Sustainable e-commerce: this is how clever packaging works

Sustainable e-commerce: this is how clever packaging works

The setting for the second post in our blog series is the shipping department. Here, packaging in particular offers scope for greater sustainability. We have collected some clever solutions for you.

Whether shoes, books or electrical goods – packaging always comes with goods purchased online. Often, moreover, one that is much too large and therefore contains additional filler materials. Experts estimate that packaging is responsible for around 30 percent of the total emissions associated with online commerce. As a company committed to greater sustainability in e-commerce, we at MS Direct are always on the lookout for innovative packaging solutions to reduce the environmental footprint in logistics. We have already found some. In this way, we offer our customers attractive opportunities to score well with consumers in times of a more conscious lifestyle.

No room for improvement.

Precisely fitting cardboard packaging has a doubly positive effect on the eco-balance. On-demand packaging not only reduces the amount of material per package. Transport also becomes more efficient, as a larger quantity of the smaller boxes can fit on the loading area at the same time. MS Direct relies on solutions from manufacturer Packsize to produce its customized cartons specifically for each shopping cart. In the first step, the system reads the geodata of the purchased products. Then it calculates the cutting pattern of the cardboard box and makes the optimal shipping box. So packaging and content always fit together perfectly.

The savings potential of this system is enormous: 60 to 80 percent less filler material is required – many packages even manage without any fillers at all. At the same time, transport volumes will fall by 30 to 40 percent and carton consumption by around 17 percent. In addition, a large proportion of the packaging materials used by MS Direct are recycled and produced in a climate-neutral manner – from cardboard to filling material to adhesive tape. We are happy to support customers who are still looking for the right solution here.

Reusable bags instead of cardboard mountains.

Numerous projects are currently working on ideas for reducing packaging materials. Kickbag from Switzerland and Boomerang from Germany are just two examples of innovative, established startups in this field. Both rely on bags made from recycled plastic that can be used again and again. So that the packaging also fits the contents, the bags come in different sizes. The bags are closed with Velcro fasteners, which eliminates the need for adhesive materials. The return by the customers takes place quite simply at the next mailbox. In this way, the bags are returned to the sender by mail, where they can be used again.

A healthy cycle.

Sendmepack also specializes in the reuse of packaging. In this case, it is cardboard boxes from returns that are reused for shipping. In the case of boxes in good condition, the labels are first removed for this purpose. If necessary, a cleanup follows. After that, they are ready for the next shipment. This clever idea not only saves valuable resources, but also reduces packaging waste. So that customers can track how much CO2 their box has already saved, there is also a QR code on each box to scan.

In our next article, we will leave the logistics center and hand over the packages to the shipping service providers. This fulfillment step also offers many opportunities for greater climate protection.

All articles on the sustainable e-commerce supply chain.