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Gosselin studies sustainable alternatives for the moving sector

In order to fight the rising use of plastic in the moving sector, Gosselin employees are getting involved in finding sustainable solutions. They found an alternative for bubble wrap, but that’s not all. Gosselin wants to take the lead in sustainability projects, and to engage as many moving companies as it can to help carry this load.

“We studied the use of plastic in the moving sector over the past few years.” Madeline Van Der Rhee, manager of the moving division, explains. “Why exactly did we start using so much plastic? The primary reasons are the demand for this from customers, ease of use, and the speed at which you can work. It’s getting harder and harder to find movers with years of experience and extensive knowledge of the business. Since plastic is easier for beginners, many people tend to fall back on bubble wrap.”

Corrugated cardboard

“Plastic actually isn’t better than traditional export packaging, plus there’s no guarantee that you can reuse it. The number of claims doesn’t drop when plastic is used. There’s a need for good training for sales teams, movers and subcontractors to encourage them to start adopting packing methods that don’t use plastic. Our customers also have to be better informed about this during the survey phase.”

Gosselin is looking at moving boxes as a solution. The boxes used for international moves are often only used once because they’ve either gotten damaged en route or because they’re printed with the company’s logo. “There are special machines that can convert the cardboard to corrugated cardboard, a bubble-wrap-like product that does just as good a job protecting furniture. While this is a fantastic initiative, it’s not cheap. If more companies would get behind this solution, the costs will go down and we can actively focus on sustainability,” according to Madeline.

Sustainable alternatives
Recycled plastic with a high rate of reusability

An additional issue is that this solution requires more cardboard, and all moving companies apply the three standard models. Boxes for bed linens, books and clothing. “You can’t keep reusing cardboard forever. This is why we’re examining the possibility of using recycled plastic crates that are equipped with tags, and can be exchanged between moving companies. You can use these crates a hundred times more often than a cardboard box, but further study is required as not all cases end up in a win-win. Life Cycle Analyses (LCA) and sustainability portfolio choices are crucial to make sure that at the end C0² and waste are reduced. “Gosselin wants to take the lead in sustainability projects,” Madeline concludes. “The entire moving industry has to work together to achieve this. Sustainability is something we have to work on together!”

About Gosselin

Gosselin is a leading provider of international moving and destination services. Our clients are  multinationals, relocation management companies, expats, diplomats, military personnel and private persons. With 56 offices in 34 countries, Gosselin has a strong presence in Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia. 
Gosselin is a division of the Gosselin Group that has its headquarters in Antwerp, Belgium. The company was founded in 1930 and employs a staff of 800 that generates more than 270 million euros in turnover.

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