Warehouse Blues
In my hometown and neighboring towns there is an increasing creation of large warehouses for Amazon, UPS, and Chewy to name a few. While this is good to see from a business aspect it is slightly disheartening to people like me, who know the harm that these large warehouses leave in their money pursued wake.

As I think of these warehouses, I think of the different fumes they emit from constant travel and machinery working, the heavy flow of traffic it can create, the position of its workers, but most of all the trash. The key point of these businesses is delivering and distribution of goods, this means loads of packages being delivered to the warehouses to be unboxed and turned around to be reshipped to their buyers. In this day and age, it is close to impossible to not order something online we are all guilty of it. There is no shame in the online shopping game because it has brought a new level of convenience to our lives that we may or may not have needed. But there is shame in the level of waste produced by these packages. 9.2 billion tons of plastic have been produced and of that only 9% has been recycled properly (Supplychain, 22).

Orange You Glad?
Another area of life that participates in high levels of plastics is the food and beverage production/distribution. Haven’t you always been grateful for the little stickers on your “fresh” produce? Aren’t you glad your aluminum canned soda comes in a cardboard box? Or your plastic bottled drinks contained by more plastic? Most food packaging is single use and is not recycled but thrown away and littered into bodies of water (Link, 2020). The mass production of processed foods contributes heavily to our pollution problem.

Yellowbout it!
With this information in mind, what can be done? Continuing to support businesses that use proper packaging that can be recycled or composted. Make our voices be heard in our community until they are worldwide, the change starts in our own backyard. Advocate and educate as much as possible and reach out to corporations questioning their policies and commitment to a greater good. Try to save online orders to be one complete order instead of separately packaged shipments and dispose of packaging properly. Buying locally grown produce and supporting local farms not only cuts down process packaging but supports your community as well.

On a corporate level introducing an alternative packaging for products can make a huge difference. Younger generations are praising companies on social media that have packaging that can be reused or breaks down in one way or another. Having packaging like this will not only support the planet but will bring more pride and more supporting customers to a business that will continue to spread the word. Being a large corporation that proudly shares their positive impact and their commitment to minimizing their carbon footprint can bring in customers. Consumers say a main concern for the packaging their products come in is the carbon footprint impact it has (Roberge, 2018). This in turn would create a cycle of more properly disposed of packaging and lessening the fills of waste on land and seeping into our beautiful oceans. By implementing plans of better packaging other costs will decrease which can support other areas of sustainability such and forests and water quality. These changes can turn our big corporate warehouses into “green” houses.

Works Cited:

Link, Kristen. “The Environmental Impact of Food Packaging.” FoodPrint, 13 Nov. 2020

“Packaging Waste 101: The Problem.” Supply Chain Solutions Center

“Roberge, David. “6 Key Benefits of Sustainable Packaging.”

Essay by: Kelsey Van Horn
Messiah University

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