The brochure, entitled “Packaging: At the Forefront of E-Commerce Growth & Sustainability,” also encourages consumers to deal with e-commerce packaging in an environmentally conscious manner.
US retail e-commerce sales are set to exceed $300bn in 2014, according to a news release from AMERIPEN (the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment).
Much of that volume occurs during the last two months of the year, and e-commerce packaging is responsible for ensuring that holiday gifts arrive in good condition. The brochure discusses how packaging manufacturers and product marketers design and select packaging to minimize product damage during transit.
A material difference
The brochure also explains how, in many cases, e-commerce packaging uses less material than retail packaging. Product ordered online typically requires less complex packaging and may not need secondary packaging.
In addition, e-commerce businesses and their packaging suppliers continue to find ways to lightweight packaging materials, such as using air pillows or bubble wrap. Some online retailers have adopted packaging that is either 100% recyclable or biodegradable.
“Packaging ensures that the ease, convenience, and cost savings that have fueled the e-commerce revolution will continue and that products arrive in perfect condition,” said AMERIPEN executive director Donna Dempsey.
“We also want people to know how easy it is to reduce, reuse, and recycle that packaging,” Dempsey added.
Thus, the brochure outlines “The 4 Rs” — reduce, reuse, return and recycle — to help consumers maximize their own economic and environmental sustainability.
Reduce translates to consolidating orders, so fewer packages are needed to deliver more products. The brochure urges consumers to reuse packaging, especially boxes and cushioning materials.
If or when reuse of such materials is not feasible, the brochure suggests returning that packaging to a local shipping store. Finally, most municipalities accept corrugated board and polyethylene film for recycling.
The 4-page brochure is available for download from AMERIPEN’s website.