According to research, shopping online is more eco-friendly than going to a store. With increased efficiency from logistics providers, the faster turnaround times also reduce carbon emissions. But if you have recently opened a package from an online seller, it may seem that the amount of packaging used would be a contradiction. Indeed, waste can be an issue regardless of whether you shop online or go to a physical store.
If you own an e-commerce business, it is essential to start looking into your packaging practices. How can you ensure that you are providing quality service while at the same time reducing waste? In this article, we will outline tips on eco-friendly packaging practices for e-commerce.
Review your current packaging practices
You may need to take stock of what you are currently doing to package your products so that you can determine what needs to change. What type of mailing boxes are you using? Do you have a variety of packaging materials for various products?
One good tip to minimise packaging is to look for versatile materials. For instance, you can keep using White Postal Boxes in a standard size to pack different products from your store. Aside from versatility, these mailing boxes are also reusable. You can also try looking for recyclable alternatives to plastic and bubble wrap, which is an excellent way to reduce non-biodegradable waste.
Always use the right-sized packaging
Some sellers use oversized boxes for small items. Granted that you have a vast inventory of products in your store, it would help if you make sure that you package them in the right-sized box to avoid using too many fillers such as bubble wrap.
Look for ‘green’ packaging
Nowadays, it is not hard to find a supplier that specializes in eco-friendly packaging materials. Things like mailing labels made from recycled materials, eco-friendly packaging tape, and 100% recyclable cardboard boxes will make a massive difference in the long run. Although these could cost more, you will notice that a little bit goes a long way.
Do you still send paper invoices to your customers? Why not consider sending these through email or text? Some of your customers may prefer a paper version, but it helps significantly when you can reduce the amount of paperwork produced for your orders.
If you do need to print paperwork for documentation and other purposes, try to use eco-friendly or recycled materials.
Consider shipping items together
You can try to encourage your customers to avoid buying small items in retail quantity by offering discounts for bulk orders. Shipping bigger boxes is more eco-friendly than sending out several small ones.
Involve your customers
Lastly, it is essential to make sure that your loyal customers know you are doing your best to make your packaging more eco-friendly. They will certainly appreciate it and might even drive more customers to buy your brand. When your customers are informed and engaged in your efforts, it is easier for them to accept any changes and be more patient as you experiment with new ways to reduce packaging waste.