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A NEW ERA OF FULFILLMENT: INTRODUCING WALMART’S AUTOMATED PACKAGING

Apr 24, 2023
A NEW ERA OF FULFILLMENT: INTRODUCING WALMART’S AUTOMATED PACKAGING

The packaging industry accounts for one of the largest volumes of virgin fibre paper and plastic
worldwide. According to studies, up to 50% of the paper and 40% of the plastic produced annually is
used for packaging. One of the sectors that use packaging in a significant amount is the textile

industry. The textile industry has grown gradually over the past decade and currently represents the
largest e-commerce market segment. One of the problems with packaging is that retailers using
cardboard or corrugated boxes often have a hard time choosing the right size for shipping. These
cartons increase waste that must be disposed of. In addition, a growing number of customers are
unhappy with the amount of packaging that must be disposed of through household waste. CO 2
emissions from shipping packaging in e-commerce account for about 30% of total emissions.


More and more companies, organizations, and educational institutions are looking for sustainable
and renewable alternatives. For example, Walmart is working with an industry pioneer to reduce
packaging waste at some of its high-tech fulfillment centers. The company is already committed to
attaining 100% recyclable, reuse, or industrially compostable packaging by 2025. Many Walmart
fulfillment facilities are now using the Ultra5, a fully automated, on-demand case packer designed
around previously announced X5 technology from Packsize, a provider of sustainable, right-sized on-
demand packaging systems (FCs).

Prathibha Rajashekhar, senior vice president of innovation and automation at Walmart U.S., said that
“By working with Packsize to develop the Ultra5 machine, we created an innovative packaging
solution that tailors each box to the items we are shipping to customers, eliminating unnecessary
waste and improving the unboxing experience once the package arrives. In keeping with our
commitment to becoming a regenerative company, the Ultra5 solution is a win for our customers,
the business and our planet.”

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According to Packsize, Ultra5 can pack, label, and prepare orders for shipping in as little as 30
minutes while producing up to 600 boxes per hour. This technology attempts to reduce the cost and
environmental impact of unused corrugated boxes by making them the right size. Like all Packsize
solutions, the X5 aims to reduce packaging waste caused by boxes that are too large for their
contents, while reducing the need for void fillers such as plastic air pillows, lowering shipping
emissions and improving the overall customer experience.

Walmart's latest effort to reduce packaging waste throughout its supply chain is its collaboration
with Packsize. In 2022, Walmart unveiled the Circular Connector, a tool designed to connect
companies in need of sustainable packaging solutions with entrepreneurs who can provide those
solutions. This was done as part of Walmart's sustainability goals. Packaging options that support
Walmart's sustainable packaging goals can be downloaded by the general public through The Circular
Connector.

Ashley Hall, sustainable packaging lead for Walmart stated in a blog post, “Our hope with making
Circular Connector open source is that it propels companies to move faster to make design changes
that will help create a circular economy for plastics, even our direct competitors. Sustainable
packaging changes can’t happen in a silo and require lifecycle thinking. Today we still have packages
that can cause confusion for customers: Is it recyclable? Compostable? Wait…I need to remove a
label before it can be recycled? And on and on.”

Source: https://sourcingjournal.com/sustainability/sustainability-materials/walmart-packsize-ultra5-
x5-sustainable-packaging-box-automated-waste-fulfillment-center-424089/

Posted by Abiteks

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