Shopping online has exploded during the epidemic, and shipping packages to a customer’s home has become more common than ever.
“But what about the effect packaging and transport has on the environment in today’s world?” some people are asking as online shopping rises.
As ecommerce continues to grow in popularity, it’s more vital than ever to consider the waste it generates. It should also be a top priority for all ecommerce companies, as well as a movement toward a more environmentally friendly online shopping experience.
As a company, you may have asked yourself, “What can I do to reduce my company’s carbon footprint?” We’ll go through how environmentally friendly shipping may help this issue and some of the ways brands are reducing their carbon footprint.
What is eco-friendly shipping?
Eco-friendly delivery utilizes biodegradable materials that can be readily recycled, transformed into other goods, and don’t take as long to decompose for packaging and shipping items.
It also implies combining orders into single shipments, utilizing carbon-emitting methods of delivery, and other methods to reduce the environmental impact of delivering packages.
Global impact of shipping on the environment
The comfort, speed, and accessibility are what make online ordering and 2-day delivery so popular. The bad news is that ecommerce has a dark side. As ecommerce sales double over the next decade, the negative impact on the environment will only grow greater.
The overall environmental effect of shipping is stunning. According to a recent research, Amazon contributes almost as much carbon dioxide as a tiny country while just over a third of all American solid waste comes from ecommerce packaging. And it’s not finished:
165 billion packages = 1 billion trees
There are around 165 billion packages delivered in the United States each year, on average. The cardboard used in these boxes amounts to 1 billion trees. That number doesn’t take into account other forms of packaging, such as plastic, which are even less environmentally friendly than paper.
Black carbon emissions total 21%
Soot, or black carbon, is a component of fine particle air pollution that contributes to climate change. When diesel, coal, and other biomass fuels are burned, numerous particles and gases are released.
Ships that burn heavy fuel oil produce black carbon, which is one of the most significant contributors to the overall negative effect of shipping. Since black carbon does not last long in the environment, efforts to cut back on its production will provide immediate health and environmental benefits.
7,500,000 extra plastic bags
Some firms in the ecommerce industry are employing bubble mailers and plastic bags because they are lighter and can carry more goods on trucks and aircraft. In the end, this eliminates operational expenses as well as material costs.
According to Adept Packaging, ecommerce purchases resulted in 7,500,000 more plastic bags. Depending on the structure and material, plastics can decompose anywhere from 20 to 500 years. It’s conceivable that packaging materials used in 2021 will still be on Earth in 2521.
That is why it’s critical for ecommerce companies and logistics firms to rethink the materials and packaging they employ to deliver their items.
Fast delivery is a significant contributor to climate change
Without a doubt, the ability to deliver goods without leaving home is perhaps the most appealing feature of ecommerce, and it also provides manufacturers an edge if they offer 2-day or faster shipping.
The costs and threats of rapid delivery are hidden from consumers by the companies that profit from their purchases. Last-mile transportation, which follows soon after freight movement, is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases and local air pollution emissions in the world today.
To compensate for this, urge your clients to take control of their deliveries by ensuring they are at home during delivery windows, using tools like UPS to have greater visibility, and even setting pickup locations.
Increasing ecommerce return rates
Customers have often experienced difficulties in obtaining returns. Companies like Happy Returns and Returnly have filled the void by providing a robust exchange and return experience for clients, resulting in a better overall customer experience.
It has the potential to minimize costs and improve efficiency. However, it has a detrimental impact on the environment by increasing transportation and consumable materials.