Eco-friendly eCommerce business

Make your business eco-friendlier

28th June 2022, 9:09am in Business by Amy Newham

Did you know that companies taking steps to be environmentally friendly could have various competitive advantages, as well as doing their part to help the planet? A recent study revealed that 81% of people prefer to buy from sustainable sellers* who consciously try to improve their carbon footprint. They are even open to paying a little extra for their products and services if they are sustainable!

Whether you're an online business or a traditional brick-and-mortar store, follow these tips on how you can make your business a bit greener.

Switch to sustainable packaging

In shipping, packaging is a significant contributor to throwaway materials that end up in a landfill. Thankfully, there are opportunities to be more sustainable with the packaging you send:

Recyclable packaging

If you don't already, using recyclable packaging is an easy way to do your bit. Cardboard boxes can be easily recycled or repurposed into other creations like wall art or storage. You could even incorporate creative ideas within your packaging design on how your customers can transform their box after use.

Reusable packaging

Reusable paper bag

Reusable packaging is slightly different to recyclable packaging, the idea is to eliminate waste by allowing the customer to reuse packaging for their own needs or send it back to the seller. Once the packaging is no longer useable, it can then be recycled or ideally composted. For example, last Christmas, Primark's paper bags doubled up as gift wrap so customers could give their shopping bags a second life. Plus, because the paper bags are free from glitter and shiny paper, they are also suitable for recycling later down the line.

Compostable packaging

Even though cardboard boxes can easily be recycled, it's better to choose plant-based or biodegradable materials because compostable materials degrade faster than traditional materials in landfill. For instance, Pangea Organics, who create 100% plant-based beauty products, have incorporated organic seeds into the packaging so the customer can plant it in the earth. We're rooting for this!

Choose sustainable packaging extras

Don't forget about the additional materials needed to protect your parcel – they can be sustainable too!

Shipping paper

Hexcel wrap

Hexcel wrap is a paper-based cushioning material that interlocks on itself, meaning there's no need for an extra adhesive. This means less packing material, so you may even be able to fit your goods into smaller boxes to ship your product. It also expands when unrolled, so even the delivery of the material is more environmentally beneficial.

Biodegradable paper tape

You can purchase eco-friendly, biodegradable brown paper tape to pack your parcels securely. Many include a natural rubber adhesive with no silicone coating and use FSC sourced paper.

Compostable shipping labels

Believe it or not, you can actually buy shipping labels made from materials like sugarcane fibres. They are natural, biodegradable labels available in various sizes.

Remove single-use plastics

Remove single-use plastics

Single-use plastics have a damaging impact on the planet, in fact a 2021 survey found that 92% of people are concerned about plastic pollution**. Many organisations have replaced single-use plastics with more sustainable options, but more steps are still needed.

It's good practice to audit the single-use plastics your eCommerce business uses. While some individual packaging is required for health and safety, you could explore biodegradable options. There might even be some recyclable alternatives that are also acceptable.

Think about how you ship

Whether it's through the products you send or the packaging you use, you should also investigate the carriers you choose to deliver your customer orders. For example, DPD Local are industry leaders in pursuing carbon-neutral parcel delivery for customers at no extra fee. They do this by measuring CO2 emissions and subsequently reducing and offsetting the remaining emissions.

It's also best practice to send your items in bulk regardless of where they travel. It's much more efficient and eco-friendlier if you book several collections or drop-off your deliveries in one trip.

Head over to our Quote Tool and book your shipping with us today. You have the freedom to choose your preferred courier that matches your shipping strategy and brand values.

*Source: (Accessed: 21/06/2022)

**Source: (Accessed: 17/06/2022)

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