OPINION: Why sustainability is key in ecommerce packaging

The pandemic made consumers more aware than ever of sustainsbility and retailers need to react to the new demand when it comes to their packaging, says Gavin Mounce, ecommerce design manager at DS Smith Packaging UK

If I had to place a topic or trend as the priority on most businesses’ targets, then it would be sustainability. COVID was a catalyst for growth in ecommerce, which did nothing to dampen customers interest in sustainability, but actually accelerated it for many with the amount of packaging they were receiving in their homes.

In the corrugated industry, just using recycled papers to make a box is no longer acceptable as a sustainable solution. Customers are demanding more granular information on all elements that make up a corrugated box, from inks to glues and tapes.

We are certainly seeing many more requests from customers looking for additional support in achieving greater sustainability, which led to the development of our Circular Design Principles. These are a set of five principles which guide our experts to develop circular packaging solutions. Whilst improvements are necessary, it is also vital to measure and compare the performance of a packaging design across a range of indicators. Our Circular Design Metrics include eight different indicators, such as recyclability, that provide a clear indication of circularity performance and help identify areas with potential for improvement.

The need for supply chain efficiency

Alongside sustainability, the unprecedented rising cost of energy, fuel and raw materials means that supply chain efficiency has risen up the priority list for retailers. This means that no stone can be left unturned, from sourcing to manufacturing, packing to shipping, there has never been a better time for brands to undertake supply chain audits. When used in conjunction with supply chain testing, they are the perfect way to identify […]

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