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How to Make E-Commerce Packaging More Sustainable

Ameripen2The American Institute for Packaging and the Environment has published a brochure aimed at improving the environmental sustainability e-commerce packaging, in time for the holiday season.

The brochure, titled Packaging: At the Forefront of E-Commerce Growth & Sustainability, explains the roles of e-commerce packaging, strategies that packaging manufacturers, product marketers and retailers use to minimize product damage, and ways in which the packaging industry continues to find innovative solutions to do more with less.

The brochure offers the following “Four Rs” to readers:

  1. Reduce and consolidate orders, delivering more products in fewer packaging.
  2. Reuse packaging, especially boxes and cushioning materials.
  3. Return packaging to local shipping stores, especially cushioning materials.
  4. Recycle corrugated and other materials, including polyethylene films.

According to Ameripen, US retail e-commerce sales are set to exceed $300 billion in 2014, with much of the volume occurring during the last two months of the year.

Donna Dempsey of Ameripen says it is important that people are aware of the role packaging plays in e-commerce, and to also be aware of how easy it is to recycle e-commerce packaging.

A study released in May by business and technology consulting firm, West Monroe Partners, found more than half of consumers are willing to pay at least 5 percent higher prices for products ordered online if they’re delivered sustainably, and 76 percent would wait at least one extra day for climate-friendly transport.

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