in a different way; it goes without saying that an absolute commitment to succeed is essential.  For the project to be a success Wrap’s support was vital. ”

As well as cutting the amount of cardboard waste ending up in the waste stream, the project has also meant that transit damage rates have been reduced.

“Although transit-damage rates were already low, and not the major consideration, we have also enjoyed an improvement in this area,” Corby added.

‘Multi-trip packaging’

B&Q stockless manager Matt Woolley said: “The introduction of this multi-trip packaging meets our aims of excellent corporate social responsibility, exceptional product care, and reduced costs.

“Our customers are thrilled, too: they see Longspacs as very visible evidence of our values and no longer have to deal with a substantial amount of cardboard waste following their delivery.  Well done to Ceva for this excellent success.”

Read more B&Q stories below:

B&Q to save 300k with reusable packaging scheme

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