Surge in online shopping here to stay, how will it effect packaging?

UK Shoppers have taken to the internet by storm during lockdown and over 90% will continue to shop online post lockdown. What does this mean for the packaging industry? Well, we are certainly going to be much busier and responsible for the environmental impact!

Many of us only have to look as far as ourselves, or maybe friends and family to see how radically our shopping habits have changed. According to DS Smith’s reporting the huge increase in online shopping is here to stay, consumers have spent that last 4 months with no choice other than to use the internet for essentials, entertainment and even gardening equipment. People that wouldn’t usually trust online shopping or preferred to “try before you buy” are now happy to purchase online and will continue to do so post-lockdown.

COVID19 lockdown has brought the already remarkable growth of online shopping forward by 5 years resulting in a huge uptick in online orders that require packaging for them to be shipped safely to their destination.

It has also been recorded that 21% of the UK population would be more likely to shop with businesses that send products with sustainable packaging. Although we are all aware of the environmental impact of packaging waste, whether it’s using too much bubble wrap or sending products in oversized boxes. The question is, why are we still seeing this happen?

UK Shoppers are noticing this more and more each day because they are buying online on a weekly basis, it’s not that incorrect packing ever stopped and has now increased because of lockdown, it just went unnoticed.

As we creep closer to online shopping peaks of Black Friday and Christmas, businesses need to be prepared for a huge demand of packaging and need to be responsible for how they are packing.

Now is the time for packaging companies to switch to more sustainable packaging. Why? Because the proportion of consumers who insist on sustainable packaging will increase substantially when we start to realise how much unnecessary packaging we are throwing away and in some cases not knowing how to recycle it.

If businesses in the UK do not act soon they will be left behind when it comes to online shopping. There are a number of paper alternatives to plastic packaging and paper is the obvious choice, being 100% recyclable, biodegradable and eco-friendly. Not only is paper 100% recyclable, if you select the correct cushion type it is robust and flexible, helping to minimise material use and keep cost down. In fact, in many cases customers save money switching from plastic to paper.  This is not only in material consumption, but also in reduction in breakages and savings in pack times. Perhaps most importantly paper users are delighting their customers with packaging that is attractive, easy to re-use and dispose of, ensuring they come back again and again.

As consumers we all know the frustration when we open a package that is tightly suffocated in bubble wrap or over-filled with popped airbags.

Take a look at some of the alternatives we recommend here:

Paper Bubble Wrap – Paper Void Fill – Paper Mailing Bags – Paper Tape 

Get in touch to find out more on how your business can be more sustainable

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