Even as packaging becomes greener, greater burdens are being placed on the already unsustainable shipping industry. Shipping is responsible for a huge amount of global carbon emissions; maritime efforts contribute 2% alone, according to the BBC. To create a truly sustainable and green industry, where the good work put into producing sustainable packaging is backed up elsewhere in the supply chain, more needs to be done when it comes to shipping. As it happens, the ingenuity of reusable and sustainable packaging can help.
Economy of convenience
Supply chain disruption in maritime and air shipping have created a rise in domestic, road-based deliveries. This, paired with the demand for convenient and quick delivery, has seen the rise of priority overnight shipping to become one of the preferred methods for businesses and customers alike. Convenience is essential; MarketWatch notes that most consumers will even pay more for the ease of being able to purchase online. With a wide range of product sources and delivery windows, there’s a great focus on using quick and easy packaging to get the orders pushed through and ships, a niche that reusable and sustainable packaging fills readily.
A confused public
At the same time that packaging is forging ahead in the eco-friendly economy, there are major blockages arising from consumer perspectives. Research conducted by McKinsey shows that consumers are often simply unaware of their options and unaware of what the packaging they are using entails when it comes to the environment. Promoting the packaging used is important for shipping companies and will help to raise awareness of the products and their credentials.
Whole supply chain benefits
There is a chance that using this approach could lead to their packaging being used beyond just the delivery cycle. A report by CNBC highlights that many homes are looking to cut down on their carbon footprint this holiday season by utilizing packaging straight from the delivery person. Furthermore, many homes are hoping to completely re-use their packaging in the future, whether that’s this season or next. This shows promise for a future where reusable packaging can truly become a permanent object, rather than reaching the landfill.
It seems unthinkable that packaging would become not just part of the delivery process on a repeatable basis, but part of the home for a near-permanent length of time. This may be the reality this holiday season in America, and certainly so in future years.