All forms of consumerism, including bricks and mortar, omnichannel and ecommerce, have an impact on the environment. The rapid growth recorded by the ecommerce sector in recent months is putting sustainability firmly in the spotlight, especially when it comes to packaging.
There are lots of ways companies can make simple changes, which will benefit the environment, as well as your reputation and your bottom line. Here are our four most cost-effective tips for making your packaging more sustainable:
1 – Cut the waste
When used effectively, properly designed packaging can significantly reduce waste throughout your supply chain. It can also reduce shipment weights, product damage and returns rates, all of which contribute to a reduction in costs, while improving your sustainability credentials. Your fulfilment and logistics partners can help you to explore your options.
2 – Reduce use of plastics
From April 2022, the government plans to introduce a tax for manufacturers and importers, which will see any packaging made from less than 30% recycled plastic subject to a £200 levy. This is projected to increase the use of recycled plastic in packaging by 40%, equal to carbon savings of nearly 200,000 tonnes. There are some low-cost alternative packaging solutions available, such as paper-based void fills, potato starch, packaging peanuts and recyclable air pillows.
3 – Delivery options
Share your sustainability goals and get your customers involved. Use discounts, points or an offer to donate to an environmental charity to incentivise customers to make more environmentally conscientious decisions. This could include combining orders into a single delivery on a specific date, slower delivery speeds, click and collect or store-based returns, if the shops are available. You can then track how much potential packaging waste has been saved and report it through your website, so your customers can see the impact they are having by choosing to do things differently.
4 – Box clever
Involve your packaging and logistics partners in the early stage planning of new product lines. Taking advantage of their expertise will open up innovative ways to minimise waste, use sustainable sourcing and create delivery options that are more efficient.
To find out how we are helping our customers to deliver ecommerce sustainably, or to see how Cygnia can help you to improve the sustainability of your operations, get in touch.