In the era of ecommerce, the ability to offer efficient and rapid delivery and collection services is one of the main competitive territories on which the challenges of ecommerce are being played and packaging is involved in this revolution.
Packaging is the key element in customer service, but with the increase in online purchases, packaging also increases and the need to find sustainable solutions for production and recovery is becoming more and more accentuated. According to Netcomm estimates, there are about 20 million monthly deliveries in Italy generated by e-commerce, with a consequent significant flow of packaging that can prove to be an opportunity for the recycling industry; even more significant are the numbers recorded during the health emergency due to Covid-19.
What happens from the packaging point of view?
As for the primary packaging, nothing changes since, at the moment, the packaging in contact with the product remains the same, whether it is purchased in the store or purchased online. What changes is the transport packaging, which is necessary for delivery. According to the Data Bank of the Italian Packaging Institute relating to the packaging sector in this area, 92% of orders are shipped in corrugated cardboard packaging: these are mainly boxes, but we also find rigid cardboard envelopes used to send small packaging, for example stationery or books.
In 2019, 293,000 tons of corrugated cardboard were used for the boxes used to move goods sold via e-commerce, about 6% of the total corrugated cardboard produced in Italy. On the other hand, the positive trend that has characterized the recent trend (+ 2% annually from 2014 to 2019) was driven precisely by e-commerce.
Packaging protagonist of electronic commerce.
Packaging is certainly the undisputed protagonist of the reality associated with electronic commerce. Using sustainable packaging for your products means effectively contributing to the development of a sustainable e-commerce, transmitting your attention and commitment to green issues at the same time to the consumer. In this regard, it may be useful to recall the document “Guidelines and Check List for the correct use of packaging for e-commerce for environmental sustainability” (Comieco and Netcommm, 2019), in which some points have been collected useful keys to provide e-commerce companies and businesses in the supply chain with practical tools to better assess and manage the environmental impact of packaging.
Examples of innovative and sustainable packaging can be consulted in the Best Pack database, such as Wave Bag; protective paper bag, made in Italy, which revolutionizes the online shipping packaging market thanks to its wave padding that guarantees maximum protection by combining respect for the environment. The guarantee is twofold; protection and recyclability.