Picking a more sustainable storage solution for e-commerce  

Loughborough, UK-based Colton Packaging has helped an online fulfilment client to reduce overheads and become more sustainable by switching all of its plastic bin totes to a newly-designed corrugated alternative. 

Colton’s in-house design team was briefed that the key criteria for the new bin totes were stacking strength, ease of assembly and accessibility of the stored products. Following a visit to the warehouse facility to measure up for the new totes, the customer shared plans to create more picking locations with a cheaper, greener alternative to expensive plastic trays, meaning the design needed to be scalable. Speed of delivery was also of paramount importance, so Colton’s in-house designers got to work creating made-to-measure corrugated bin totes that were large, yet structurally strong enough, to handle the constant demands of a busy warehouse.  

The team designed, sampled and delivered the corrugated alternative within three weeks, and the customer has been so impressed with the results, that they have rolled the design out across more of its warehouse operations. While the totes were made to fit a large bay, they can be reproduced in alternative sizes, and the design team has already developed and produced half bin totes for smaller goods. In addition to making picking easier and having a shorter lead time compared with plastic, another advantage of the design is that it can be supplied flat, taking up less space in the warehouse when not in use.    

Antony Wilkinson, Commercial Director, Colton Packaging, said, “We were pleased that we could meet the customer’s brief with such a tight timeline. As well as providing them with a greener alternative to plastic that is also 100% recyclable, the new design can be scaled up or down as required. The cost-saving is significant as, while the cardboard is cheaper to produce than plastic, increased efficiency while picking goods has also helped to boost the business’ profitability, so it’s win-win.” 

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