5 principles of how it works despite booming online trade – eCommerce magazine

Everyone packs … but how it works sustainable packaging? The mail order business in Germany climbs new peaks every year and experiences another high thanks to Covid-19. Packaging plays the role of the “hidden champion”: nothing works without it, because the existential legitimation of packaging is in its real sense: protection.

Sustainable packaging with a minimum

For an online retailer it is therefore not an option to leave out the packaging or upholstery. A product that arrives damaged at the customer would not be good for the image. Returns and new shipments also mean an additional burden on the environment and the wallet. So a minimum amount of packaging is required. And that is exactly what it is about: a (minimum) measure – “Pack consciously and sustainably!” Say the packaging professionals, because protection is sustainable.

Sustainable packaging

No business without sustainability

Packaging has always had five main tasks: product protection, appealing product presentation, branding, the unpacking experience – i.e. generating the WOW effect and of course the communication function. But what’s new?

In the future, customers will also choose their suppliers based on sustainability. According to a PwC survey, 85% of consumers believe that sustainable packaging is important. 52% are already specifically looking for products with environmentally friendly packaging. And at the latest everyone should wake up here: In the future, you can ONLY do business with environmentally friendly packaging habits. Customers will actively deselect suppliers who neglect the topic.

5 principles for sustainable packaging for orientation

It is known that packaging is garbage in the end. The B2B packaging retailer RAJA is also aware of this and therefore speaks very clearly with its customers about sustainable packaging. There are five criteria for orientation:

  1. To reduce: According to a 2018 Forbes study, 60 percent of deliveries contain more than 25 percent empty volume. The aim is to choose the right packaging for your product, i.e. packaging only as big as necessary and with exactly enough padding to ensure that your goods arrive safely. That is the alpha and omega. This saves packaging costs, postage and, thanks to better utilization of the transport vehicles, also CO².
  2. Reuse: The aim is to get the maximum benefit from packaging. Use packaging with multiple uses and a long shelf life, for example packaging that is suitable for both the outward and return transport in shipping or storage. Give the packaging added value – for example with a QR code with additional information, product videos, etc. Personalize your packaging to make it Brand ambassador close. This improves your brand awareness and your business success at the end of the day.
  3. Replace: Clearly, replace conventional packaging material with more sustainable one. Change to paper or wet adhesive tape Paper bubble cushion. Use stretch film made from recycled material or bags made from bio-based raw materials.
  4. Regrowth: Packaging made from renewable raw materials such as vegetable starch or PLA helps to reduce our environmental impact.
  5. Recycle: The goal is to achieve a circular economy. Pay attention to the recyclability and the recycled content of the packaging products.
80 percent recycled stretch film. (Image: Rajapack GmbH)

Sustainable packaging: circular economy is the goal

The keyword circular economy is heard over and over again. What do we get from recyclable products if nobody ends up recycling them? In Europe, for example, only 30 percent of plastic waste is actually recycled. Sustainable raw materials and easily recyclable materials play a major role in packaging. RAJA works closely with the suppliers to expand its range of innovative and environmentally friendly products. In order to minimize transport routes, RAJA also attaches importance to a sustainable, European purchasing policy. The packaging professional offers e.g. exclusively on the market Hand stretch film, which consists of 80 percent recycled material that Oscar d’Emballage won, shows that sustainable packaging is possible.

Also read: Returns management: How online retailers increase satisfaction with returns