Friday 21st Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

You can do it when you B&Q it

Home improvement retailer B&Q has replaced cardboard-based transit packaging with reusable plastic packaging for delivering kitchen worktops, which has resulted in cost savings, a reduction in waste and improved customer satisfaction.

WRAP worked with the retailer, along with packaging consultants Outpace, packaging suppliers and third party logistics contractors to trial a multi-trip plastic package designed specifically for worktops called the Carrierpac.

B&Q delivers thousands of worktops a year which previously resulted in around 1,100 tonnes of packaging waste annually.

The products, which cost between £27 and £830, require significant packaging to avoid damage in transit. Any dents or scratches are likely to result in the worktop being rejected by the customer, returned to B&Q and scrapped, which incurs additional costs in production, distribution and disposal. Before the trial B&Q was having to dump some 900 tonnes of damaged worktops a year.

Carrierpacs are made from plastic materials supplied by Storsack Dorton and Kaysersberg Plastics with around 45 per cent recycled content.

B&Q initially trialled 500, during which time there were no reports of damage.

The retailer has now rolled out the Carrierpac across all laminated worktops and since doing so the damage rate has reduced from around six per cent to less than one per cent. The company has also saved £300,000 by not using corrugated board and customer satisfaction has improved as they are more likely to get the right product first time and they no longer have to recycle or dispose of the corrugated board.