Automated Sortation Innovation: No Polybags Required

Each year, consumers use approximately 500 billion plastic bags—the equivalent of one million bags every single minute. And while we may think solely of the single-use plastic bags we get at the grocery store as the only culprit, that’s not exactly the case. The fashion industry alone uses a reported 90 billion polybags each year, most made from petroleum-based plastics. 

Consumers are paying attention to these kinds of practices. According to Forbes, consumers of all ages are willing to pay more for eco-friendly options. Users of all age groups want to support brands cutting down on excess waste and single-use plastics.

With the rising cost of inflation and a sharp focus on environmentally-conscious practices, it doesn’t seem like a great idea to wrap every single product in a polybag simply for convenience. There’s got to be a better way to sort and fill orders without excess single-use plastic. 

Automated sortation systems are integral in modern warehouses, but many automated systems can struggle to accurately handle items that have not been bagged. EuroSort automated sortation systems are different – they are able to reliably process and sort products without polybags, making sure your automated sorting process is just as accurate as if every item was in a bag. Our automated systems ensure that all parts of the fulfillment process are running smoothly and efficiently, keeping a reliable workflow with little manual effort required. No matter what you stock consists of or how large or small it may be, you can trust our automated system to correctly handle it, polybag free. 


The Effect of Polybags on the Environment

It’s no secret that plastic bags and polybags are terrible for the environment. Over 8 million metric tons of plastic each year enter the oceans— single-use plastic bags and polybags are major contributors.

These polybags are impractical and expensive to recycle, meaning most of them end up in landfills. At the landfill, these polybags take around 300 years to photodegrade. But this photodegradation doesn’t equal the end of a single polybag’s environmental impact. Once polybags start to degrade, they break down into tiny particles and enter our waterways and soil. 

What’s more? These polybags don’t just harm our environment after they break down. Plastic bags and polybags wash down sewer systems or blow into waterways, landing in our oceans, lakes, and rivers where they can hurt wildlife. It’s estimated that these bags kill 100,000 marine animals alone each year. 


Plastic and Polybags: Inefficient for your Operations

Polybags can vary in price depending on the size and complexity of the bag, the thickness, and the make-up of the plastic, but most polybags cost just a few pennies. While this may not seem like a high cost, it can quickly add up. For example, EuroSort’s automated sorting systems can sort as many as 35,000 items in an hour. If the average cost of a polybag is just $0.02, that can add up to $700 in just the cost of bags in one hour alone. In eight hours of sorting at full speed, that $0.02 per bag can add up to $5,600.

For too long, polybags have seemed like a necessary evil, a tool for labeling items to sort and process orders. But it takes time and resources to place products in bags—to speak nothing of the cost of the bags themselves. It’s an inefficient process at best.


Cutting the Plastic: How EuroSort Is Changing the Game

While it’s true that polybags contribute to environmental harm and take away from the bottom line, they are a major convenience for a distribution operation because they keep items clean, allow some automation to handle apparel, and provide a location to stick a barcode. How can your operation continue to work toward your organization’s sustainability goals while also reducing your cost? Well to start, EuroSort’s automated sortation systems can help by sorting products without packaging items in polybags. 


Bagless Innovations of EuroSort Systems


The pocket made by the sorter tray contains loose items into separate pockets. Each pocket may hold the same type of item, or store different kinds of goods; depending on the needs of the user. The automated transport means that loose items can be moved with speed and accuracy, making operations smoother and faster, without polybags. 

Batch Induction Technology

Batch induction capability is a major technological advancement that simplifies product tracking. By introducing this new method, individual barcodes on products are no longer necessary. The barcode from a single sku tote or carton is scanned, and EuroSort’s system identifies items as they are placed onto the sorter. This means that each unit can be easily identified without having to fish around for a hang-tag or barcode. This induction capability is especially beneficial for businesses that manufacture or distribute a relatively low number of skus (under 30,000 typically) due to the amount of time and cost savings associated with picking from master cartons or totes, and not needing to package each item in a bag with a barcode. 

Patented Linkage

The Split Tray Sorter’s patented tray linkage synchronizes the opening of the tray to ensure that items drop completely flat. This means that even loose items stay folded most of the time. Having folded items traveling through the sortation process and to their final destination safely helps eliminate the need for polybags, improves the customer presentation and helps eliminate extra work at the retail store level.  

Tight Discharge

The Split Tray family of sorters is designed for an impressive level of accuracy, allowing for items to be neatly and efficiently sorted directly into outbound cartons or totes. With no need for a chute connecting the sorter to the outbound carton, businesses can trust that their goods will remain in pristine conditions while they’re handled and transported throughout the supply chain, therefore reducing the need for bags to keep the product clean. Our clean sort capabilities offer a high-quality solution to streamline operations and ensure packages are ready for shipment.


What Does This Mean For Our Partners? 

EuroSort’s processes benefit your business financially by saving you most of the cost of purchasing polybags while also streamlining the efficiency of your packing processes, saving you labor costs. 

EuroSort’s processes are so efficient that they can reduce polybag usage for your operation by as much as 90 percent, and our automated sortation systems can process up to 35,000 items an hour—without all the bags.

We now have over 450 Sorters working nonstop worldwide, handling millions of items every hour. We’re ready for any challenge, whether it’s irregularly-shaped items or cutting down on plastic polybags. Our team fine-tunes our technology to ensure you get the best results possible.

Fewer polybags mean less waste, less lost time spent looking for a barcode, and a more sustainable operation. Are you ready to see how we can make it happen? Connect with us today!