As online shopping expands, it’s not just the Cyber Monday (or should I say Cyber Week) sales that Amazon is thinking about.
I remember the days when I would order three books from Amazon and they would all come in three separate, giant boxes full of plastic air pockets. All of that waste was obnoxious. But now, Amazon is at the forefront of sustainable packaging innovation.
Over the past 10 years, Amazon has reduced 16% of their packaging with programs that bundle items together to make use of the space in their shipping boxes; that’s a reduction of 500 million boxes with 305 million boxes reduced in 2017alone. It just makes sense to fill up the boxes so that no one is paying to ship air.
But Amazon is taking their commitment to Earth-friendly, consumer-centric policies even further by opening communications with suppliers andGreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition. Amazon approached Hasbro Inc. with the idea of “Frustration-Free Packaging” (FFP) and the success of the program has Amazon planning to expand the policy to apply to all suppliers in North America and the United Kingdom this coming year.
The policy will encourage suppliers to send Amazon their products ready to ship so that Amazon doesn’t have to repackage materials before shipping. Companies like Hasbro Inc. are using this as a launching point to completely innovate their packaging plans for online retail.
Stroll through the toy aisle at your local department store and you’ll see brightly-colored, crazy-shaped packaging with plastic windows to see the toy inside. In brick-and-mortar stores, the packaging sells the product.
In online retail, the consumer sees images of the toy itself—not its packaging. When you buy products online, the function of the packaging changes drastically from propaganda to functionality.
Hasbro Inc and Amazon have worked together to innovate the packaging for online retail by making packaging:
- compact and cost-effective for shipping
- easier to open by eliminating zip-ties, wires, and unnecessary stuffings
- widely recyclable and clearly marked for disposal procedures using the new How2Recycle labels
You can put your pocketknives away this Christmas and open up your recycling bin instead!
If you’re excited about these improvements, send a message to Amazon at firstname.lastname@example.org to request that they make your account plastic-free or zero-waste packaging and tell them you support their efforts!
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