On average, 25% of the packages that circulate are empty. This phenomenon, which seems so harmless, is actually not very ecological.
As an e-merchant, you are probably wondering if there are any solutions. At Bigblue, we have listed the best practices to help you optimize your packaging, making it less polluting and more pleasant for the customer experience.
So, how do you fight against over-packaging? Is it possible to lighten the weight of the package by eliminating superfluous layers? And above all, are there alternatives to polluting materials?
If, like us, you think it would be good for the environment (and for your wallet) to change the game, here are our 3 directly actionable tips.
Some e-tailers standardize packaging for productivity reasons. This way, assembly teams don't waste time looking for the right size package for the ordered item. So, buying a single-size package in large numbers to hold small and large products seems to be rather logical.
A logical choice, certainly, but not very economical and not at all ecological:
From a macro point of view, we can say that overpackaging is not a good business! But from a more micro perspective, it's no better. One of the crucial points to consider is the consumer: what does he think about all this?
In general, this aspect is not well received by the final customer, who doesn't plan to store a box the size of a bicycle in his trash can when he has only ordered a simple bedside lamp (if you have ever ordered in a large store, you know what we are talking about!).
However, mentalities are changing: people are concerned about the environment. Logistics is, therefore, an element on which you will have to be attentive, at the riskof getting bad press!
We know that ingrained habits are hard to break. But the figures quoted above prove it: by remaining minimalistic in your packaging, you will not only optimize your costs but also please the planet and your customer.
So why not start slowly but surely? The truth is, there is no miracle solution. In fact, you just need to be pragmatic:
The process of preparing an order described above is hardly exaggerated. For example, for a sweater and a pair of socks that come from the same store, we have:
That is 4 packages in total. But we can still find:
Total of the operation? 6 layers for two items.
Overpackaging is responsible for pollution. To compare:
In addition, the waste these materials produce is not environmentally friendly at all.
So ask yourself: at your level, what packaging could you remove?
At Bigblue, we've noticed that end customers place a high value on the delivery experience and packaging. The latter is part of the brand image.
An overlay of bags, plastics, and other additions do not make for a pleasant customer experience.
What do you think are the areas where you could improve? Here are some ideas to guide you:
You know the ones that are not useful for your product or your customer. For each container, ask yourself what its real added value is.
For example, to avoid the use of tissue paper and guarantee an optimal customer experience, you can adopt personalized packaging (inside). Sézane integrates this element in its marketing strategy.
Here, it is, of course, a question of being in phase with your positioning and values. Lush is ultra-transparent about the packaging material used. The site indicates that the cellophane bags used to wrap and protect bare items for orders are made of vegetable cellulose, 100% biodegradable, and 100% compostable.
You guessed it. The side effect of the empty package is the need to fill it with readily available materials that seem economical.
Indeed, not having suitable packaging means fearing that the item ordered will travel poorly in transit.
To alleviate this problem, the materials used to avoid any alteration of the object have components for which the logisticians remain unclear like:
Although practical for delicate and fragile goods, they have a significant disadvantage: they are made of plastic whose manufacture and waste are polluting.
Moreover, it is difficult not to think of plastic tape when talking about packaging. This adhesive is unfortunately not recyclable and even prevents a package from being recyclable.
What could you replace plastic with? Easier said than done!
But rest assured.
There are environmentally friendly, affordable alternatives that can give you a good brand image (without greenwashing).
For sensitive products such as Unbottled soaps that can break in transport, it is almost mandatory to have "protections." You may wonder if other materials are as reliable as the ones you are used to.
The answer is yes! And here is what you can integrate into your logistics, being sure that all this is recyclable:
To go even further, there is Hipli which offers packaging adapted to your merchandise while avoiding the use of materials that are harmful to nature. In short, environmental protection is clearly in their DNA as this brand focuses on reusable and responsible packaging.
In short, the triptych of over-packaging is not a fatality. You can start by doing an audit of where you stand:
At Bigblue, we're very aware of these environmental issues, which is why we talk about them. If this resonates with you and you want to discuss it, you can always contact us!
Main image created by vectorjuice - fr.freepik.com