Ecommerce Packaging

How to reduce packaging waste in the ecommerce industry

4 mins

The ecommerce industry provides consumers with exceptional choice, accessibility, and flexibility, so it’s hardly a surprise that we’re purchasing more products online than ever before.

Whilst ecommerce is great in many ways, like most things, there’s a dark side to this convenience - the more packages that arrive on our doorstep, the more packaging that needs to be disposed of. And let’s not pretend, we’ve all experienced excessive packaging that just seems a total waste.

From a business point of view, ecommerce packaging is often seen as the face of your brand, and packaging design is a key area for those looking to assess your eco-friendliness.

In short, wasteful ecommerce packaging is now, and always will be, bad for business (and the planet). So, with that said, here’s how to reduce packaging waste when sending your online products for shipment.

1. Prevent over-packing

Not only is over-packing bad for the environments, it’s one of the biggest pet peeves consumers have with online shopping. In fact, almost a fifth of consumers say excessive packaging negatively impacts the brand experience – and it’s clear why.

The more packaging that’s used for an online order, the more your consumers have to dispose of upon delivery. It becomes even more of a problem when the consumer is taking extra steps to be more sustainable. If they’re unhappy with how their product arrives, the chances of them re-ordering becomes very slim.

Over-packing also impacts your company’s profits too. By using more material than needed, you’ll find yourself spending unnecessary amount on packaging which could otherwise be easily avoided. Here’s how.

If you have a large range of products that vary in sizes, make sure that you have a selection of containers at your disposal. This could include protective mailer bags for smaller items, as well as various corrugate boxes for medium to larger sized products.

You can also introduce a flexible voidfill solution, such as paper voidfill, which enables you to customise the amount of voidfill you use per package.

For more valuable and unique items, a bespoke ecommerce package is your best bet. By consulting with an experienced packaging expert who will evaluate your product, create prototypes, and test the package, you won’t have to worry about over-packing any longer.

2. Minimise use of plastic packaging

Plastic continues to be a massive contributor to packaging waste, so you’re probably not surprised to see this point listed. Whilst not all plastics are bad, it’s single use plastics that create the most waste.

As well, many consumers fail to properly dispose of and recycle plastics correctly, making it easier for businesses to realise that an alternative is the safer option.

Paper-based packaging could be a great replacement for plastic when it comes to wrapping or cushioning products. It gives your package a less ‘wasteful’ feel and also makes it seem more inviting and high-end. In short, paper packaging is great for enhancing your customer experience.

A great example of this in action, would be our latest product launch – Honeycomb Paper Wrap. As an eco-friendly alternative to traditional bubble wrap, Honeycomb Paper Wrap offers your business a chance to substitute wasteful plastic with recyclable paper. Be sure to check it out, you won’t be disappointed!

3. Consider biodegradable packaging alternatives

If you’re looking to invest in sustainable packaging for a reduction in waste, biodegradable options are worth a mention. Designed to leave zero trace behind upon decomposition, biodegradable packaging is made from natural sources, such as corn starch, grass and even mushroom fibres.

As long as they’re disposed of correctly, these materials break down without any harmful effects on the environment. Because of this, consumers (and businesses) can feel confident that their purchasing decisions contribute towards a healthier planet.

Even though, we love the use of biodegradable packaging, these are often innovative materials that are not yet on industrial scale and come with a higher price tag then the traditional packaging materials.

Reduce your packaging waste with the experts

As a Certified B Corporation, we take pride in helping other businesses reduce their waste and implement eco-friendly packaging solutions without breaking the bank. Our packaging expertise, wide range of products, and in-house design team, allow us to suggest the very best solution to suit your requirements.

So, if you’re looking to enhance your brand with eco-friendly packaging, contact us today. We’d love to be apart in helping your business achieve its goals.