Many exciting developments are underway in the industry, but not every sustainable packaging solution has to be high-tech and costly to be effective. And small ecommerce businesses often don’t have the resources or the demand to justify investing in large-scale solutions.
One of the most impactful – and cost-effective – things businesses can do is adapt existing practices to promote sustainability and draw attention to the overuse of single-use packaging. For example, offering customers the option to group orders into a single delivery has become increasingly popular among small businesses in recent years.
Business owners are responding to consumer demand – particularly among Millennials and Gen Z – for more sustainable solutions. Many online shoppers don’t mind the slightly increased delivery time if it means reducing environmental impact.
Some businesses also offer customer the choice to have their order shipped in a pre-used cardboard box that is still in a fully functional condition. Not only does this give customers the chance to make environmentally-conscious shopping choices, but it also reduces the amount of waste caused by shipments on an individual basis by at least 50%.
Other immediate changes can still help shift our perspective on the value of cardboard. For example, small-scale packaging adaptations are driving large-scale change. Country-level initiatives to revamp packaging design in favor of sustainable alternatives are becoming more and more commonplace. Here’s where the snowball effect comes in to play – as minor adaptations to packaging become an increasingly accepted in logistics, the quicker these changes spread and develop even further.
Like with any change in business practices, there will be growing pains as people learn to adapt to new processes. But as more ecommerce businesses respond to rising consumer demand for sustainable practices, they will overcome the initial hurdles, adapt and implement new solutions, and ultimately discover added value for both their customers and their company.